What to Write (and Avoid) in Work Emails to Advance Your Career

I was honored to be quoted recently by Daniel Bortz, a contributor to Monster.com, in13 things you should never write in a work email.”

Ah, the many thoughts and human interchanges that should never be reduced to email, and the myriad of ways you can be too casual (or not enough). Bortz captures a good many of them in his article.

Woman typing on laptop at workplace working in home office hand keyboard.

Conducting the interview for Bortz’s article, and reading it in print, brought me back to my former life as an attorney. At one point, I was tasked with reviewing a large set office correspondence. I skimmed through tons of emails. Thousands, in fact.

While the vast majority were innocuous – as boring as a string of indecisive lunch plans – I saw firsthand more than once how damaging certain private exchanges could be if they ever saw the light of day. 

A quick and poorly thought (or worded) email can do a lot of damage, while a strategic one can enhance your credibility and grow your career.

Bortz is not the first, nor will he be the last, to sound the alarm on the damage – indeed, at times, the unending vortex of negative results – that a quick and poorly thought (or worded) email can do. 

On the other hand, the goal with email is not only to avoid the downsides, but also to communicate, inviting others to respond and take action. So after you check out what to avoid in Bortz’s article, you can read what to include in mine: Four Steps to Creating Emails that Prompt Action and Get Results.

Anne Marie Segal 2019 Web Image Square #2 Copyright Barragan
Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, author and resume writer. She works with executives, senior attorneys and other leaders to clarify and heighten their personal branding, increase their impact and accelerate professional goals such as Board or C-Suite candidacy, other leadership advancement, career pivots and job transitions.

Image above: Adobe Stock.
Image at left: © 2019 Alejandro Barragan IV. All rights reserved.

 

Four Steps to Creating Emails that Get Results

With everyone pressed for time and email inboxes overflowing, one of the worst things you can do is fire off an email that is unread, left lingering or summarily deleted. Not only do poor emails waste time on both ends – minutes and hours that could be used more productively – but they also may create negative impressions about your ability to think, solve problems and communicate.

If you want to be known as someone who acts strategically, demonstrates leadership and otherwise has a positive professional outlook, writing better emails is a crucial place to start.

 ✔︎ Prepare

 ✔︎ Write

 ✔︎ Review

 ✔︎ Follow-Up

Click here or on the icon below to read my results-driven system to writing effective emails on Forbes.com. Click here to request my 12-point checklist “Write Emails that Get Results.”

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Anne Marie Segal is an executive coach, author, resume strategist and member of Forbes Coaches Council. She is founder of Segal Coaching, author of Master the Interview: A Guide for Working Professionals (available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and through local booksellers) and a frequent public speaker in New York, Connecticut and beyond.

Image credit: Adobe Images.