How to address people

Hi WSO, so I'm currently in my undergrad and  I've been sending a bunch of cold emails recently for coffee chats and summer opportunities.  I've been referring to the contacts by their first names and most of the responses have been pretty positive so far with no regard to this matter.  However, I just got a long paragraph back from one of the people I contacted at a local investment firm telling me I completely stepped out of boundaries and disrespected him for not calling him Dr.  ____ (last name). I'm incredibly confused now if people actually care this much about their title and what the formality behind this is as  I've seen from multiple posts that emailing people by the first name is acceptable. Is this person an outlier or am I doing something wrong?

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Comments (9)

Apr 29, 2021 - 10:46pm

First name is probably fine, but I'd use last name for the grey haired MDs. I never did the whole cold email thing, but I'd guess that MDs should be a Mr/Ms. At your age (and mine) you'd probably call your buddy's dad Mr. and then the dad would immediately tell you to call him by his first name. The same is true with MDs. Within the bank you always use first name, but some old MDs might like the Mr until they tell you otherwise. 

That person you messaged is probably an outlier. 

Most Helpful
Apr 29, 2021 - 11:08pm

That person has an unchecked superiority complex. First name is good even for senior people

Array

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May 1, 2021 - 5:32pm

IBplz78

That person has an unchecked superiority complex. First name is good even for senior people

+1

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May 1, 2021 - 7:00pm

You didn't +1 him tho.

hahaha you're right ok now I did 😎🥂

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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