How To’s - Phone, Fax & Email
How To... Use Good Phone Etiquette at Work

Phone etiquette is essential.  Why?  Have you ever called a company with some awful customer service person on the other line?  What did you think?  Exactly.

When answering the phone, one good rule of thumb is to always assume the President or CEO of your place of employment is on the other end of the phone.  Answer the phone clearly and pleasantly with a greeting, stating your name and your office or department.

External Call Example: “Hello, thank you for calling Company X, this is Kathryn.”

Even when you answer a call from inside the company, you should identify yourself, again stating your name and department.  Do not answer the phone with a joke thinking it is a co-worker.  You never know who might be calling you.  This is true even if your phone has caller ID.  Just because it says your lunch pal is calling, it might be someone else using their phone.  Believe me, it's happened.  I unfortunately know from experience.

Internal Call Example:  “Afternoon, Purchasing, this is Kathryn.”

Speak with a smile in your voice or in other words speak while smiling.  I know that sounds strange, but remember, this is often the first contact people will have with you at work.  And it makes a huge difference.

And finally, no one likes to be put on hold, but sometimes it can’t be helped.  If this does happen, ask, or in cases of emergencies, politely tell your client to hold.

Don’t just say, “Hold please” and hit the button.  If the caller can’t hold, be sure to take their name and number and be sure to call them back.  If you tell them "a moment" or "one moment", make sure that's no more than a minute.   The last thing you want a client, customer or co-worker to think is that he or she has entered phone limbo. 

Caller On Hold Example: "Sir/ma'am, can I place you on hold for a moment?"

Caller On Hold Example: "Sir/ma'am, please hold for one moment as I get that for you."

Good phone etiquette at work is just a simple way to let your clients, co-workers and anyone else who calls you know that their time is valuable within your company.


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By kathrynpless

How To... Create An Email Signature
Email signature etiquette they forgot to teach you in finishing school.   

Email signatures are electronic business cards, letting email recipients know who you are, what you do, and how to contact you.  Setting up a properly formatted signature will help remind recipients what a polished professional you are every time you send email.  

Inquire About Format
Corporations place value in presenting a unified front, and you certainly don’t want to be the kink in that system.  Ask around about standard format and required disclosures.  If no standard template is available, copy your coworkers’ or boss’ email signature.  

Keep It Professional
Unless you are in the scented stationary business, save the pink background and little flowers for your personal emailing.  Simple black text in a basic font will do just fine.  

Add Company Logo
Inserting your company’s logo into your email signature reinforces branding on all your email files (particularly important if you happen to be in the marketing or design department).  

Clarify Your Title
Your email signature should include your title, but if you haven’t formally been issued a title, ask your boss for clarification.  While you may think it’s hilarious to refer to your mail clerk position as “Communications Facilitator”, the higher-ups likely will not.

Set Up Your Signature
Signature setup is generally located in the ‘Tools Menu’.  In Microsoft Outlook select the Tools Menu, then Options, then Mail Format Tab.  Press the “Signatures…” button and select “New” to create a new email signature.  (You may wish to setup an annotated signature for replies and forwards).  

Test Your Signature
Send email to yourself first to verify that your signature looks the way you intended.  Click any links, such as your email address, to be sure they direct to the correct place.  If you copied and pasted a boss’ signature for formatting and modified it for yourself, the email link likely still points to, even though it reads (right click on the link to fix this).  

Email signatures can be a double-edged swords.  Get it right and no one will notice.  Get it wrong and you undermine your professional image before you ever get a chance to build it.  

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By stacymorgan

How To... Send An Email Internet Fax

So your office went paperless. Learn tips and tricks on sending an email fax over the internet.



Whether you are using email or a fax service over the internet, the steps are rather similar.  All you need is a computer and an internet connection.  First you must make sure that your company has installed the proper program on your computer to enable you to send faxes over the internet or email.  Once this is done you’ve got it made.


Email Fax– Simply Compose a new email.  Then choose your recipient in the To: line.  Addressing a fax email is a bit different from a normal email because you must include the Recipient’s Fax Number or Address.  This will be provided to you by the person receiving the fax.  Also enter in a Subject.  Next Attach the document to your email and wait for it to upload.  Then click Send.  It’s that easy.


