My post on website do’s and don’ts a little while back, got me to thinking about more of my pet peeves when it comes to communicating your message professionally. Over the years, I’ve come to spot certain “tells” that an amateur, rather than a professional, has written something. Whether you’re writing press releases, business letters, or a simple thank-you note, I hope these tips come in handy.
• Don’t capitalize words for no reason. Not even “nail technician.”
• Use ALL CAPS and italics very sparingly.
• Think before you use an exclamation point. It’s likely your words already convey enough excitement to make your point. And if you do have to use an exclamation point, just use one!
• If you’re e-mailing for business, don’t use the same choppy grammar and abbreviations you’d use with a buddy. Include your complete contact information at the end. If your e-mail address is on the “colorful” side, think about getting a professional-sounding address just for business use.
• Unless you’re actually texting someone, don’t use text message abbreviations.
• Don’t use emoticons (smiley faces, etc.) in professional business correspondence.
• Don’t use HTML-based e-mail formats with embedded or flashing art.