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SALUTATIONS: DEFINITION, TYPES, ALTERNATIVES, AND THEIR APPROPRIATE USE

There is an extraordinary truth still used by us is, the First impression is always the best and it always gives lasting impressions. Impression gives positivity to a person, thing, or place. And it is also very helpful to build a strong relationship with the receiver. Here, the appropriate use of salutations will provide a good impression about a sender to the recipient.

Important aspects of salutations are they are responsible for creating tone and content. By using better and appropriate email salutations, you set a good tone for the reader for the rest of the content in the letter or email. Good salutations can help you to communicate the necessary information to the receiver.

SALUTATIONS AND THEIR TYPES

                  Salutations are like a signal which is interpreted from a person to a receiver. Here, the receiver should acknowledge those salutations after receiving those. These are the important thing to start a conversation, beginning the email, a letter, or a note.  The salutation is also called Greetings, which is often used in business e-mails, letter formats, other written documents, personal letters, and non-written documents and communications.

EXAMPLES:

  •       Dear Sir/ madam

Now a day’s technology has developed a lot. Especially, 4G communications made our life very much easier and we all have our social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so on, there we get so many contacts and having friends around the world. Now 5G is also coming to make our lives so much feasible and valuable.

And we are also having some sites which are very helpful to shape and reshape our careers, in that portals users are provided with opportunities to have a chat or talk with their role models, influencers. Some job searching websites are also there, it also opens the gate to the fresher can talk with the employers; their online comments can be transferred between them. There, we need salutations to attract the employer, Hr manager or hiring person. 

Salutations can be a formal one as well as an informal one.

 

FORMAL SALUTATIONS

Formal salutations should be professional. So kickstart your salutations by using “Dear”, “To whom it may concern” or you may start the conversation by saying “ Good morning, Good evening, Good noon”. The writer has to well know that the receiver opens the mail or letter by noon or morning, then only you can use those salutations. Otherwise, you can prefer “Dear “ or “ To whom it may concern”.

  •       Good morning, Ms. Sara.
  •       Dear Ms. Sara,
  •       To whom it may concern,

INFORMAL SALUTATIONS

       Now, all the people are having smartphones and they are searching for jobs with the help of these smartphones. Here, most probably informal salutations play a vital role.  Then you can start your conversation by using “Hello” which is the very general universal greeting used by most people in email correspondence. Then another informal salutation used by all nowadays is “Hi”. By using “Hi” you can prompt your conversation without any reluctance.

  •       Hello Sara,
  •       Hi Sara,
  •       Hey David,

           “Hey” is considered to be a slang salutation. Better we can use this salutation in informal writing.

LETTER AND EMAIL SALUTATIONS

       In letters and emails, salutations play a major role. Letters and emails give a platform to use salutations.

SALUTATION IN LETTER

       When writing a letter, whether it is a business letter or a personal letter, we always start a letter with “Dear”. And the use of punctuations also varies according to the letter.

  • Dear Kavya,

       In U.S and Canada, they prefer commas after the salutation in personal letters. But in most countries, punctuations are often omitted in salutations.

  •  Dear Mr. Mehta:

       In the Business letter, they are meant to be professional and formal, so in the U.S and Canada, they use a colon after the salutations. The same format is again followed by India also. But in other countries, they don’t prefer punctuations.

EMAIL SALUTATIONS

       The same thing is again repeated, email salutations again having formal and informal salutations. In formal emails, the format should be a professional one, so they use “Dear”.

  •       Dear Raj

In informal emails, the format is different. You can start your conversation by using “Hi”, “Hello”,

  •       Hi Dev,
  •       Hello Kajal,

A comma is always used after informal greetings or salutations.

 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF SALUTATIONS

   GENDER NEUTRAL SALUTATION.

  •       It is used by a sender who doesn’t know about the gender of a recipient.
  •       The clever way used by the writer is to omit the gender between their conversations to conserve their understanding.
  •       Gender Neutral Salutations are also called Gender Inclusive Salutations.
  •       Instead of using Mr, Ms( gender specification), one can use,
  •       Dear Dev Kumar (using their full name not mention their gender, Dear Spouse ( not specify whether it is wife or husband),  Dear Taxi Driver ( no specification about their gender)

    PROFESSIONAL EMAIL SALUTATION

  •       Professional email salutations are frequently used in the job applying process and in some companies many employees used them to chat with the employers about the report, target, etc.,
  •       It can be used in two ways, formal and less formal.
  •       Professionalism is always associated with formal.
  •       It should be respectful.
  •       Then why it has another type called less formal?
  • Some companies have a constant employer or the same client. So, the writer has the freedom to send the mail less formally because already employee and employer or it may be a client, they may have some understanding between themselves. The writer can informally send the mail.
  •  Instead of using the recipient’s last name, the writer can use the recipient’s first name to indicate their friendliness.
  •       Dear Dev ( instead of  Dear Mr.Kumar),     Dear Swetha( instead of Dear Ms.Kapoor)

