The Importance of Having a Professional Email Address When Applying for Jobs
You spend countless hours writing a compelling resume. Every accomplishment is highlighted. Every keyword is carefully placed.
But there’s one small piece of information that can get your resume tossed out even before a recruiter or hiring manager gets to the good stuff. That one piece of information is your email address.
If you don’t have a professional email address at the top of your resume, then you won’t be taken seriously by potential employers. In fact, 76% of resumes are rejected due to an unprofessional email address.
What is a Professional Email Address?
In the early days of the internet, we all had fun making up “funny” or unique email addresses. You may have had something like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
You may even still have that email account, which is fine. However, you don’t want to put anything like that on your resume.
Instead, you want to have a professional email address on your resume when applying for jobs.
Your best option for a professional email address will include some version of your first name and last name followed by the domain name.
For example, firstname.lastname@example.org is perfect. It’s simple and easy to remember.
Of course, if your name is somewhat common, then it’s more than likely someone has already snagged that email address. Consider these variations that still look professional:
- First name (dot) last name: email@example.com
- First name + middle name + last name: firstname.lastname@example.org
- First name (dot) middle name (dot) last name: email@example.com
- First name + middle initial + last name: firstname.lastname@example.org
- First name (dot) middle initial (dot) last name: email@example.com
- First initial + middle name + last name: firstname.lastname@example.org
- First initial + middle initial + last name: email@example.com
- First name + last initial: firstname.lastname@example.org
- First initial + last name: email@example.com
- Last name + first name: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Last name (dot) first name: email@example.com
Another option is to incorporate your profession into your email address. If you’re a coder, for example, your email address could be something like firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’re a professional writer, you could use email@example.com.
Also, you may have noticed that in all these examples, we’re using gmail.com as the domain address. If you don’t already have a Gmail account, then set one up. Using Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL accounts will certainly give the impression that you are behind the times when it comes to technology. That’s not a good look in today’s job market.
In fact, even in you have a Gmail account, you may want to set up a separate account that you use just for job hunting. That way, any emails from potential employers won’t get lost in your inbox.
What Should I Avoid Using in My Email?
Don’t use any of these characters, references, or words in your email address:
- Locations: Avoid putting your state or city in your email address. An employer may think you’re too far away to hire and eliminate you from contention immediately.
- Numbers: Some people think putting a number in their email address is a good way to make their address more unique. Adding a “1” at the end of your name isn’t so terrible. However, putting in your birth year or graduation year will give away your age to a potential employer, which could be a reason for them to discriminate against you.
- “Funny” names: Don’t try to stand out with names you think are clever like firstname.lastname@example.org or Im_your_next_employee@gmail.com. Often names like these come across as desperate. Hiring managers won’t appreciate the joke.
- Hobbies: Email addresses that indicate your love of knitting, pottery, or CrossFit won’t help you land a corporate job.
- Names of kids or pets: Dylansdad@gmail.com or email@example.com aren’t appropriate emails to use on your resume. It may signal to an employer that you’re too wrapped up in your kids or your pets to take your job seriously.
- University email addresses: Universities typically don’t let you keep your email address forever. You don’t want an outdated email address on your resume.
- Drug, alcohol, or sexual references: This seems obvious enough, but it’s worth repeating. References to drug or alcohol use or promiscuity could offend a potential hiring manager.
- References to ethnicity, religion, or race: Giving away this information in your email address could give a potential employer a reason to discriminate against you.
- Political references: Indicating your political views in an email address might prevent you from getting a job if the hiring manager or recruiter has opposing views. Even if the hiring manager happens to agree with you, it’s best to keep politics out of your professional life (unless of course, your job is in politics).
- Current work email address: You don’t want your current employer to see that you are corresponding with potential new employers during the time they are paying you to work. That could land you in hot water. Plus, once you leave that job, you’ll no longer be able to access the email.
Make Sure You Have a Professional Email Address
When corresponding with a company using an email address that’s less-than-professional, you give the impression that you don’t take yourself or your job search seriously. That signals to potential employers that you may not take your job seriously either if they hire you.
Don’t eliminate yourself from the potential list of candidates for a new job by using a non-professional email address on your resume. Stick with a one of the variations of yourname@ and you’ll be in the clear.