How do you start an email? According to career coach Barbara Pachter, if your email greeting is too informal you're doing yourself a disservice. "Hey is a very informal salutation, and generally it should not be used in the workplace. Use hi and hello instead," says Pachter. When in doubt, start the conversation with a more formal greeting, and allow the recipient to set the tone in their response.
If your day is spent constantly switching between different forms of technology, punctuation and grammar can go awry. Spend 30 seconds double-checking your email, even if it's just to a friend in the office. It might seem unnecessary, but setting good grammar habits could prevent you from making a mistake when you email your manager or clients. Pachter says casual text message language creates an unprofessional image, and grammar mistakes, no matter how small, should be avoided—"you may be judged for making them."
You're busy typing away and accidentally press send while your email is incomplete—it's a common mistake. Yes, a well-worded follow-up email can explain the situation, but a small change in your email habits will prevent it from ever happening again. Type the subject and body of the email first, then add the recipients. Simple.
Email is a tough place to use humor. In person, we have body language and tone at our disposal to convey subtle nuances, but over email your message can get lost in translation. "When in doubt, leave it out," says Pachter.
Without face-to-face interaction, it can be easy to forget the context of your conversation. Pachter tells Inc. that a common but potentially problematic email mistake is forgetting about cultural differences. High-context cultures such as Japanese, Arab, and Chinese, may have different ways of forming business relationships, so keep that in mind when you draft an email.
What's your email pet peeve? Tell us in the comments below.