If You’re Using Exclamation Points in Work Emails Then You’re Doing it Wrong
Everyday professionals spend at least a quarter of their time at work sending and receiving emails. It’s our primary form of communication — it’s fast and easy. And yet in spite of the amount of time we dedicate to emailing, many users still make mistakes that undermine their professionalism. Trove provided a list of some of the most important tips for good email etiquette; below are some of the most vital tips you need to know when sending professional emails.
- Ditch your AIM email from sixth grade: Whether you work for yourself or a large organization, your email should reflect your name in some way. No professional is going to take seriously an email from firstname.lastname@example.org; it’s time to trash the the old email and get a new one. Use some combination of your name so that the recipient can easily tell who is sending the message.
- Go easy on the exclamation points: Exclamation points should only be used to convey excitement, according to career coach Barbara Pachter. Overuse of exclamation points can come off as immature or emotional. Try to avoid using them completely, unless something is actually exciting.
- Use subject lines to convey your message: People open emails based on the subject. If you use a brief, descriptive phrase to correctly convey what your message is about, the recipient is more likely to open your email. Something like, “Tomorrow’s lunch meeting rescheduled” or ”Reservations confirmed” works just fine. Stick with something short and sweet.
- Don’t use informal greetings: We use email so much it’s easy to forget that “hey” and “yo” are not acceptable in a professional setting. These salutations are totally inappropriate for the workplace and should be avoided in emails. Stick with “hello” or “good afternoon” to stay professional. “Sincerely” is always appropriate for professional emails.
- Avoid typos at all costs: Avoiding typos is absolutely imperative. It’s so easy to misspell a word when you’re typing a quick email, but you will be judged if you do. Reread your emails before you hit send to ensure you avoid typos. Autocorrect don’t always do the trick, so don’t rely solely on the automatic spell checker.
- Make sure you’re emailing the correct person: Just like a typo, entering the incorrect email is extremely easy to do. But try to make sure you don’t accidentally email the wrong person! One way to avoid doing so is by entering the email address last. This way no one is embarrassed and the information is relayed to the right person.
- Be considerate of the recipient’s culture: If you are emailing someone who does not speak the same native language as you, be considerate of varying cultural norms. This can help avoid miscommunication. If you tailor your message to your audience, by using simple words for example, the exchange will run smoother.
Next time you go to press send on a work email think about these tips. Did you start off saying “hey” or miss a comma? Paying closer attention to these seemingly minor details can increase your professionalism and bolster the way you’re perceived by others in the workplace. As you continue to use email as a central method for communication in your career, implementing good habits can only benefit your reputation.
Natasha Paulmeno (@NatashaPaulmeno) is an aspiring PR professional studying at the University of Maryland. She is learning to speak Spanish fluently through travel, music, and school. In her spare time she enjoys Bachata music, playing with her dog, and exploring social media trends.