  BUSINESS LETTER SALUTATIONS

  •       Business letter salutations are strictly formal ones.
  •       Used in business communications.
  •       Used in business letters and Emails.
  •        The writer is well known about the gender of the recipient then the writer can use Mr, Ms, and their last name. Eg: Dear Ms.Robert.
  •      If the writer doesn’t know about the gender of the recipient then he can use Gender Inclusive or Gender Neutral Salutations. Eg: Dear Cassandra Robert.
  •    The recipient is a Doctor by profession or received a doctorate. Then the writer can include Dr. as their salutation and add their last name at the end. Eg: Dear Dr.Smitha.
  •  If the recipient is a professor then the writer can add Prof. with their last name. Eg:  Dear Prof.Tilak.
  •   You are addressing two or more women, then you should use titles before their names Ms, Mrs. Sometimes, the writer doesn’t know the marital status of a woman, then he can prefer Ms. Eg: Dear Mrs. John, Ms. Khan, and Mrs. Agarwal.
  •    Addressing a  woman and a man, then you can use the adjective “dear” before their titles. And give the name of the person who ranks higher in the company or institution. If both are equal in their position in their companies or institution then you can follow the alphabetical order. Eg: Dear Mrs. Agarwal and Mr. Madan

  In a business letter, using the correct personal or professional title, punctuation, and phrase in a salutation will determine your Professionalism and it will show your formal ethics and tactics. While writing Business letter salutations, the writer should know the difference between various documents used in the business platforms.

  •       memo
  •        letter
  •         Email

 

MEMO

        Business memo communicates information to the intra – organization that is inside the company or organization. This memo doesn’t need salutations. This is the information informed by an employer to the employee, team head to the team member or owner to the servant, and so on. So it comes under informal communications.

  LETTER

The business letter gives information that communicates outside the company or organization. It is a formal and professional letter and so it must require salutations. This information may be a communication between a fresher who wants to join in the company or head office to the regional office and so on.

 EMAIL

       A business email is must be an official one. A  company or organization that wants to convey a very important announcement to inside and outside their organization is called business email. It may be related to important decisions of the company. So it must require salutations.

 

5 FABULOUS ALTERNATIVES FOR DEAR SIR OR MADAM.

       Dear sir or madam”, “Respected sir or madam” is salutations or greetings used for so many years.  It is a cliché thing one can find in all the emails and letters. “Dear sir or madam” or “Respected sir or madam” is usual salutations used by all. But it is an old standard salutation used for many years. It may create problems sometimes, like, you are writing a letter or mail to someone, whom you don’t know the recipient and their gender. If you mistakenly reverse the gender in your mail then it will consider a shame to a person. Better, avoid those salutations in your emails and letters.

POOR BUSINESS ETIQUETTE

       In addition to that, this salutation can make you look lazy. In today, business world, the use of salutations or greetings like “Dear sir or madam” or “Respected sir or madam” is considered to be poor business etiquette. 

Or else you can simply search the Linkedin profile of the company and their employees to find out the name of the person and then you can use their name. This will create a good impression on you; the efforts you have taken to find out the name of the employer will reap its success.

       Salutation is always associated with the receiver or recipient to whom you write the letter or email. Here the most crucial thing is the relationship and understanding between the writer and the recipient. Then the only writer can choose either formal format of salutations or informal format.

       Another thing might also happen, you may be can’t find the name of the person to whom you are writing a letter or email. Sometimes you may not know who is hiring you. At that time, don’t worry, just scroll and chill. Here, there are five alternatives for those boring cliché salutations.

   GOOD MORNING

  •       One can start a conversation with a salutation of Good Morning, Good Noon, Good Evening.
  •       It is the most preferable one nowadays.
  •       A nice and formal way to introduce yourself to someone.   

    DEAR HR

  •       One can use the recipient’s position name.
  •       Job searching enthusiasts can use this salutation to kick start your career.

HELLO

  •   New normal is developing in this Covid era. No one is ready to face one-to-one interviews, mass interviews. Everyone is rushing towards job finding sites such as Linked. and other sites.
  •   On those sites, anyone can chat with various company employers directly in the chatbox.
  •   So, Hello can be used to start the chat.  

    DEAR {RECIPIENTS NAME}

  •       The formal way to start a salutation.
  •     The most preferable way to start the conversation.

      DEAR PRAKASH NAYER

 DEAR RECRUITER

  •       One can use Dear Recruiter team or Dear Recruiting Manger to them in a plural way.

 

 

 

 

 

About Dhanvandhiri Arumugam

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