Imagine you’re a Hiring Manager and have received applicants’ email like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Using unprofessional email addresses like these is not a great way for job seekers to make a positive impression on a potential employer. There are many reasons that applicants get passed up for job opportunities, but your email address shouldn’t be one of them. It’s quite easy to obtain a free, professional email address for your job hunt.
Why Your Email Address is Important on Your Job Search
Your email address is often the very first impression you make when you apply for a job, which serves as the first establishment of your personal brand. It’s usually the first thing Hiring Managers look at when deciding whether to open an email (or not).
A professional and strong email address can also help potential employers and recruiters find you easily. If an HR Staffer, Recruiter or Hiring Manager can’t find you easily, they are not likely to spend extra time searching, especially when they have a huge universe of other applicants to plow through. Instead, they are likely to find another candidate.
Common Email Address Mistakes to Avoid in Your Job Search Now
In my over 10 years’ experience assisting hundreds and thousands of clients with the resumes, I’m continually amazed at the email addresses applicants use to send resumes and communicate with their prospective employers. Below I’ve listed the major types of email address mistakes I’ve seen as a Professional Resume Writer.
- Drinking or drug reference (example: firstname.lastname@example.org) – unless ‘partydude’ is applying for a job as a bartender or alcohol brand ambassador, this isn’t the first impression the dude wants to make.
- Flirtatious email (example: email@example.com) – unless ‘hotpants’ is applying for a job in a private club, this isn’t the first impression she wants to make. And avoid using the number ’69’ at all cost, even if it’s your birth or graduation year. Assume your target audience will think the worst.
- Current occupation or hobbies (example: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) – nurse will be impossible to search for. If I’m having a continuing conversation with you, I’ll remember your name. Unfortunately, unless your name is communicated on the header of the email, most systems search just by the email address. The same goes for email addresses stating your interests or hobbies, as these are all difficult to find in an email search.
- Birth or graduation year (example: firstname.lastname@example.org) – this subjects the applicant to potential age bias, which can possibly work against younger as well as older candidates.
- Ethnicity or religion (example: BigFatGreek77@email.com) – this subjects you to potential hiring bias.
- Current employer (example: email@example.com) – don’t use your work email address for job searching. Instead, use your personal account. Also avoid sending your resumes and cover letters from you work email account or use that email address when applying online.
- Email from a joint account (example: AnnAndJohn@email.com) – for the reason that some Hiring Managers don’t feel comfortable sending job-related correspondence to joint email accounts. If you share an email address with your significant someone, you need to create a separate account for job searching.
- Desperation (example: INeedWorkNow@email.com) – Even though your search for a new role has been an arduous one, you really don’t want to communicate just how desperate you’ve become.
6 Effective Email Strategies to Improve Your Job Chances
Instead, try these six winning strategies in creating a strong email address to use to send your resume:
- First and last name combination – do use combinations of your first and last name. Avoid using underscores (example: firstname.lastname@example.org) as sometimes, it’s difficult to assess if it’s an underscore or just a space. There are several letters, numbers and characters you should try to avoid using in your professional email address. Most hiring managers will copy and paste your email address, but if they type it out, you don’t want to make them guess the makeup of one of your most vital pieces of contact information. Depending on the font, lowercase ‘L’, uppercase ‘i’ and ‘1’ can look almost identical; the same is true of ‘0’,’o’ and ‘O’, so avoid including these characters in your email address whenever possible. In addition, if no reasonable combination of your first and last name is available, then expand your address options to include your middle name or words related to the field you’re targeting.
- Different name variation in header – majority of email providers allow you to set up your first and last name which also displays (and searchable) in most, but not all email systems (example: John Doe < email@example.com >) so that both your name as well as the email can be searchable.
- Use a professional email signature – if your email signature has inspirational quotes, political messages, or the like, this might send signal to your recipient that you don’t know what’s appropriate for professional communication. Also avoid using whimsical borders surrounding your email text as these might look tacky and unprofessional to a potential employer.
- Check you spam folder regularly – If you’re job searching, you have to check your junk folder frequently. A surprising number of emails from employers can end up there. You might sit around pondering why no one has gotten back to you when in fact, there’s a response or two waiting in your spam folder.
- Send individual email for each employer – avoid sending a mass email to multiple employers. Whether you put them all in the ‘to’ line, or blind copy (bcc) them, you’re sending the wrong impression that you aren’t conducting a targeted job search.
- Set up a separate email specifically for job search – I usually recommend this to my clients. Even after they get a new job, they can collect emails from recruiters and employers that still contact them. This provides an easy starting point the next time they have to search for a new job.
The Bottom Line:
Your email address is part of your brand. You have to make it easier for hiring professionals to find and remember you. You can do this by steering away from hobbies, desperation and irrelevant numbers.
For more ideas on how to craft winning resumes, take a look at these samples.