Communicate Professionally

It is important to be aware of your professionalism in ALL types of communication. Your verbal and written messages convey your personality and professional expertise. Begin to understand your own professional communication style in order to effectively communicate with others. Of course, continue to learn new words, and make note of any business acronyms to research or ask colleagues about later. Learn the vocabulary and acronyms related to your job and industry. Avoid using slang at all costs.

Your personality and professional expertise are being assessed through the messages you send. Be sure to listen and learn from others. Observe the people in your environment to see how they:

  • Work together
  • Talk to each other, and
  • Behave in different situations


You will also need to be attentive to your e-mail communication and formatting. Remember these quick tips:

  • Use your lastname.# OSU e-mail account to maintain a professional image. If you use any other e-mail account, be sure to use your first and last name as part of your e-mail address.
  • Always use a professional style (check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation). Use full sentences; break up the message by paragraph topics.
  • Limit emotional content.
  • Avoid abbreviations, slang, and symbols.
  • Conclude with “Sincerely” or “Regards.”
  • Include a signature and contact information (your name, title, place of work, address, phone numbers, and your e-mail address).
  • Avoid using company time for personal gain. Know company policy – some companies monitor corporate e-mails!

If you need a refresher on communication etiquette (e-mail, fax, telephone blogs, social media), we invite you to review the Polishing Your Job Etiquette Skills module.


Now, let’s move on to learning about the impact that your behavior and performance have in the workplace.