Email has become the “primary form of business communication in the workplace,” as William Frierson of College Recruiter writes, and that means that how you conduct yourself via these online messages is extremely important. Make a major e-snafu while applying for a job, Frierson writes, and you just might blow your chances. Fortunately, he’s outlined “5 Email Etiquette Tips for Your Job Search.” Read on and get the details on how to handle professional correspondence in the digital age.

1. Use and Appropriate Address — It’s easy enough to sign up for email accounts via services like Gmail and Yahoo, so if you’re sitting on an embarrassing old address ( is one example Frierson uses), grab yourself a more professional one. You want potential employers to open your emails, don’t you?

2. Respond to Emails In a Timely Fashion — Whenever possible, Frierson writes, respond to emails within 24 to 48 hours, even if the message you’ve received doesn’t necessitate you writing back. Potential employers like to know that you’ve received their emails. In the event you need to check your availability before you can respond to a company’s questions about possible interview times, reply right way and tell them you’re excited about the opportunity, and that you’re going to sort out your schedule and get back to them ASAP.

3. Ditch the Emoticons — If you’re texting friends, feel free to use these cutesy shortcuts. In the professional world, though, they’ll only lead to pouty faces.

4. Scrap the Slang, Too — If, for some reason, you want to write “talk to you later” or “be right back,” use those complete phrases, not TTYL or BRB. “You need to show you’re professional and focused on the business at hand, which is trying to get a job,” Frierson writes. 

5. Show Enthusiasm Without Caps and Exclamations — If you’re truly interested in the job, convey that feeling with your words. Using all caps will only make it seem like you’re shouting. Overzealous usage of exclamation points will make you seem like a bad writer.