Job Seekers

5 Ways to Stay Positive in Times of Adversity

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The outbreak of COVID-19 can put a serious strain on our mental health. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged that the anxiety of the pandemic and isolation of social distancing can have a negative impact on our moods. If you have been feeling overwhelmed, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. Continue reading

Jobs to Consider in the Wake of COVID-19

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The coronavirus pandemic has rocked the world economy in ways nobody foresaw. Entire industries, such as restaurants, theaters, and airlines, are seeing significant losses.

Meanwhile, other organizations are struggling to keep up with demand. From delivery drivers to health care support roles, some companies are looking to hire right away. Below are just five sectors where job seekers may find new opportunities. Continue reading

6 Networking Tricks to Help You Make a Good Impression

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These networking tricks and tips can help open new doors in your career!

Networking can get a bad reputation. However, in reality most networking events are filled with people who want to make genuine professional connections. Networking is a great way to find mentors and mentees, discover new businesses in your area, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and learn about potential career paths. Continue reading

5 Email Jargon Phrases to Stop Using

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At some point, we have all opened a work email and immediately rolled our eyes.
Often, it’s not what a coworker is saying, but how they are saying it. A recent survey asked professionals what email jargon they found most annoying, and certain phrases seem to be unanimously hated.

 The Most Annoying Business Email Jargon

  • Not sure if you saw my last email…
  • Per my last email… / Per our conversation…
  • Any updates on this?
  • Sorry for the double email.
  • Please advise.

Source: 2018 Adobe Consumer Email Survey

Why Are These Phrases So Irksome?

Do you recognize these common phrases? You might have received several of them, or even sent them yourself. While there’s nothing conspicuously rude in these phrases, they are often interpreted as passive-aggressive, artificially polite, or simply as vacuous buzzwords.
Relying on this kind of email jargon can distract from the message in your email. Here are some easy ways to avoid overused phrases so your reader can better concentrate on what you’re trying to say.

Not sure if you saw my last email / Sorry for the double email

These phrases passive-aggressively suggest your coworker is ignoring you. Chances are they read your email. They either had no time to reply or are still crafting the proper response. If they are ignoring you, it’s probably not on purpose.

It’s okay to send a follow-up email if you’re still waiting for a response. Try adding new information. New information serves as a valid excuse to reach out without seeming like you are nagging or micromanaging your coworkers.

Per my last email / Per our conversation

Yes, your coworker does remember your last email or discussion. Restating it as if they might lack the capacity to understand makes you sound condescending.
Other variations include “as previously stated” and “as discussed.”
All of these phrases are add-ons, so eliminating them from your email is as easy as crossing them out.

This…

  • Per our conversation, we will start running the reports on a weekly basis. Can you run the first report this Friday and send out to the team?
  • Per my last email, marketing material can no longer contain the two-for-one promotion. Can you please remove it from the flyer?
  • As discussed, our Monday morning meeting will be postponed until Wednesday. Please save the 12pm timeslot.

 

Turns into this…

  • Can you run the first weekly report this Friday and send out to the team?
  • Can you please remove the two-from-one promotion from the flyer?
  • Our Monday morning meeting will be postponed until Wednesday. Please save the 12pm timeslot.

Any updates on this?

This phrase can be hard to avoid. Afterall, checking for progress is an unavoidable part of every project.

However, some of your peers can see this as micromanaging.

If a coworker said they wouldn’t get to a report until next week, don’t send them daily progress requests. If they’re waiting on information from a third-party, ask them whether they’ve gotten a response instead to let them know you’re on their side.

If your coworkers have proven to be timely and responsible, trust them to get their work done on time.

Please advise.

This isn’t necessarily a passive-aggressive statement. Rather, the phrase sounds artificial because it’s not something the average person would say in casual conversation. It sounds pompous.

Instead, think of what you would say if you were asking for feedback from a friend. Consider the following alternatives.

This…

  • We ran into problem X. Please advise how to proceed with the project.
  • Please advise where to locate the following information
  • Please advise if the document is ready for release.
Turns into this…

  • We ran into problem X. How should we proceed?
  • We couldn’t locate the following information. Could you tell me where to find it?
  • Please let me know if the document is ready for release.

Some General Writing Advice

While it’s a good idea to avoid a passive-aggressive tone or empty buzzwords, the content of your message will always have more weight than your word choice. You want people to understand what you’re saying.

