7 Unprofessional Email Habits You Might Not Know You’re Making

Lauren Powell
by Lauren Powell


Whether email consumes the majority of your day, or you get through your inbox in a swift 10 minutes, it is one of the most important communication tools that we use every single day, so it’s crucial that your etiquette is first class. After all, our digital impression is ever-lasting. Business Insider asked the experts to highlight the most unprofessional email habits that many people are using, so we can remove them from our outbox activity immediately. Read on to find out how you can be more professional behind the keyboard.

1. Only send “urgent” emails if they’re actually urgent

If you abuse the urgent marker, it won’t be long until its influence wears off. “Like the boy who cried wolf, if you abuse the urgent marker, it won't be long until no one will pay any attention to it,” says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, tells Business Insider.

2. Don’t be too casual

While the tone of your email should reflect your relationship with the recipient, if it’s a work-related email it should still be professional. Be conscious of your use of exclamation points, emoticons, coloured text, fancy fonts, and shorthand.

3. Only reply all when necessary

When responding to an email that has been sent to multiple recipients, only reply all it’s truly necessary for everyone. No one enjoys a clogged inbox full of emails that aren’t relevant to them.

4. Using a vague email subject

“A workplace email, is best when it's clear and concise. Giving the recipient a clue can encourage them to read and reply quicker,” says Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, an etiquette and civility expert.

5. Unprofessional fonts

Business correspondence should always contain classic fonts, colours, and sizes. “Generally, it is best to use 10- or 12-point type and an easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman,” Barbara Pachter, author of The Essentials Of Business Etiquette tells Business Insider. As for colour, black is the safest choice—save the pink Lucinda Sans for your party invitation.

6. Consider email length

Most people only spend second reading emails so ensure you write your emails with this in mind. Consider breaking the email into short paragraphs, using bullets points, and highlighting important parts.

7. Numerous typos

Not even the fact that you’re sending it from your iPhone is a good excuse for spelling mistakes. If it’s important enough to send, it’s important enough to re-read.

Head to Business Insider to learn what other email habits you should avoid and to learn how to write better emails, read Email Persuasion

What other email habits are you not a fan of? Sound out below!

Read more stories about career and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Add a Comment

More Stories