Many of us send many emails over the course of a week. We don’t give a second thought as to what kind of impression they can have on how others view us. Even a well written email can make us appear less professional just through presentation and style. In order to make your next email look professional, here are five things you might be doing – and may need to stop.
Long signatures – Your name, title and company is plenty. If you really want to include your social media links and all of your current committee positions, think about listing them in a smaller font. Also, avoid icons, logos and images whenever possible. In addition to possibly appearing as attachments, they don’t always display well on mobile devices.
Reply all – In most cases, replying back to the original sender is fine. Not everyone on the list needs to know your question or see your reply. Use the “reply all” option when it really makes sense.
Writing like a text message – Poor spelling and abbreviations might be acceptable in a text, but in an email they make you look distracted and lazy. Write in a way that is professional and that would make your English teacher proud. Proof your work before sending.
Really long emails – If you have a lot to say, it just might be more efficient to pick up the phone (or meet in a video chat) and have that conversation with the person. You can always send an email afterwards summarizing the key points.
Auto replies, all the time – Just because you’re out of the office for the day (or half-day) doesn’t mean you need to create an auto reply message. Especially if you’re still receiving your email. There’s nothing wrong with answering emails at the end of the day or even the next day.