Fix it, quick

These easy-to-avoid errors can ruin an email, resumé or other business document.

  • Font is too big or too small. The best size is generally between 10 and 12. When in doubt, go with 11.
  • Incompatible fonts. Callisto looked great when you formatted your report, but my computer converts it to Times Roman 10—which my middle-aged eyes can’t read.
  • Multiple fonts and/or colors. Simplicity is key to a professional presentation. Emphasize your points (sparingly) with italics or boldface.
  • WTF is CAMCA?  Virtually every acronym needs to be spelled out the first time you use it. Put the abbreviation in parentheses after the name if you plan to mention it again, e.g. Commercial Arbitration and Mediation Center for the Americas (CAMCA). As for WTF, LOL and the rest—never.

5 Replies to “Fix it, quick”

  1. Great advice! I never thought about fonts not translating to other types of computers. I usually just stick with Times New Roman….but I’m now wondering if there’s a better (or best) font for resumes and cover letters?

  2. I usually send documents as PDFs so everyone receives a properly formatted version. It also cuts down on unauthorized excerpting and requests for superficial changes. When people need access to an editable version, I send that too (sometimes in a separate email to a subset of the group receiving the PDF).

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