Doing your job is a good idea, I guess. But when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder, looking like you’re doing your job is often more important. To succeed in business, you can’t overlook the essential workplace skills of appearing to be a team player, seeming absurdly busy, and, of course, taking credit for other people’s ideas.
Created by Sarah Cooper from satirical blog The Cooper Review, comes a humorous guide that teaches us how to sound “important” in our emails. For example, did you know that your email writing, sending and ignoring skills are just as important as your nodding skills? These 12 funny email tricks might help you look like a “smart” and highly engaged worker.
12 tricks to appear smart in emails
- Complain about how much email you get. Always complain about the volume of email you get, but never use a specific number. Find out how many emails others get and double that is what you get.
- Always use a ‘Sent from my iPhone’ signature. Use that signature on your emails, which apologizes for the typos even when you’re not on your phone. This also makes you look busy, on the go all the time and avoids you having to proofread.
- Respond immediately after your manager. It’s almost impossible to keep track of every email thread, but you should pay attention when your manager responds. Make sure you see the moment your manager responds, then respond yourself with “totally agree”, “definitely” or “took the words right out of my mouth”.
- Always be the first to congratulate. When something good happens, always be the first to respond and reply all. This makes you look like an engaged team player. And when you’re always saying how awesome someone is, no one notices you haven’t done any work in over a year.
- Share random thoughts at odd hours. Create a short cache of random thoughts that you can auto-send in the middle of the night. People will be amazed at how dedicated you are to be thinking about the company at 3am.
- Put some [information] in the subject line. Your subject line isn’t complete unless you add something in brackets to it.
- Send frequent updates on your whereabouts. It’s important to let everyone know where you are at all times, and the minute by minute status of your internet access.
- Start your emails with TL;DR. Start every email with a “TL;DR” (too long; don’t read). In it, summarize the main points of your email in bold italics. The rest of your email can be a mistake-laden mess because no one will read it. Also try using other abbreviations like LGTM, SGTM, FWIW, AFAIK, or CIL.
- Be the first to suggest a meeting. When an email thread gets past 25 replies, a contest of efficiency has begun and the first to suggest a meeting is the winner. When suggesting a meeting, use the abbreviation F2F.
- Alienate your audience. Start every email with, “If you don’t care about [something you care about], then stop reading now.” Do this even in short emails.
- Wait a week before responding to direct requests, then ask if it’s still needed. Never respond to emails sent only to you. If your help is truly needed, that person will come and find you, but chances are they’ll ask someone else.
- Use an overly complex out-of-office auto-responder. If you’re unable to respond to email for even just an hour, create an out-of-office auto-responder that includes several people to get in touch with for each of your projects. For extra points, create an entire document that details everything you’re working on and who to contact during your absence.