Avoid These 10 Common Mistakes in Work Emails
Many employees do not receive formal email writing training, assuming it is similar to face-to-face communication. However, how you write emails can have a significant impact on your career. Here are ten mistakes you should avoid when composing work emails:
1) Don't Spread Rumors
Gossiping via email is unprofessional and can lead to termination. Avoid making negative remarks about colleagues or the company in your emails. If you don't heed this advice, you may be surprised at how quickly the gossip spreads.
2) Don't Digress
Time is precious, so get straight to the point when composing business emails. Ensure that your most important message is at the top of your email. Write a draft and edit it to keep your emails concise and avoid making them longer than one or two paragraphs.
3) Avoid Personal Business
Your company's email account is not for personal business. Using it for private purposes is wrong and could lead to disciplinary action.
4) Avoid Criticizing
Avoid criticizing others in emails, especially in group emails. Personal issues and emotional conflicts should be resolved in person. Use the "headline rule" – consider how you would feel if your email became tomorrow's headlines. If you would feel uneasy, do not send it.
5) Avoid Sending Emails When Emotional
Sending emails when emotional, angry, frustrated, or tired can lead to unintended messages and unwanted results. Control your psychological state before hitting the send button. Step away from your desk, take a walk, or get some fresh air to regain your composure.
6) Avoid Jokes
Jokes may be good in person, but they often don't translate well in emails. Sarcasm, in particular, may be misinterpreted without the benefit of voice tone and gestures. Avoid making jokes that may offend someone's religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation, as they could lead to legal issues and cause you to lose your job.
7) Avoid Typos and Grammatical Errors
Proofread your emails before sending them to avoid embarrassing typos and grammatical errors. Use spellcheck, grammar check, and punctuation tools to help you catch any errors.
8) Avoid Using All Caps and Excessive Punctuation
Using all caps and excessive punctuation can make your emails seem unprofessional and aggressive. Avoid using them, even when trying to emphasize a point.
9) Avoid Using Informal Language
Avoid using slang, emojis, and abbreviations in your work emails. Stick to professional language to ensure your emails are taken seriously.
10) Avoid Forgetting to Attach Documents
Double-check that you have attached all necessary documents before sending your emails. Forgetting to include an attachment can lead to confusion and delays.