Can you imagine my reaction when I saw this scrawled on top of an invoice I had sent out for a client? Did I think, “OMG. Am I an idiot? I must be; it says so right there”? No, I did not. I thought, “Wow, that Aaron is a hotheaded brat. He’s too young and stupid to run a business. And he can’t spell.”
Now, I know that this younger generation just entering the workforce grew up abbreviating and typing with their thumbs and incessantly sending out pictures of their cats. I’m fine with that (especially the cat pictures). But here’s the sad truth: people judge you by your writing. Before you send out that next email or memo or handwritten note, please take heed.
- Abbreviations are fine if your meaning is clear, but ONLY if you would actually write the words out. I don’t think even hotheaded Aaron would think it was really OK to spell out that phrase on a piece of business correspondence.
- Exclamation points have no place in business unless they express a positive message: Great! Thanks! See you then! I’m on board with any of these. If you are so upset that you need an exclamation point, you should not be communicating by writing. You need to pick up the phone and discuss the matter. But calm down, first, please.
- Spelling still matters. I know none of us is perfect, but please pay just a bit of attention to the combinations of letters you are throwing out into the Universe with your signature on it.
That concludes my lecture. You may go back to playing Candy Crush.