Intern Gets Fired Before He Starts Because Of One Typo

college student loses internship over casual emailCareer counselors frequently caution college students that their flipflops and textspeaks may cause problems in the workplace. One undergrad apparently didn't heed the warnings, and was denied an internship for failing to capitalize one word.

On his blog, best-selling author Jeff Pearlman reports the plight of his friend's son, a college junior who landed a paid summer internship in human resources at a major network in New York. "He was thrilled," the friend told Pearlman. "Just thrilled."

On getting the job offer, the young man emailed his would-be supervisor a note of gratitude that began, "Thanks for the meeting on thursday."

The next day, the supervisor picked up the phone and crushed the kid's dream. "We don't think you're right for this," she said.

He had failed to capitalize Thursday.

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Of course, every single career coach / counselor / professor / job expert / recruitment professional cautions applicants to double check their effects and affects and yours and you'res and that they didn't accidentally study "international rations" in college. Especially with the job market still tight, employers will find any reason to whittle down that stack of resumes.

Then again, lowercase has become a norm, not just among drunk-texting co-eds, but in offices too. All the emailing and instant messaging has sucked a lot of the formality from written communication, and the new conventions aren't yet writ in stone.

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Some have a dry and blunt email style that makes them appear cold and inhuman. Others over-season their emails with exclamation marks so as not to seem cold and inhuman. Some religiously end their emails with the all-purpose "Best." Others ignore sign-offs altogether. Some capitalize way too much, while others shun capitalization at their peril.

Once you're safely and securely in your new office, you can judge the etiquette for yourself. But until that point, it's best to play it old school. After all, you should still dress up nicely for a job interview, even if your would-be boss is wearing a yellowing tee saying "Bong Squad."

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