5 Email Etiquette Mistakes Students Make When Applying For Jobs

Many believe that they have what it takes to draft a formal email. There are people who claim absolute command over the English language, yet they fall short of the skill to construct a formal, professional email especially when applying for a job. This could be a reality for many students who have not received any training in this department from their academic institutions. It’s not a very technical feat, or one that requires extensive study or an enrollment in a concentrated course. But sometimes common email etiquette mistakes can cost you a lot. All it requires is consideration of a few prerequisites and pointers while drafting a professional email.

Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.

Therefore, while dropping an email to potential employers, make sure you have gone through this list to increase the chance of you getting hired. Avoiding these mistakes does not provide a job guarantee but if you have committed any of these blunders, 99% chances are that your emails are making their place to trash. An effective email can convey a positive impression and build your reputation whereas an informal email can potentially damage your reputation. There are a lot of good email etiquette examples including appropriate capitalization of letters, staying to one topic in en email, etc. But we are going to discuss common mistakes that can be easily avoided.


common email etiquette mistakes

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Common Email Etiquette Mistakes That Seize Your Chance of Getting Hired

Mistake # 1: Using email addresses that don’t look professional

There are students who create funky email addresses during their early years at school and keep using those until they graduate. If you are one of them who has a flirty email like hotmale@xyz.com or coolvegasguy@xyz.com, dump it right away. This is the strongest signal of a non-professional attitude and recruiters might not even look at what you have written in the email.

Always Remember:

Your email address brands you, even when you’re not working.

Follow these tips to get a professional email address:

  • It could contain your first and last name separated by a period.
  • If that isn’t available, try to find a different email server.
  • If you don’t find such email address with any email provider, you can use your initial followed by your last name.
  • Try not to include numbers in your email address.

Mistake # 2: Sending email with Incorrect or No Subject line

Subject is your tool to tell your readers about the content of the email. If they don’t find it interesting, chances are that your email will be overlooked. A good subject helps people find their emails later on. Follow these tips to get your resume noticed by recruiters and employers:

  • Never send an email without a subject line.
  • Your subject line should neither be too long that it is boring to read neither too short that it is vague.
  • Read job description carefully before dropping your resume. If the recruiter has mentioned a subject line to use, follow it. If not, choose a clear subject line so that recipient gets an idea of what to expect when they open the email.  You can use, for example, “Resume for” followed by the position you are applying for.

Mistake # 3: Writing Pointless and Irrelevant Details

If you are dropping resumes with lengthy content in email body, stop doing it right now. Brief and descriptive emails that consider only important and relevant details are considered much more effective as compared to emails that contain long stories.

Remember! Recruiters receive hundreds of emails against a job vacancy and they don’t have time to read wordy emails. Therefore, avoid writing lengthy emails. Never write cover letter inside the email body. Instead, attach it with the email. Don’t write about your experience or anything else in the email body. Everything is in the resume already. An email with a formal greeting and 1-2 sentences showing your interest are enough and effective.

Mistake #4: Bad Manners in Email Body

Writing a good and effective email is an art and you must master this art before you enter your professional life. Start and end your email with a formal greeting. Use proper salutation while greeting the recipient. DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPS as it looks rude (Do I look angry?).

Use proper signatures that contain your name at least. Avoid using colorful and funky signatures. Use one font throughout and don’t write in all bold. You can bold few words only that require to be emphasized but don’t bold whole sentences.  Don’t use huge font sizes. A font-size of 12-14 pt. is well-suited for email body.

Mistake #5: Not Reviewing Before Sending Email

One of the most important things most of students forget to do is proofreading the email before clicking the Send button. There could be spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or punctuation mistakes that look sloppy. You may at times forget to attach your resume or other documents with the email and send an email without attachments or at worst, send email to the wrong person.

All these mistakes could be avoided by reviewing your email before sending it. Start practicing it from now as it is a lifetime lesson and will help you in your professional career as well. Also, try not to enter recipient email before you have completely reviewed your email. This decreases the chance of email being sent to the wrong person.

As the saying goes think before you speak, and look before you leap, you should review email before sending.


Students must be well aware of proper email etiquette in the workplace before sending out their resumes to employers. Hiring managers receive hundreds of emails against each vacant position and students committing such blunders ensure that their resume gets overlooked. If you want to get your resume noticed, make sure you have not committed any of these mistakes.

Don’t forget to share it with your friends who are struggling to get a job. If you have ever committed or noticed any email etiquette mistake in your career, do share with us in the comments section below.


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