How to Avoid Looking Unprofessional in Emails

In this day and age many people use their smartphones to send off written communications. We are Busy. Though technology has made things easier for us in many ways, as a society, we seem to be so much busier than ever before (oh, the irony!). As a result, we oftentimes opt for time savers. How we love our timesavers! One of these timesavers that I’ve been seeing more and more is seen through how we communicate. You know, needing to communicate something to someone in writing, but not really taking a whole lot of time (if any really) in making sure that it is as well-thought-out as it should be. This means many of us are sending off shortened, incorrectly structured, pseudo-sentences. IMO – I mean, in my opinion, we all need to remember that in a professional situation, we need to remain that way – professional. Don’t you agree?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that we all type in a long, drawn out, detailed manner  that can take several paragraphs to get one point across, not to mention cause the ever-dreaded finger cramping. I just mean that we probably should refrain from typing like our BFF is the recipient of our communication.

Be it in emails, resumes, or online applications, here are a few common things that I’ve been noticing a bit lately.


BTW, K, TY – these are all appropriate when texting your buddy, or maybe even your peer. However, in a more professional situation where you are the job seeker emailing the hiring manger – probably not so much. Now, are there certain acronyms or industry-specific terms that are commonly abbreviated? Absolutely. I am however referring to situations where someone is coming across as if they are sending a casual text.


I know that sometimes that extra click of turning a letter from lowercase to uppercase can seem like too much (insert sarcasm here), but I think we can all agree that it is important. As a job seeker, a hiring manager may worry that you may not have the attention to detail that they are looking for. Remember to capitalize your sentences.

Run on sentences:

Frankly, the recipient probably doesn’t even know what you mean! Or, you are going to take up a lot of their limited time since they will have to read things over and over again to decipher the jumble. Though it probably seemed quicker for you to just send off a few hurried thoughts, all the back and forth could end up taking a more of your time. Also, who wants to be potentially misunderstood? Break up those sentences with the proper punctuation and everyone involved will be happier.

Bad spelling:

I don’t think I need to go into any more detail than that. We all know better. Proof read your communication.

The Emoji:

Admittedly, I am guilty of this. I do like to throw in a happy little J every now and again. Should it be in our first correspondence to one another? Probably not. Could it be okay after we’ve been in communication a few times? Yes, maybe. But is it safer just to omit these all together.

I know this advice isn’t necessarily anything revolutionary; however, it wasn’t intended to be a friendly reminder. Coming across as the true professional in your communications can go a long way!

Happy communicating!



By |2018-08-24T13:05:16+00:00July 18th, 2017|Categories: Opinion, Talking to Recruiters|0 Comments

About the Author:

Polly joined the PeopleScout team in July of 2013 as a Senior Recruiter. Polly has over 10 years of experience recruiting for both hourly and salaried professionals in various industries such as retail, IT, restaurant, steel, and finance. She holds her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Master’s degree in Sociology. When she is not busy finding top talent for her clients, Polly enjoys spending time with her husband and kids in Central California.

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