Regardless of your experience as a job seeker – active or passive – your e-mail address can leave a first impression on a hiring manager or gatekeeper that might not play in your favor.
First and foremost: it’s OK to have multiple e-mail addresses. If you’ve had a personal e-mail address that your friends and family can reach you at, or it’s the address that you’ve had connected to your Amazon or TicketMaster account for years, don’t feel the need to change. In fact, it is a good idea to have an e-mail address dedicated specifically to your job search or professional efforts.
You can create a free e-mail account through Google (Gmail), Hotmail, Yahoo, and others. Keep in mind that while you maybe using your school account, you will probably want to move away from that shortly after graduation – an .edu account may give the impression that you are still a student. Creating an e-mail account is a fairly easy process – not everyone is a computer genius and these accounts need to be user-friendly.
Five Quick Tips To Keep In Mind:
- Use your name: it is professional, it helps in your personal branding, and most importantly it will be memorable. Hiring managers need to be able to easily connect you the candidate, your e-mail address, and your resume. Trying to connect HoopsByMike@hotmail.com or SoccerPhenom@aol.com with a particular candidate takes a couple extra steps.
- Be careful of using numbers: try not to use more than two numbers in your e-mail address if you must. As athletes, we understand wanting to keep your jersey number as part of your identity, but any more than two numbers and it can read into – is it your birthday, the year you were born? Additionally, some spam filters in place read numbers, underscores, etc. and direct those messages directly to the spam filter. If you must use a number, place it at the end of your name.
- Don’t use your current employer e-mail address: as a sign of professionalism and basic respect, don’t use your work e-mail to conduct a job search. Besides, your employer more than likely is monitoring your e-mails and they could be used against you if there is a non-compete clause, etc. as part of your current employment agreement.
- Don’t share an e-mail address with someone: again, keep the personal e-mails, like addresses shared with your spouse, for the personal e-mails. If a hiring manager is responding to an e-mail from SpencerNHeidi@yahoo.com who is opening the e-mail?
- Don’t use an alternate spelling: not only may these be caught by a spam filter, but it also needs to make sense. If you have a longer name, think about just using initials and one name (first or last) instead of foregoing vowels in the spelling.
Once you’ve created your professional e-mail address, take a moment to add a signature line to all outgoing messages, including your full name, the contact phone number you prefer to be and can be reached at any time (ie: your cell number), and your LinkedIn profile link. (You can also personalize your LinkedIn profile links, eliminating all the numbers and slashes. Same tips apply when personalizing that as creating an e-mail address.)
Editor note: the e-mail addresses used as examples were made up for this article.