Have you done an audit on your e-mail address lately? I don’t mean opening up your account and looking for messages. I mean, taking a closer look at the actual e-mail address you are using: it might be sabotaging your job search.
Recently, I have received a number of e-mails from some very interesting address names. That being said, if you were to ask me if these names sounded professional, in many cases I would say definitely not. Sometimes we get so acclimated to our personal e-mail address we simply forget about how others might perceive it.
Add in the close scrutiny of a prospective employer, and your resume containing that social e-mail address could be destined for the round file.
Dead-giveaways unknowingly revealed in your e-mail address name can lift the curtain about the personal you during a job search… and absolutely need to be tightened up, or even replaced in favor of more sanitized version.
I’m not saying you need to “ditch” your personal / social e-mail: you may need to bury it, or at the very least, not volunteer it when presenting an otherwise professional document for consideration for a job.
Think about this… what would you think “Gnarly1941@emailaddress.com” might convey? Or “MaryJaneReefer@emailaddress.net?”
Don’t laugh. I’ve seen e-mail addresses similar to these on resumes more often than you could guess. A surprising number of people continue to send out resumes that have what could be considered unprofessional e-mail addresses. A seemingly inappropriate / unprofessional e-mail address could potentially torpedo your job search before you even get it off the ground because the one you are using doesn’t project a professional image.
If you have to create a new “professional” e-mail, then do so, but don’t forget to check it. Sometimes, candidates get so caught up checking their social e-mail accounts that they forget to open up their business one, only to find a message from an employer dated three weeks ago waiting for them.
Oops. Game over. You can pretty much bet that opportunity has already passed and is now a dead end. Lack of response means the employer is moving on to the next candidate. It’s now up to you to conduct a quick review and see if your e-mail address needs triage help - stat. Here are some key e-mail address-naming tips to help you maintain your professionalism on your resume:
- Stay Away From Things That Might Tip Off Your Age
Avoid year of birth, graduation, or age references. While it is illegal – albeit difficult to prove – employers are discriminating against people because of their age. Be sure to remove age references completely.
- Avoid Political, Gender, Or Religious References
You may be very passionate about a particular belief, cause, or affiliation, but you don’t need to be in an employer’s face about it. After all, they aren’t hiring you for what you believe - - they are hiring you for what you can do.
- Be Careful About Health References
Being a cancer survivor is a huge win, but if you let an employer know that before you get to the interview, their concern about health care costs might cause them to “lose” your application. Sadly enough, this can and does happen.
- Keep It Simple
If you have an e-mail address that looks like some kind of code and doesn’t make any kind of logical sense, create an easy one to type into a message. No one likes peering at their keyboard to hunt and peck out a random assortment of letters and numbers.
- Your Safest Bet? Your Name
Using your name as the e-mail address is your best bet. If you have a common name, then add some random number or variation that still makes it clear that this is your name.
Bottom line: Make sure to remove any and all objections an employer might find in your career materials and documents when making an application, including your e-mail address. Your next job interview could depend on it!