I just received an email from someone whose email address started with a single letter and seven numbers asking me about resumé advice.
Guess what my first suggestion is going to be?
That’s right – change your email address.
Your email address is one of those things that can make subtle differences in projecting the professional you. I know most job seekers don’t think twice about it. After all, it’s just a means of contacting you right? Like a phone number.
But unlike a phone number, you are in control of what your email address is.
A professional email address tells a recruiter you’re paying attention to the little details.
Here are the top three suggestions I give clients who are just starting out on their job search.
1. Get a new email address
Chances are, your existing personal email address has been around for a while.
Ask yourself if you are the type of person that keeps the unread messages down to single digits? Or do you have 1000+ unread messages in your inbox?
Either ways, it best to get a new email address, so that you can be sure any new email in there is related to your job search, and is not lost in the clutter of spam.
2. Keep it professional
It has to contain your first and last name, just like it would if you had a job with the company you are applying for.
If you’re using a pseudo or shortened business name in Canada, go with that.
If that email address is taken, try and find a variation. Insert a middle name, abbreviate the first letter, reverse the order.
Whichever works. Your name is the only thing that matters in an email address
3. Remove numbers and symbols
I received a resumé from a client who had his name – great – followed by 1991.
“So you’re 29 years old eh?” I said to him. He was surprised I knew, until I told him how I figured it out.
As much as possible, try avoid using numbers in your email address, because it could be interpreted as your year of birth.
Try avoid using any symbols, especially underscores “_” because they tend to get hidden in a hyperlink.
If you don’t have any luck with finding a free email address with just your name, sure, you can break this rule.
First preference is to use a hyphen “-“.
If you’re still out of luck add a single digit.
That person I mentioned in the beginning? To make matters worse, he’s also used his company’s email address. I guess it goes without saying, please don’t use your existing company’s email address to communicate to a recruiter.
Your email address is also an important asset during your job search. Use it wisely.