by Matt Alderton | September 05, 2017
If you want to advance your career, you've got to pay attention to your personal brand. In other words: how you appear to those around you. That requires analyzing not only how you dress and how you speak, but also how you write your emails.
"Sometimes I overanalyze work emails to the point where I think everyone's mad at me for everything I've done. So, when I write them, I usually include a healthy combination of exclamation marks and friendly emojis to communicate very clearly that I am not upset. And up until this week, I thought that was the right idea," says The Muse contributor Richard Moy. "But according to new research, it turns out that my habit is actually a really bad one. And it's apparently killing my credibility at work."

Moy cites research from Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, which surveyed 549 people in 29 countries and concluded that emojis in work emails decrease "perceptions of competence."

Moy's advice: By all means, keep sending smiley faces to co-workers with whom you have a personal relationship. But if you want to appear professional and credible, keep them out of business correspondence.

"There's nothing wrong with having someone at work who understands that certain combinations of emojis mean that you need a snack break ASAP," Moy concludes. "But for those message that address actual business issues, trust what the research says and save the wink face for more casual discussions."

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Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.