Knowing a few tips for sending a fax will go a long way in making you look more professional. Faxing is impersonal and business-oriented. Don’t use it as a substitute for email.
When to Send a Fax Instead of a Letter
- You need to send a document overseas
- Someone is difficult to reach on phone or email
- Speed is important
- Appearance of the document is not as important as the content
Sending a fax is little different than writing a letter, but it should be more to the point and contain little emotion. Keep it professional!
Some Tips for Sending a Professional Fax
- Don’t hand write letters (aside from a signature). Type them, print, then fax.
- Never send confidential information such as social security numbers or credit card information over fax; the machine may be in a communal area.
- Use a slightly larger font than normal; data loss may cause a loss in quality. Choose at least a 12-point font for best results.
- Don’t use gaudy letterhead or oversized images, your recipient will not appreciate you wasting all of their ink for fun!
- To avoid lost faxes, always use a simple cover sheet addressed to the recipient’s name — especially if you are faxing to an office where several people share one machine.
Emotion in Faxed Letters
Don’t do it! As a general guideline, do not fax thank you notes, apologies, or anything that you wish to come across as sincere or dear to the heart. Faxing is for business only.
Other Pointers for Sending a Fax:
- Keep faxes relatively brief. Remember: everything has to be printed on the other end expending ink and paper.
- Important graphics may come across distorted; keep this in mind when faxing blueprints or technical drawings where scale matters.
- If a document is important, mail the hard copy to the recipient after you send the fax so that they may have the original.
- You may want to photocopy faxed letters that have been printed from a fax machine. Thermal paper does not scan well and will create a fuzzy image on the other size.
- Pay attention to which direction paper should be fed into the machine. Sending a blank page or all-black page to someone looks incompetent and wastes ink!
Whenever possible, just email your document. It’s nearly instantaneous and will save the recipient ink and paper. Not only will documents go across clearer (without worry of noise on the line), sending a fax electronically as an email attachment (usually a PDF file) is easier and cheaper than using a machine.