Our days are filled with more txting than evr. It can be gr8 for quick chats btwn friends, but habits can be hard to break! As a job seeker or working professional, a careless mistake in an email can mean the difference between successful communication and a quick trip to the trash folder.
We’ve all encountered problematic email types, from the over-sharer who fills precious space with unnecessary details:
“I’d like to ask for your help, but first, here’s a complete rundown of my history with the project. When I was born, it was a clear and crisp autumn day. Do you know why they call it autumn? Well it is quite the entertaining tale…”
To the chronically brief writer who forces you to guess the message is even about:
“Subject: Important
Body: “Where are we at with this? Top priority!!”
To avoid falling into these and other common email traps, consider these suggestions for crafting clear and effective email messages in any professional setting:
Professional, Top to Bottom
The body of your message isn’t the only place you need to be professional; every element of your email, from top to bottom, should reflect an attention to detail. This all begins by sending your email communication from a concise and professional email address. Having a name like, “Coolguy2k16” instantly discredits your message, and might even land you in a spam folder. Moving down, consider your subject line thoughtfully and make sure it clearly expresses the matter being addressed.
Finally, be aware of your sending situation! The choice between using a laptop or desktop and choosing to send via smartphone can affect elements of your message, such as the signature line. Be aware of how your choice of device can affect your message.
Avoid the Noise
Email is often hated because the amount of noise it generates. Annoying solicitation, overeager newsletters and potentially dangerous spam clutter inboxes and make it harder to sift through the important items. While it’s a good idea to clean out your inbox regularly and avoid signing up for too much clutter, it’s also a good idea to apply this idea to your own communications.
Avoid using extra content that may not add to the meat of your message. Added pictures in your body and email signature can actually add to the file size of your message, causing it to take longer to send and read, and even raising the chances of it being sent to spam!
Be Responsive, but Review
There’s nothing worse than having a message waiting for response in someone’s inbox. Don’t be the person who is holding up progress! Responding to messages in a timely way is not only respectful, but it can help to keep you organized.
However, it’s also important to keep your emotions in check when responding. While your impulse after receiving a passionate email might be to aggressively type a sharp response and send it along immediately, it pays to take a few minutes to gather your thoughts before sending something you can’t take back.
As a general rule, adding a few minutes of your review to your email routine can not only help to keep your messages balanced emotionally, but can also help you catch careless mistakes, such as punctuation errors and unprofessional text shorthand that needs editing.
Love it or hate it, email is still one of the most prevalent and direct messaging methods used by business professionals today. Avoid being lost in the noise of the busy inbox and keep professionalism in mind, from top to bottom!
Do you have any favorite email tips (or least favorite habits?) We would love to hear your stories in the comments below!