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5 Ways Your Emails Are Killing Your Professionalism


8/15/2011 4:01:47 PM

By Heather Huhman, Glassdoor.com

Emails are now a part of everyday correspondence, particularly in your job search and career. Writing a good email can be the key to getting your message across, landing a new job or promotion, or successfully interacting with a person in your network.

Are you killing your professionalism by doing any of the following in your emails?

•Being too familiar. Acting like you’re an old friend in an email to a potential employer is not impressive. And, while you obviously know your supervisor on a more personal level than a prospective employer, you certainly shouldn’t address them as you would a friend.

•Using Internet slang, abbreviations or completely misspelling words. You proofread your assignments at work, right? What about your resume and cover letter? And I’m sure you wouldn’t dare insert an “LOL” into one of your work assignments. So, why should your emails be any different? First of all, many folks perceive poorly written emails as spam. Additionally, a potential employer will stop reading once they hit a misspelled word.

•Not using an email signature. While the recipient of your message obviously has your email address, they might not know other vital contact details, such as your full name, social networking handles or telephone number. Your email signature can provide this important information, and help you look like a competent professional.

•Using an email address that is cutesy, inappropriate or otherwise unprofessional. A lot of young professionals created email accounts when they were in their teens. And, while you still might use that email address for personal correspondence, you need to have a professional email address for professional reasons. Your best bet is to use some variation of your first and last name and a email service such as Gmail.

•Misusing CC or BCC. Sending an email to one person, but copying several others on the message? Use CC (short for “carbon copy”). Sending an email to a large list of folks? Use BCC (short for “blind carbon copy”) so ensure that (1) you’re not sharing everyone’s email address and (2) the message doesn’t look messy with a huge list of contacts on the top.

What other ways do people kill their professionalism in their emails?

Check out the latest Career Insider eNewsletter - August 18, 2011.

Sign up for the free weekly Career Insider eNewsletter.


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