business career entrepreneur

3 email mistakes that make you look bad

Like most of you, I cannot remember a professional life (much less a personal one) where I didn’t correspond via email. For the most part, it’s an efficient and simple way of communicating and, when used correctly, it saves time, answers questions and makes connections. Suffice it to say, I don’t believe I could live without it.

Ahead, three incredibly basic mistakes you may be making without realizing how very unprofessional they’re making you look to the reader.

1. Forgetting To Attach

Career coach Rajiv Nathan is deeply grateful for the prompts in Outlook and Gmail that let you know you’re about to send a message without an attachment when you explicitly state that you are, in fact, attaching something. Why? Because, before they existed, he regularly committed the egregious error of not attaching—not once, not twice but three times!

2. You Go On And On

One of my closest friends is an attorney who bills by the hour. As such, she is accustomed to writing sparingly and not droning on. I could take a lesson from her. This is especially true if you’re “sending an email looking for a favor, or input or support—or even just to touch base or ask a question.

3. You Spell The Person’s Name Wrong

No, just no. There’s absolutely no excuse for writing to someone and misspelling his or her name. We all have our pet peeves, and this is mine, but I’m sure I’m not alone. Here’s the thing, my name—and the correct spelling of it—is in my signature and in my email address, which is all right there out in the open for the sender to see. I’m so sensitive about this issue that I regularly double-check the spellings of names that typically have more than one option (Kristin, Stephen, Mark, Carrie and so, so many more) before I press send.

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