February 25, 2017

These Email Mistakes Make You Look Wildly Unprofessional

In today’s modern world, email is a primary form of communication. Did you know that 269 billion emails are sent every day? The average professional receives 121 emails per day! Whether you’re a professional or a job seeker, you need to make sure that you aren’t making any email mistakes. The emails you send can make or break your professional reputation.

Man holding face after making a mistake while screaming

Attention Grabbing Email Subject Lines

If you’re like most professionals or job seekers, your inbox is constantly receiving new emails. It’s important to read and reply in a timely manner, but when you do you need to think about your email etiquette so that you don’t send an email with any embarrassing blunders.

It’s amazing how a few simple email mistakes can sabotage your job search or damage your professional reputation. Take note of these common email mistakes to ensure that you always present yourself professionally via email:

  • Typos – Proofread every email for typos. It’s unacceptable to misspell a recipient’s name, mistype a numerical figure, or spell a word incorrectly.
  • Abbreviations & Emojis – While you may love emojis and “text talk,” not everyone understands it. In a professional email, ditch it.
  • Too Formal Or Too Informal – Always try to write emails in a manner that is representative of the relationship you have with the recipient. An email to your best buddy will be written very differently than an email to a potential employer.
  • Using Reply All, CC, of BCC Incorrectly – Always use your judgement on when to use these email functions. They are not always necessary and sometimes inappropriate.
  • Consider The Legal Risks – When you send emails, you need to watch what you say. Email content can have legal repercussions. Be aware of what you send.
  • Poor Grammar – Improper punctuations, incorrect word usage, never ending sentences, or poor sentence structure can quickly discredit your professional image.
  • Lack Of Greeting Or Closing – Emails always need an opening and closing, so don’t forget these important email components.
  • Unprofessional Email Address – Always use a simple email address like [email protected] Avoid any clever or funny emails like [email protected] or [email protected]
  • Too Many Forwards – When things are forwarded, it’s hard to track the flow of conversation. Use your forwards wisely.
  • Poor Subject Line Choice – The email subject line is your first impression. Your word choice here sets the tone for the whole email.
  • Sending Too Many Emails – Don’t send too many emails. It gets annoying quickly.
  • Poor Font Selection – Stick to basic fonts that are easy to read. Don’t try to get fancy or cute.
  • Sending Emails At Crazy Hours – When someone receives an email at odd hours, like the middle of the night, it makes them wonder what you were doing at that time of day.
  • Always Emailing – Sometimes things need to be communicate over the phone, via video conference, or face to face. If that’s the situation, then email is inappropriate.
  • Forgetting Attachments – When you reference an attachment in an email, you better make sure that it is attached.
  • Writing A Novel – Most people skim emails. When you write a lengthy tome, most readers won’t finish reading it.

10 Surefire Ways To Sabotage Your Job Search

Have you made any of these email mistakes before? Most likely you have. Unfortunately, people will judge you based on your email etiquette. Take the time to ensure that your emails don’t make you look wildly unprofessional.

In the future, do your best to avoid these email mistakes. One trick is to email from a computer where it’s simple to catch mistakes. When you write a hasty reply on a smartphone, it’s easier to make a mistake that makes you look bad. Another trick is to always fill in the “To:” line last. This way you can write your email, proofread it, and then send it when you’re ready.

Emails are a direct reflection of your professionalism. Do your best to avoid email mistakes so that you increase your chances of being seen as a professional.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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