email étiquetteMost of us use email so often now it’s like we were born doing it. I’ll admit when I chat to my friends over email I don’t always construct a complete, grammatically correct and spelling-error free piece of writing. I use abbreviated web phrases like ‘Lol’ or ‘Brb’ and don’t always sign my name at the end or address my email to the appropriate person. But will this type of informal and grammatically incorrect email fly when I respond to a job posting?

Unfortunately there are some downsides to our technologically savvy age where we can communicate effortlessly all day long through emails, text messages, mobile phone calls, Skype and the huge variety of other chat apps now available. If you don’t remember to change your email style when you respond to job postings online, you may be ruining your chances before employers ever even open your resume. Following are some common email etiquette mistakes that could put a strike on your record when applying for jobs:

Delayed responses:

We’ve all experienced those times when you’re on vacation or up in the mountains and don’t get coverage or are too busy enjoying your time to check your email. When you get back from the break you probably have dozens of emails piled up and colleagues who are wondering why you’re not responding.  When you start sending out resumes and responding to job postings it’s important to check your email at least once a day to ensure you respond promptly to a response from an employer. If you take more than a couple of days to respond to an interview offer you may appear irresponsible or unsure about the position.

Short emails:

When you send your friends emails you might not need to include a greeting or use complete sentences but make sure when you send an email about a job posting you pull out all the stops. Your email doesn’t need to be a lengthy letter; however, you do need to use a more formal tone and be sure to include a proper greeting, complete sentences and signature at the end. It’s not okay to respond with one or two words the way you might with your friends. Emails are easily shared and can damage your reputation if you’re seen being rude or harsh to someone. Always be polite and courteous in your communications even if you’re dealing with an assistant or someone you don’t think is important to your chances of getting the position.

Typos and grammatical errors:

A common trend when using email and other forms of technology to communicate is we tend to get lazy with our spelling and grammar using abbreviations, slang, misspelled words and grammatical errors.  When you enter the professional world you need to break this cycle or at least put on your professional guise when you’re no longer dealing with friends. It’s extremely easy to make typos on emails and not even realize it. As small as it may seem, this can be a deal breaker for some employers.

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