I LOVE answering emails about forensic related questions students have about career advice, what courses to take, where to get specialized training, what degree is best for a forensic degree, and…well, you get the idea.

As an educator, I’m passionate about helping students meet their educational or career goals, and my ‘email’ door is always open to helping students.

But….yes, there is a but….

The #1 thing that drives me BATTY is receiving emails that open with “Hey” or “I want a job” or emails that close with “tanx for ur tym” (I’m not lying).

Here’s my point. I get students want a career in forensic science.I also get students being frustrated because it seems there is no forensic professional who is willing to take the time to answer emails but the most important impression, that first impression, is the key to opening the door to networking with forensic professionals. Nowadays, emails or text messages seem to have taken over the art of letter writing or making phone calls. This is something we all get. Yet, what I don’t get is why would any student write an email that opens with such an unprofessional opening or closing?

I tell my forensic students that to be seen as a (forensic) professional, you must act like one, dress like one, speak like one (read this blog about how the word ‘like’ can kill your career), prepare like one, get an education like one, train like one, and WRITE like one—this is even BEFORE you get hired!

Oh, and make sure your email account is a professional one…remember…a first impression is a lasting impression.