Internet Fax – Sending a fax by the internet is just as easy as sending one by email because the program often incorporates your own email program.  First you need to subscribe to an online fax service.   Popular sites (just add the ‘.com’) include MyFax, MetroFax, eFax, RingCentral, TrustFax, and RapidFAX.  Then, the program usually builds right into your own email programs and it’s as simple as sending an email fax as explained above.  Compose a new email, include the Recipient’s Fax Address, enter in a Subject,Attach the document, Send and viola - done! 


Sending a fax by email and internet is a great alternative to using a traditional fax machine.  You save time and raise productivity, all while saving paper in the process.  “Go green!”  Plus you’ll be operating even more in the 21st century. Always a plus to doing a great job.

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By kathrynpless

How To... Send A Mass Email

Your boss just told you to send an email to the entire company.  But don’t panic!  You can do this.  In fact, it’s a piece of cake.


Write - First things first, open your Inbox and click on New or Compose depending on what email program you use.  Usually it’s Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express.  Find the subject line and enter something short and sweet pertaining to the information you have to share.  Then start writing the body of your email.  Remember that everyone in the entire company is going to read your email (including your bosses) so make sure you sound professional. 


Use a standard font like Arial or New Times Roman to write in.  Black or dark blue font is best.  And feel free to use bullets, numbered lists and even other colors.  Whatever easily appeals to the eye is usually the best bet.  And for the love of a paycheck, check your spelling and grammar too – and keep in mind, spell check is not nearly as reliable as your brain is. 


To finish off, attach all necessary documents or files, and double-check they open correctly.  Also don’t forget to sign out with a nice email signature.


Address Book – Learn how to access the address book, which you always find in your email program.  Once there, you’ll be met with several different possibilities depending on the infrastructure of your company.  If you’re in a large company, there is an internal address book (updated by IT and HR) that you can access.  It is usually filled with department groups which each contain the respective team members and their emails.   If you’re in a small company, you might only have an internal address book of team members and their emails without any groups or department groups.  If you’re in a tiny company, you might only have an address book containing team members and contacts that you’ve inputted yourself.   So, depending on the type of address book you have, you’ll either be able to select different groups (containing various emails) – very quick and easy, or you’ll only be able to select single emails. 


To – Don’t click send yet!  This is where you’ll be specifying who receives this email.  Click the To button which will take you to the address book.  Then input everyone either by their respective groups (often ready something like “Company X All” or “Department Y All”, or by adding all the individual emails necessary.  Once you’ve selected everyone for the ‘To’ heading, double check to make sure all needed recipients are there.


Cc – If there are any secondary persons or teams involved who just need notification of the message, you can enter their email addresses here.


Bcc – If a recipient needs to be hidden or kept secret, you can enter their email addresses here. Then, once the email is delivered, these recipients will not be listed.  The Bcc line should be right below the Cc line.  If you don’t see the Bcc line, usually you should be able to bring it up by clicking on the To button.  Entering everyone’s email here will still send a company wide email, it just won’t tell everyone who else got it.


Send - Make sure that you’ve, one, got everyone’s email addresses in the right To:, Cc:, and Bcc: boxes, two, entered a proper subject line, and three, double-checked your email for spelling, grammar and format.  Now, click Send.  Then, lean back in your chair, and feel good about yourself – you just sent a company wide email!

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By davidporter

How To... Attach Documents To An Email

Professionals have to share lots of documents and files online.  Pictures, audio, documents, what have you.  The preferred medium, email.  As long as it’s the right size, you can attach it.  Don’t worry, it’s so easy your grandma can do it.


Compose Email – Start by opening up your email inbox.  Click Compose or New to open a blank email.  Now click on the Attach button.  This should be somewhere near the To: box or the subject line.  It might also appear as a little paperclip symbol, depending on the program.


Select Document – After you click Attach, a dialog box opens up. Click Browse.  Now, don’t get frazzled!  All you have to do is find the file you want to attach by navigating through the proper folders.  Try on your Desktop or in My Documents.  Then, click the file, and then click Open. If you’re feeling stressed, take a deep breath – you’re almost done!


Upload – The browser should now upload your file.  You can see the progress in the actual email window.  And make sure your file finished uploading.  It can be annoying to think you sent an attachment just to find out it didn’t work.  So just be patient and you’ll save yourself the frustration.


Finish and Send – Sending email attachments is complete cake – and if you accidentally send the email without the attachment, it’s no big deal.  It happens to E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E!  Just re-send the email and make sure to attach everything before you click Send.


All in a day’s work… 

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By davidporter

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