The best way to do this is to use simple words and short sentences.

If you focus on being a good communicator, people won’t remember the times you used cliché metaphors or annoying jargon. They will only remember your message.

If your email is clear and respectful, go ahead – press send!

6 Steps to Writing the Perfect Business Email

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A staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day and this number is projected to keep growing! In the office, emails have slowly replaced other forms of communication, including fax, mail, and even formal memos.

During this transformation, emails have also become more casual. Emoji use increased by 775% between 2015 and 2016, and it’s estimated that more than one in ten emails contain a GIF. Short and casual emails can be helpful in the workplace where people have to sort through hundreds of emails per day, while being careful not to miss anything important.

But when it comes to business emails, how casual is too casual?

Here are the six steps you should follow to ensure your emails put your best foot forward!

1. Subject lines should be short and direct.

An email subject line is not like the title of a novel. Its main purpose should not be to draw the reader in or create curiosity. In a subject line, you shouldn’t be afraid to give too much away.
Rather, a good subject line accurately and succinctly lets the reader know exactly what they can expect in the content.

Can you answer this question?

THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!

Something bad happened in the breakroom

More info for you

Info request for upcoming newsletter

NEED YOUR APPROVAL – Roth Staffing Contract

2nd floor breakroom closed temporarily

FYI on month-end/no response needed


2. Keep it brief and polite.

When you’re getting a new email every five minutes, you don’t have time to read through chunky paragraphs just to find the question or request. While being polite and professional is important, so is being concise. Make sure the purpose of your message is nice and clear.

Dear Monica,

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday morning and that the gloomy weather isn’t getting you down. During this morning’s meeting someone raised concern that the new hire welcome booklet we created in 2017 is in dire need of updating. However, it seems that I do not have a copy of said booklet at my desk. I was hoping you either had a copy or knew how I could go about obtaining one.

Please let me know your thoughts at your earliest convenience.

Best,

John

Dear Monica,

Would you happen to have a copy of the new hire welcome booklet or do you know how I could obtain one? We are working on ensuring the content is up-to-date.

Best,

John



However, don’t be so concise that you eliminate the body of the email in its entirety. This can be seen as rude or unprofessional. Even if you ask your question in the subject line, there should ALWAYS be content in the body. At the very minimum, restate your request.

3. Design for readability.

Crazy fonts and miniscule type have no place in business emails. Generally, it’s best to stick to your email application’s default font, but if you truly want to change it, make sure you choose a professional and legible font in black standard 11- or 12-point size.

Hey Sandy!

I just wanted to let you know there are DONUTS in the breakroom!

Hey Sandy!

I just wanted to let you know there are donuts in the breakroom.


4. Set up your signature.

Most email applications will let you set your default email signature. This will appear in every email you send (even replies). Your signature should contain your name, title, and contact information. Other elements, such as logos or your company’s slogan, are optional.

Be wary not to overpack your signature with unnecessary images or motivational quotes. These can also be seen as unprofessional.

—————–

Sofia Lopez

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” -Carol Burnett

—————–

Sofia Lopez

Marketing Writer, Roth Staffing Companies

T: 555-0101

F: 555-0202


5. Avoid informal language and nicknames—at least at first.

As email evolves, emojis, GIFs, and memes are becoming normal ways to express yourself. However, in the business world, you must approach these elements with caution.

Unless you are very close to the email recipient, maintain a professional and conservative tone. Do not shorten their names or include smiley faces in your message. When in doubt, wait for the other person to set a more casual tone, and then you can follow suit.

Heyy Bob! :)

I wanted to follow up on those reports from IT. The big boss is putting pressure on me to move forward with the project!

Hi, Robert!

I wanted to follow up on those reports from IT. We need them in order to move forward with the project. :(


6. Double check your work.

The most important part about sending a work email is to proofread your text. Spelling and grammar errors detract from your message. They can be distracting to many readers and damage your credibility.

Read over your email at least once before pressing send. Make sure you’ve spelled the recipient’s name right and haven’t made any obvious typos. If it’s an important email to be sent company-wide or to an executive, have a colleague read it for you.

To: Jon Parker

Hi John,

I wanted to congratulate you on you’re amazing work on that presentation. More than one person remarked on it’s success and their all very impressed.

To: Jon Parker

Hi Jon,

I wanted to congratulate you on your amazing work on that presentation. More than one person remarked on its success and they’re all very impressed.