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Avoid these career killing email mistakes

Email has quickly become the primary mode of office communication for many jobs. Indeed, in some companies, email has almost completely replaced face to face communication. Therefore it is important to avoid behaviours that can land you in hot water with your boss and colleagues. Here is a short guide on how to avoid the worst email mistakes:

Put the point of the message at the top, not the bottom.

The technique known as “Bottom Line Up Front” or BLUF works by containing the main message at the start of the email. Utilising this principle makes sure that you avoid losing the reader’s attention or causing frustration. Hopefully this will get you a quicker response.

Keep the subject line descriptive.

There are few things more annoying than blank subject lines. Including a subject line also makes it easier for the recipient to find your email by browsing the inbox. Make sure also to make the subject line descriptive such as “How to fix the email server” instead of something blind such as “Email Problem”.

Answer questions inline, not in a big blurb at the top

If you are answering a number of questions, insert your responses inline and preface your answer with your name e.g “John……..” It will be a lot easier to track the thread.

Don’t be afraid to change the subject line.

You shouldn’t have to open an email to find out what is inside. During the course of a lengthy email thread, the actual subject might change, when this happens, rename the message accordingly. Everybody will secretly thank you for it!

In the case of applying for an open vacancy, always put, for example”Application for Java Developer” role  

Don’t move email groups to BCC.

If you are using Microsoft Outlook, moving people to BCC breaks Outlook’s rules so everybody receives messages in their inbox instead of the folder where the emails would ordinarily get directed to.


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