9 tricks to appear smarter in e-mails
Published : 25 Aug 2016, 15:56
Regardless of your attitude towards e-mail, be that mild disinterest or strong disdain, electronic communication is just as good a place as any to show off how savvy and intelligent you are. Yes, e-mail skills are up there somewhere with handshaking skills and paraphrasing skills in the list of non-specific job skills required to succeed in the corporate world. Here are 9 tricks to get your e-mail game in shape:
1. Use a “sent from my phone” signature
Use a “sent from my phone” signature that automatically apologises for typos, even if you're not on the go. This also makes you look like you're super busy, but super dedicated, and gets you out of proofreading the small stuff.
2. Send random messages in the middle of the night
It could be a question about the status of a project, a thought on office politics, an interesting article you read, or the latest scoop on the competitor. Whether you're sharing via e-mail or Facebook Messenger, you'll impress your team with how dedicated you are to be thinking about your job at odd hours.
3. Respond to your higher-up immediately
If you're in a really active thread with your team, it might get hard to keep up all the time. But if your manager emails, make sure to respond right away with a rejoinder like: “On it”, “I agree 100%”, or “Definitely.”
4. Be the first to commend a team member
Account locked? New product launched? Be the first to congratulate a colleague or the other department when something good happens with a reply-all. This shows how engaged you are and leaves the other person feeling special, even if you haven't done much yourself the past quarter.
5. Be the first to suggest a meeting
Are your team members spamming the thread? If you find yourself in the middle of an efficiency competition, be the first one to suggest a meeting. It shows that you have initiative as well as a good sense of direction—you're the guy who's going to get all the ideas being thrown around together and on paper.
6. Send frequent updates
Start your e-mails with “Here's quick update on...” and impress your boss right away. No one's probably going to look past on how “on-top-of-your-game” you are so follow it with some data on monthly active users or the new graphics designer you're hiring.
7. Wait out requests
You're going to get swamped with requests in the office at point or the other. If someone really needs your help, he or she will find you or phone you. If not, he or she will probably just find someone else. You don't need to overwhelm yourself by taking up every request that you get. Learn to distinguish what's urgent and what's not. After a week has passed, get back with “Sorry, your e-mail got lost in my inbox, still need help?”
8. Include details
Nothing screams competence like detail. So make sure to include details of why you can't do a task right away and where you are on the way back from a meeting in Badda. Won't have access to Internet on Monday? Let them know. Can't get the contact numbers of the marketing team of your new client firm this instant? Let them know. Details make you look more sincere and will keep you out of trouble. Just think: no more long explanations to anybody about anything because you thought ahead.
9. Activate the auto-responder
Can't get back any time soon? Activate the auto-responder on your e-mail. Go the extra mile by including other people who can help out in the case of your absence. Even better, make a document with instructions on who to contact and details of what you're working on. This will make you look like the highly efficient team player you really aren't.
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