Honest Is as Honest Does

I just received an e-mail from through alma mater‘s career network. The subject line was so honest, I had to open it: "I just graduated and intend to bother you".

It gets better:

My name is ___ and I just got my BA in English from Binghamton.  I dodn’t really intend to bother you, but saw that you are the alumni coordinator for New York City and am trying to explore every option in getting into a career here in the city.  I’m looking to get involved with publishing or editing or anything that help utilize my skills with language.

As a service to the kids, here are a few quick pearls, gold nuggets, and diamonds of wisdom:

  1. Spell-check any career-related e-mails.
  2. Let your language skills speak for themselves (don’t flaunt what you don’t got).
  3. Make up your mind whether you intend or don’t intend to bother someone before you write them, and come to a coherent conclusion so that your subject line and message body are in agreement.
  4. If English really isn’t your strong suit but you majored in it anyway, just write that you majored in something more credible, like astronomy or environmental studies or unicycling. No one will ever be able to tell if you can unicycle or not, but unfamiliarity with English is usually a dead giveaway.