Email mistakes and how to fix them

I discussed e-mail etiquette on Your Career Service several months ago. Advice was offered about  when to use e-mail or snail mail, and how to sign off your e-mail. Today’s post about e-mailing for business and in your job campaign is the most important of all.  That’s because you’re about to receive five e-mail writing tips that will prevent you from making some common email mistakes that can get you into trouble.

Tip #1 is to be careful. Your e-mails can be forwarded up the line. And any gaffs and especially misspelled words can get you in trouble by damaging your reputation.

Tip #2 is to adopt a more formal writing style in case your e-mail might is forwarded to management.  Although emails can have a friendly opening and close if you know the recipient, you’ll be on safe ground by mirroring the writer’s tone and the length.

Tip #3 is to use this e-mail writing format: tell the reader what you want him to know and the action you expect him to take.

Tip #4 is to decide how your communication should be sent—as e-mail or as an attachment. If your message is lengthy, expresses your personal feelings, or requires bullet points, make it a document and attach it to an email.

Tip #5 is to not to use the “reply all” button. You want to reply only to the sender who has copied you because she wants to keep you in the loop. If you have something to add, reply to the sender only.

A powerful way to build your reputation in business is through good writing. For this reason, save the emoji’s —smiley and sad-faced icons and the like—for e-mailing to friends and family. You don’t want executives in your organization to whom the email could be forwarded to think you lack a good vocabulary and must bolster your writing with silly pictures.

You can benefit from scores of other job search and career enhancing tips—techniques that can be learned in a minute each—in my book, “Your One-Minute Job Finding Coach.”

Copyright ©2015 by Ransom (Randy) Place


About the Author

RANDY PLACE IS A JOB-FINDING and executive coach, writer on career topics, broadcaster, and host of For twenty-three years, he helped thousands of employees who had been let go from JPMorgan Chase find jobs. And he coached executives at CBS Television, Pitney Bowes, and major outplacement firms in New York on job-finding techniques, communications skills, and selling strategies. An accomplished seminar leader and speaker, Randy has designed and presented workshops on interviewing, telephoning techniques, job-search writing, and sales training nationwide. Randy's groundbreaking nationally syndicated radio series, Your Career Service, has been heard on over two hundred radio stations across the United States. And his articles on career topics have appeared in the Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly. A former broadcast journalist in New York, he has also been a commercial spokesperson for an array of national and regional advertisers. In addition, Randy was a sales executive at NBC Radio and the New York City sales manager for syndication at Wolper Productions. He holds a Bachelor's in Sociology and Broadcasting from Syracuse University, and a Master's in Journalism from New York University.