In competitive job searching, every little helps, and one thing that is often overlooked is your email address.
Admittedly, it might not be the thing that gets your CV thrown out or put to the top of the pile, but a recruiter will typically form a "picture" of you in the role they are recruiting for, so you don't want to put anything forward which might plant seeds of "suitability doubt" in their minds, so why take the chance.
We see a lot of CV's and a lot of email addresses, and you would be surprised how bizarre some of them are. Imagine a hypothetical situation: a recruiter is looking at 2 CVs, both identical except for the email address. Who do you think would have the advantage? John.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com - ok, a bit of an extreme example I admit, but you get the point. Of course, not everyone can use their work email address, so a "generic" hotmail, yahoo or Gmail accounts are OK, (Gmail is my personal choice) but again, avoid ridiculous, potentially offensive or bizarre ones. Just think about what it might say about you, and how a recruiter might picture you.
If you feel that your email address might be a little "wrong" I suggest you set up a new Gmail account and configure it to forward automatically to your existing account. It doesn't cost you anything and even includes virus and spam filtering too.
Getting a sensible "generic" email addresses can be hard these days as the obvious ones are all gone. You should aim for firstname.lastname@example.org, however you might end up with email@example.com... but that's better than firstname.lastname@example.org (sorry if that’s you). Go for "bland" rather than "extreme". Avoid nicknames, as these are best between friends, and may convey the wrong message when seen out of context.
Better still, buy your own domain name and set up an email account. It really isn't expensive or difficult. All you have to do is find a suitable one - the same rules apply - keep it sensible. The advantage of this route is that, depending on the work you do, it might be useful to set up a personal website presenting yourself and your portfolio.
Just remember that, if possible, your email address is a key part of your “Personal Brand” and should help you come across as a levelheaded, professional and responsible. NOT frivolous, creepy or unreliable.
Whilst this is not necessarily going to guarantee your next role, why make things hard for yourself? - Why take the chance!
ps: sorry if any of my examples are actually your real email address!
Last updated on: 03/05/2011 11:51:53