How Not to Sabotage Your Career in 2015

Did you see The Interview yet? I haven’t but unless you have been under a giant holiday rock this December you cannot have escaped the mishegas that was/is The Sony Hack.

A ton of attention has been focused on the email exchanges between executives and the ensuing fallout.

In case you don’t know – and apparently a lot of people don’t know this – when you work for a company that you do not privately own – your emails are not private. They are the property of the company you work for.

I concur with Lisa Kudrow who asked in a Huff Post Live interview: “How come I know you don’t write anything you don’t want broadcast in an email?”

How come indeed. When computers and emails were brand spanking new in the 90s, companies trained employees how to use the new fangled technology. I’m guessing the technology curriculum that now begins in elementary school skips the “best practices” unit??

So I’m here to advise. Sloppy emails and bad digital etiquette can stop you from getting in the door. I see it all the time with host and actor submissions.

File this under How Not to Sabotage Your Career in 2015:

Never write anything (ANYTHING) in an email you wouldn’t want the world to see. Delete is never forever in the digital age and people use the Forward and BCC features a lot.

Slow down and scroll down. When you receive an email, check to see if there were any earlier exchanges. Is that earlier thread relevant to you? Do you want other people to see it? Do you want ME to see it? Because I am a scroller and I see snippets and comments all the time that were never intended for my eyes.

Decide: Forward or create a new email?

Change the Subject Line when the subject changes.

Be wary of the Cut-N-Paste when you are sending your resume around. Make sure your salutation matches the person you are sending it to. I get emails saying hello to other people all the time. DELETE.

Use BCC when you are sending to a large group.

Check the formatting – especially if you are trying to run your career from your smart phone. Send practice emails to people you know who read emails on computers – because that’s how executives and casting directors and human resources will see your email. I get emails all the time with the font changing sizes in the middle of a sentence. It looks really bad – and tells me you don’t pay attention to details.

Don’t type in all caps.

Be professional and use business appropriate fonts like Ariel, Helvetica or Verdana. Times New Roman gives me hives.

Don’t open your email with “Hey!” Dear is always appropriate. Hello and Hi are acceptable in the creative fields.

I am not a Hiring Manager. I have a name. Otherwise it sends the message you are lazy and didn’t do your research.

Proofread, proofread, proofread. Spell check is often wrong.