Your coworkers’ perception of you is going to depend quite a bit on your email etiquette. Even if you’re dazzling at presentations, are hitting your productivity goals out of the park, and everyone is always inviting you to happy hour, a bad email can make or break your career. In fact, an American Management Association survey found that 25 percent of employers have fired employees for violating email policy (per CBS News). Less dramatically, an email can just make you seem annoying, and everything from a vague subject line to colorful fonts to an overly lengthy signature can rub your colleagues the wrong way, noted Ask A Manager. That floral-patterned email stationery you downloaded will make you look “frumpy,” the blog added.
So how can you make sure you’re not tripping any work landmines? The most important thing to keep in mind is to never write an email when you’re anything less than calm and composed. “Do not email when you’re angry, hungry or tired,” executive and life coach Stefanie Ziev told CNBC. “Check in with your mental state and mindset before you press ‘send.'”
Other ways your email is making you look unprofessional
Maybe you know better than to send out, “I hate my job!” or “Debbie is a terrible boss!” in an email. But did you know that far more minor email offenses can be eroding at your reputation? Simple phrases like, “I am forwarding this email” or “Please note that…” or even the ubiquitous, “Please do not hesitate to contact me” can all make you seem wordy and unoriginal, according to LifeHack.
Your coworkers also hate it when you’re passive-aggressive. You know when you sent that email a week ago, and no one responded, and now you’re running late as a result? It might seem polite to re-send the original email with the phrase, “I’m re-attaching for your convenience,” but a much better move is to just be direct and write, “Did you have a chance to look at the attachment?” according to FairyGodBoss. Similarly, don’t write, “As per my last email.” Everyone knows you mean, “This is the second time I’m telling you this,” the blog noted. You’ll win more respect if you just come out and say what you need.
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