How Your Email Address Can Torpedo A Job Search

Have you done an audit on your email address lately? I don’t mean opening up your account and looking for messages.  I mean taking a closer look at the actual email address that you are using.

I have received a number of emails from some very interesting address names lately.  That being said, if you were to ask me if these names sounded professional, I would have to say absolutely not!

Sometimes, we get so acclimated to that personal address that we simply forget about how others might perceive it.

Add in the close scrutiny of a prospective employer, and your résumé containing that social email address COULD be destined for the round file.

Dead-giveaways unwittingly revealed in your email address name can lift the curtain about the ‘personal’ you… and absolutely need to be tightened up, or even replaced in favor of more ‘sanitized’ versions. 

I’m not saying you need to ‘ditch’ your personal / social email; you need to bury it or at the very least, not volunteer it when presenting an otherwise professional document for consideration for a job.

Think about this… what would you think “[email protected]” might convey? Or “[email protected]?”  

Don’t laugh. I’ve seen similar email addresses like these on résumés more often than you would guess. 

A surprising number of people continue to send out résumés that have what I call ‘goofy’ email addresses. 

Even if it isn’t goofy, an email address could potentially torpedo your job search before you even get it off the ground because the one that you are using doesn’t project a professional image. 

If you have to create a new ‘professional’ email, then do so, but don’t forget to check it.  Sometimes, candidates get so caught up checking their social email accounts that they forget to open up their business one… only to find a message from an employer dated 3 weeks ago waiting for them.

Oops.  Game over. 

You can pretty much bet that opportunity has already passed and is now a dead end. Lack of response means the employer is moving on to the next candidate.

It’s now up to you to conduct a quick review and see if your email address needs triage help, stat.

Here are some key email address-naming tips to help you in maintaining your professionalism on your résumé:

1)      Stay away from things that might tip off your age. Avoid year of birth, graduation, or age references. Oh, and mentioning that you are a member of the AARP.  It’s illegal, downright despicable, but yet difficult to prove – employers are discriminating against people because of their age, so you should make sure to remove age references completely.

2)      Avoid political, gender, or religious references. You may be very passionate about a particular belief, cause, or affiliation, but you don’t need to be in an employer’s face about it. After all, they aren’t hiring you for what you believe… they are hiring you for what you can DO.

3)      Be careful about health references too.  Being a cancer survivor is great, but if you let an employer know that before you get to the interview, their concern about health care costs might cause them to ‘lose’ your application… if you know what I mean.  Seriously. It can and does happen.

4)     Keep It Simple, Stupid. If you have an email address that looks like some kind of code and doesn’t make any kind of logical sense, create an easy one to type into a message.  No one likes peering at their keyboard to hunt and peck out a random assortment of letters and numbers.

5)      Safest bet? Your name.  Your name as the email address is your best bet. If you have a common name, then add some random number or variation that still makes it clear that this is your name.

Make sure to remove any and all objections an employer might find in your career materials and documents when making an application.  Your future could depend on it!