Email Etiquette Tips
Even though the average worker spends pretty much their whole day on their email account, plenty of people still don’t actually know how to use it appropriately. Email etiquette is important to know. Emails can get you in trouble. Lots of trouble. We’ve all been there. Here’s a few basic tips of what to do and what NOT to do when interacting with your co-workers via email:
- Clear and direct subject line: A lot of people decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line. Choose a subject that lets the reader know that you’re addressing a specific issue or concern. For example, “Question about your presentation,” or “Deadline Changed” are a couple of good examples. Be brief but specific, and to the point. Do not use sentence-long subject lines either, as people tend to skip over the longer and more vague ones.
- Use a professional email address: This was addressed more in-depth in a previous post, but it’s worth mentioning again. For work-related emails, use a professional email address, preferably through Gmail, that has your name in it (email@example.com, for instance, works best). Don’t use addresses that are inappropriate for the work place (firstname.lastname@example.org). You want to be taken seriously, and you don’t want your email messing that up.
- Use professional salutations: “Hey” or “Yo” or “What’s up?” are too casual. “Hello” or “Hi” or “Dear so-and-so” are more appropriate. And avoid using exclamation points, as they make sentences sound unprofessional.
- Be cautious with humor: Humor is often completely lost in translation. Avoid telling jokes in your emails with your co-workers. In writing, people construe things differently, and in extreme cases, people can take offense to whatever joke was trying to be told. Unless you are really good buddies with the person you’re sending it to, don’t write it at all.
- Proofread every message: Your grammar and spelling mistakes will probably not go unnoticed by your recipients. Depending on who that person is, you might be judged for it. Don’t rely on spell check either. Sometimes, spell check changes a misspelled word to a word that is close to the one you intended, but actually has a completely different meaning. Read and re-read your messages after you’ve typed them.
- Add the email address last: You don’t want to accidentally send an email that you haven’t finished writing or proof-reading. It’s embarrassing. Put the email address at the end to prevent this.
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