Your name is what identifies you; it’s who you are. Making a good impression (or not) can depend on something as little as how you choose type your name in your e-mails.
From configuring your e-mail program, to filling out Web inquiry forms or making online purchases, always formally capitalize your name. Doing so reflects you are an educated adult.
John Doe – not john doe. Not JOHN DOE. John Doe.
When it comes to your name, if you don’t take the time to hit the shift key, there are two perceptions that kick in. Lazy or uneducated. Which is it? Both? More times than not it is the former and not the latter; however, being perceived as lazy is not a good personally or professionally.
Why Wouldn’t An Educated Adult Capitalize Their Name?
When it comes to e-mailing with new contacts, friends or even websites folks don’t know how smart you are or what a great person you’ll be to communicate with. To form their first impression they only have how you choose to communicate with the written word.
Folks who do not formally type their names when e-mailing me E-mail Etiquette questions will most certainly get the recommendation to do so. If they do not know the basic premise of capitalizing their name suggesting they review my site will expose them to other issues that will be good for them to know.
Is There A Good Reason to Not Capitalize Your Name?
What is the main excuse I am given for not capitalizing their name? “It’s just habit.” A habit to look lazy? A habit to appear uneducated? Time to break that habit!
I’ve also had some folks, who are very smart and good at what they do say that’s the way they’ve always done it. They’ve never capitalized their name. Time to communicate like an adult!
May I share a story with you?
A new client I was working with always signed her e-mails with her first name in all small case. She seems to be a smart cookie and knows her stuff (although she doesn’t capitalize her sentences either), so I asked her why she didn’t capitalize her name.
She answered that she felt it was part of her branding and matched her site where certain elements were not capitalized. She followed up stating this approach helped for her to stand out from others. Branding?
Her response would make sense if she capitalized her sentences — but she didn’t. And the small case elements on her site were actually things that really should be capitalized and were not contributing to any positive branding effort.
So I don’t buy that. Especially when it comes to business you must capitalize sentences — and your name. Imagine doing this on a job application or a website employment inquiry? Then, hope you get the opportunity to tell an interviewer you wanted to stand out.
While e-mail is informal with family and friends, you really need to use your discretion and know when to communicate properly with proper case and structure. That’s what will allow you to “stand out”!