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Beyond Spellcheck: Rude Emailing Mistakes That Can Hinder Your Career

Posted by Brian Spence on Jul 1, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Email Etiquette, Email Mistakes, Career Advice, CommunicationsMany of us use email everyday as part of our work. It's faster and widely available, but is your email inviting or welcoming? An important part to communication is tone, but in a busy workplace, it can be hard to convey a kind email, especially as short messages become more commonplace. However, when it comes to building a career, managing your emailing etiquette will go a long way in establishing your personality among coworkers, supervisors, and potential future employers.

Here are some common practices that are actually pet peeves that you should stop using with your emails.

  1. Too-Brief Replies. We know that you're busy--we all are. But a quick "got it," "done," or just "thanks," comes off as rude and sarcastic, even if that was not the intention. Save those messages for a text, and instead, expand your responses into a complete sentence, like "Thank you for the reminder, I'll finish it and send it back to you today," or "Great-- I've read your revisions and am working on X component, but will try to get back to you with the rest later this week." That's much more specific, acknowledges your intent, and makes you a better partner among your co-workers.

  2. "URGENT"/"ASAP" Subject Lines. Again, everyone is busy, but making a point to blatantly prioritize yourself sends the message, "this work (my work) is more important than yours." If it's really urgent, pay the person a visit or a phone call, or rewrite your subject line with an actual time: "Client response needed for today."

  3. The Unneeded "Reply All." If you get messages with a list of people, you know how frustrating it can be to be roped into an email thread that suddenly does not pertain to you. If you do have to communicate with one person specifically, respond without CC'ing everyone. Unless it involves important details and delegating tasks to every person copied, responding one-on-one helps save time, and the others will appreciate receiving fewer emails in their inbox.

You wouldn't be rude to others personally, so consider your tone and words virtually in emails and online conversation as well. For more tips and workplace hacks on this and similar topics, visit the Career Advice or Productivity sections of our blog.


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Staffing Plus is a premier healthcare staffing firm that provides temporary, per diem, temp-to-hire and permanent Staffing Solutions for Behavioral Health, Education, and Healthcare settings. We have leveraged decades of experience to assist organizations with the challenges of managing their HR and Recruiting needs.