When it comes to your work email, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Once you hit send, there’s no going back. An inappropriate phrase could end up alienating colleagues, confusing clients, or ticking off your boss.
An email slip up could even get you fired.
“You know the saying ‘Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law,” Ryan Kahn, a career coach, founder of The Hired Group, and author of “Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad” told Business Insider. “I feel that is a good way of also thinking about your emails before you hit send. Any negativity or inappropriate comments could be used as documented evidence against you down the road.”
Here are some phrases that you should keep out of your inbox at all costs:
It's hard to convey tone in an email, so keep your language especially PG.
'Using profanity in the workplace is never a good idea, and in an email message it can come across even harsher and even more unprofessional,' Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of 'The Humour Advantage' told Business Insider. 'Using profanity conveys intellectual laziness or aggressiveness, and it suggests that you sent the email in a moment of anger without taking the time to rationally consider your response.'
Kerr said that it's important to phrase all your emails carefully, to avoid sounding accusatory or aggressive.
Never submit job applications using your work email. That's an unnecessarily risky move. Just stick with your personal account.
'Stay clear of any job search related activities on your email,' David Lewis, CEO and founder of human resources consulting firm OperationsInc, told Business Insider.
'This is email 101, but people still break this cardinal rule,' Kerr said. 'Putting any phrase in all caps is the equivalent of shouting.'
Some workplaces feature -- and even encourage -- a casual vibe.
That being said, it's best to err on the side of formality in your emails, especially if you're new to the organisation or speaking with clients outside of your institution.
'Signing off with phrases like 'later dude' is totally cool when you're firing off a note to a friend or your son, but signing off a work email with something this casual can make you sound unprofessional, too cutesy, or overly familiar,' Kerr said.
Kerr said that it's also important to steer clear of vague language in emails. This includes unclear requests like 'can you just make this problem go away?' and jargon-heavy, rambling notes.
''Can you just make this problem go away?' Sure… I'll fire Bob -- that is what you meant isn't it?' Kerr said. 'Avoid asking vague questions that end up resulting in confusion or an endless back and forth email exchange. The more specific you can be with any questions or requests, the better.'
That being said, you should never let someone go via email. In fact, the same goes for sharing most negative news.
'Never, ever, send jarring or bad news over email. Ever,' Kerr said.
Sprinkling your email with hashtags could backfire, in some cases.
'Using a hashtag can get emails sent to junk or spam, depending on the company's IT filters,' Résumé Writers' Ink founder and career expert Tina Nicolai told Business Insider.
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