The Top Twelve E-mail Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Career

Written by Lydia Ramsey

You return to your office from an afternoon meeting and decide to check e-mail. You wonder where your day went after spending hours downloading messages, reading some, deleting others, crafting replies and filing those that you want to work on later. Your e-mail box was full when you arrived at work this morning and tomorrow promises to be no different.

What is this e-mail explosion? Was there a point in time whenrepparttar entire world decided to userepparttar 109532 Internet as their business communication tool of choice? Are there rules for managing these messages and being a professional and polite user of electronic mail? There are, but not everyone has gottenrepparttar 109533 word.

Your e-mail is as much a part of your professional image asrepparttar 109534 clothes you wear,repparttar 109535 postal letters you write (assuming you still do),repparttar 109536 greeting on your voice mail andrepparttar 109537 handshake you offer. If you want to impress on every front and build positive business relationships, pay attention to your e-mail and steer clear of these top twelve e-mail mistakes:

1. OMITTING THE SUBJECT LINE. We are way pastrepparttar 109538 time when we didn't realizerepparttar 109539 significance ofrepparttar 109540 subject line. It makes no sense to send a message that reads "no subject" and seems to be about nothing. Givenrepparttar 109541 huge volume of e-mail that each person receives,repparttar 109542 subject header is essential if you want your message read any time soon. The subject line has becomerepparttar 109543 hook.

2. NOT MAKING YOUR SUBJECT LINE MEANINGFUL. Your header should be pertinent to your message, not just "Hi" or "Hello." The recipient is going to deciderepparttar 109544 order in which he reads e-mail based on who sent it and what it is about. Your e-mail will have lots of competition.

3. FAILING TO CHANGE THE HEADER TO CORRESPOND WITH THE SUBJECT. For example, if you are writing your web publisher, your first header may be "Web site content." However, as your site develops and you send more information, label each message for what it is, "contact info," "graphics," or "home page." Don't just hit "reply" every time. Adding more details torepparttar 109545 header will allowrepparttar 109546 recipient to find a specific document in his/her message folder without having to search every one you sent. Start a new message if you changerepparttar 109547 subject all together.

4. NOT PERSONALIZING YOUR MESSAGE TO THE RECIPIENT. E-mail is informal but it still needs a greeting. Begin with "Dear Mr. Broome," "Dear Jim," "Hello Jim," or just "Jim." Failure to put inrepparttar 109548 person's name can make you and your e-mail seem cold.

5. NOT ACCOUNTING FOR TONE. When you communicate with another person face to face, 93% ofrepparttar 109549 message is non-verbal. E-mail has no body language. The reader cannot see your face or hear your tone of voice so chose your words carefully and thoughtfully. Put yourself inrepparttar 109550 other person's place and think how your words may come across in Cyberspace. . 6. FORGETTING TO CHECK FOR SPELLING AND GRAMMAR. Inrepparttar 109551 early days of e-mail, someone createdrepparttar 109552 notion that this form of communication did not have to be letter perfect. Wrong. It does. It is a representation of you. If you don't check to be sure e-mail is correct, people will questionrepparttar 109553 caliber of other work you do. Use proper capitalization and punctuation, and always check your spelling. Remember that your spellchecker will catch misspelled words, but not misused ones. It cannot tell whether you meant to say "from" or "form," "for" or "fro", "he" or "the."

Email Reflections: 10 Simple Courtesies

Written by Catherine Franz

Email Reflections: 10 Simple Courtesies

Okay, you are super busy or you are down to your last email before heading home. Maybe itís first thing inrepparttar morning, you have a full in box to read and handle, all before your meeting starts in 10 minutes. Itís easy to be in a rush and dismissrepparttar 109531 little things, however...

...have you ever thought how your email looked from a receiverís viewpoint? Of course you have, every day, haven't you? It is so easy in our fast-paced lives to letrepparttar 109532 little things go.

When you receive a poorly formatted email and you don't know where each paragraph starts or finishes --repparttar 109533 thoughts are scattered and jumbled -- hereísrepparttar 109534 readerís self chatter in action: "Whatrepparttar 109535 heck, it'll take me hours to decipher this. I don't have time for this. Can't X be respectful? I'll just pretend I didn't get it and maybe their follow-up email will be clearer." Click and delete. Of course, you have never done this -- chuckle.

By chance, your next email receiver is nicer and doesn't delete and pretend. They just move ontorepparttar 109536 next email and leave yours forrepparttar 109537 "someday inrepparttar 109538 future" stack. And maybe it will or will not ever be answered. Their response may even miss your point entirely or only provide feedback to half ofrepparttar 109539 items that need addressing.

If you have difficulty getting quick responses or any response at all,repparttar 109540 receiver could be sending you a silent message. They could feel that you are wasting their time or do want to educate you on common email courtesies.

Recently, after receiving ten emails in one day from separate independent professionals, with their personal pronouns "i's" in lower case besides other items. I asked them to enlighten me about their lax protocols. I received a wave of negative responses. In order to keep this a family-available article, here are a few responses cleaned up: "i don't have time, too many emails." A few others added, "i do it to everyone." I particularly lovedrepparttar 109541 "to" inrepparttar 109542 last two emails -- I do it "to" everyone.

A human resource director client shared with me that every day she deletes ten or twelve applications, about 12% ofrepparttar 109543 total number she receives daily, that omit common email courtesies. A majority come from individuals with higher degrees. I chuckled atrepparttar 109544 irony. She didn't and just heavily sighed. She found it even more serious onrepparttar 109545 number of emails she received from recruiters that also lacked these simple courtesies.

"Don't Sweat The Small Stuff" is a book I read a few years ago if I recall correctly. Normally I wouldn't care much aboutrepparttar 109546 small stuff either. However, coherent communication, whether verbal or written, still represents who we are and shows respect. Using history as an indicator, communication started and stopped wars.

Recently, I attended a speaking engagement with Michelle Singletary, author, "7 Money Mantras," and columnist, The Color of Money, forrepparttar 109547 Washington Post. Inrepparttar 109548 presentation, she mentioned several times, "You had better sweatrepparttar 109549 small stuff." Of course, her reference was to money. Yet, it was an important point. It takes pennies to develop into dollars, dollars to add up to ten, and so on uprepparttar 109550 monetary ladder. Doesn't it hold true that if we leave outrepparttar 109551 small common courtesies and respect in emails, will it not blockrepparttar 109552 dollars -- directly or indirectly?

When thinking overrepparttar 109553 given benefits for taking care ofrepparttar 109554 "small stuff" in emails, here are three powerful mantras:

* A professional email attracts a professional response.

* When you respect other peopleís time, they usually will respect yours.

* When communication is thought through and clear,repparttar 109555 chances increase significantly thatrepparttar 109556 response will be returned inrepparttar 109557 same manner. Stinkiní thinking attractsrepparttar 109558 same.

10 Simple Courtesies, gathered from reading 2,000 emails, and feedback fromrepparttar 109559 human resource director:

1. Focus on one topic per email. Keeprepparttar 109560 email simple sorepparttar 109561 receiver can focus in fast and easy. This improvesrepparttar 109562 chance of a faster response, maybe any response. If you write to someone regularly, ask what he or she prefers.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use