I just want to start out by saying that I think cute, funny and unique email addresses are awesome and can provide great insight into a person’s personality… However, they have NO place on a resume or in a job search. I actually teach a class on how to write a resume and I have the students bring copies of their resume to the class when we start. I can’t tell you how many HORRIBLE email addresses I see. Sometimes I wonder, “porn star?” Or “what the hell is that supposed to be?” There are many reasons not to get hired for a job, but a crummy email address shouldn’t be one of them.
Having a work related email address is easy and free. A good email address sets you up to be a real, valid candidate for a job, not the crazy cat lady. First and foremost: be serious! A bad email address is disrespectful, to me it feels like the applicant just showed up to a job interview in their pajamas. It can also be an age identifier. When I see a Hotmail address these days I immediately know they are probably over 40 years old. Not always a bad thing, especially if you’re looking for that coveted greeter position at Walmart.
There are many free email providers out there, check around and find one that works for you. You may have to try several email addresses before you find one that isn’t taken, but a good rule of thumb is: first name and last name. If no reasonable combination of the two is available, then expand your address options to include your middle name or words related to the field you are pursuing.
Certain letters, numbers, and characters should also be avoided. 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. Usually your email will get copied and pasted, but if someone has to type it out or hand write it, you don’t want to make them guess.
In this day and age your email address is the single most important piece of contact information so make it good.
These are a few I’ve seen that made me think …Huh?
- email@example.com – Porn star???
- firstname.lastname@example.org – you were a hot mama in 1980 or still are?
- email@example.com – try not to have any ethnic references
- firstname.lastname@example.org – you just handed your resume to a democrat
- email@example.com – check Facebook page A.S.A.P
- firstname.lastname@example.org – check Match.com
- email@example.com – probably saw on an episode of hoarders
So, take a few minutes, put on your big girl or boy pants on and find a professional and clear email address. Finding a job is hard work, don’t get yourself ruled out before they even get to see the real you and all the great things you can bring to the job.