email best practices for job hunters

Apr. 13, 2017

Email Fails: 5 Mistakes That Can Cost You the Job

First impressions happen long before an actual job interview. In fact, an email conversation is probably the first interaction you’ll have with a prospective employer. Here are some of the most common email fails that can actually disqualify you for a position right out of the gate.

Unprofessional email address

Do you expect a prospective employer to take you seriously if you’re sending your resume from an email address like Skullcrusher808 or Hawaiianpartygurl420? Some hiring managers may draw unfavorable impressions about you before you’ve even had the chance to formally meet. Others may not even bother to open your email. Instead, create a professional email account for all job-related correspondence, such as firstname.lastname@gmail.com.

Wordy or irrelevant subject line

Nobody has time for that! Especially not the hiring manager whose inbox is probably swamped with a hundred other emails. The subject line should be short, concise, and to the point, which usually means including your name and the position you’re applying for—Subject line: Clinic Receptionist / Eddie Chung.

Generic email blast

Using the same email template may be efficient, but is it effective? If you put zero effort into reaching out to a company, then the company is going to put zero effort into considering you for a position. Do your research and take the time to customize your email to the company and position you’re applying for.


Whatever you do, resist the urge to drop an emoticon or emoji in your email message. There’s a time and place for those, and it’s not in professional email communications.

Typos and grammatical errors

Did you just send an email that ended with “I am excited to meat with you”, instead of “I am excited to meet with you”? Unfortunately, you can’t blame this one on your iPhone’s autocorrect feature. Proofreading doesn’t mean just looking for spelling errors, but actually checking the grammar and choice of wording in the message, too.

With much of the application process taking place online these days, there’s a lot to be said for email etiquette and how it plays into your chances of landing a job. Like a resume or a cover letter, your email message is a reflection of yourself and should be professional, polished, and personal.


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