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  • Writer's pictureLorraine Morris


excellent article by Megan Carty

It’s true. Something as simple as your email address can turn off an employer. In today’s competitive job market, you need to give yourself every possible advantage – start with having a professional email address. There are both good practices to follow and bad practices to avoid. Just as your resume represents you, so does your email address.

Good Practices:

• When job searching, use an email address that includes your full name, first name / last name, initials, or a minor variation.

• If you have a common name or find it challenging to create a new email address, try adding a middle name, middle initial, or random number.

Bad Practices:

• For safety and ageism reasons – don’t use your birth year in an email address.

• Avoid addresses that include a nickname, hobby, pet’s name, or other personal information. You don’t want to showcase something that could lead to discrimination or give a wrong impression. And avoid political, religious, or gender references.

• Be aware that where your email is hosted may also give off a particular impression. Hosts such as Yahoo or AOL may open you up to tech-savvy or age discrimination. Although you may disagree, some hiring managers may judge technical relevancy based on your host. Sticking with a Gmail account or other free non-subscription-based providers may be your best bet at keeping these issues at bay.

If you find yourself saying something like, “So… I made this up years ago”, before sharing your email address, it’s probably time to change it! Just keep it simple, and you won’t be sorry! Here are a few examples:

The Good: j.smith@, johnsmith@, jsmith@, jmsmith@, smith_john@

The Bad: jane1967@, tat8rtot@, kissmebaby@, manscaper@, deadhead@

The Ugly: live2golf@, thejonesfam@, tomlovesthepackers@, nascarfan@

When you use an email address that is less-than-professional, you give the impression that not only are you treating your job search with an unprofessional attitude but that you may treat your next job the same way. In addition, when your email address isn’t professional, you run the risk of offending the decision-maker or hiring team.

Don’t knock yourself out of consideration by using an email address that isn’t professional. Stick with a variation of yourname@, and you will be golden!

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