What’s in an email address?

As challenging as the current job market is, you want to present yourself as a career professional. Your resume is very important because it gives employers a first impression of you and your skills. However, some people fall short in professionalism with one minor detail… their email address.

Even though an email address may seem like something insignificant when you correspond with an employer, your email address can say a lot about you. It should be listed at the top of your resume with the rest of your contact information. This is one of the first things that employers see and should be part of your professional brand. If you use a personal email address, you can send the wrong message and it can often be perceived as being unprofessional.

I often recommend that you set up a professional email address. There are a lot of free email services (Gmail, Yahoo, or MSN) that you can take advantage of and create a professional email address for business and job search purposes. Here are some tips for creating a professional email address.

Keep the nicknames to yourself
Often individuals will use childhood nicknames to create their email addresses. This mistake can be perceived as incompetent, immature, and you will not be taken seriously. Using nicknames gives a bad impression and your resume will be passed over for another candidate.
Example: Sexygirl@email.com; Lil.Hennessy@gmail.com

Keep it simple
The most effective method of creating a professional email address is by using your own name. The one challenge with this method is if the email address is already in use. You can adjust it with a special character or by adding a number that is significant to you. This is a low-risk way to keep it professional.
Example: JaneDoe@email.com; John.Doe.94@email.com

Buy your own domain
This option shows that you are innovative and entrepreneurial. By buying and creating your own domain, you can not only set up a professional email address, but you can take advantage of creating an online resume for employers to view at their disposal. This shows employers that you take initiative and are very creative.
Example: Jane@janedoe.com; John.Doe@mybusiness.com

Stay away from school email
Even though this is a great way to show your school spirit and also a free domain that you can use, using your school email address is not very wise. Employers often keep resumes on file for long periods of time. In the event that you graduate or decide to take a semester off, this will prevent employers from contacting you. You want to create an email address that you can use long-term.
Example: Jane.Doe@university.edu

Do not use current employer email
Often individuals will use their current employer email address on their resume. This is a big no-no. Every organization has a policy that states employees are not to use the company-issued email for personal use. By doing this, employers are under the impression that you have no respect for the policies and rules of the organization. I encourage you to keep your work email and professional email address separate.
Example: John.Doe@company.com