Does Your Email Address Say to Employers?
looks like we've got a great candidate for customer
service here," said Joe. "The only problem is, this
person's email address makes me wonder about her."
I checked it out. Hmmm...
firstname.lastname@example.org. (Email addresses
have been changed for this article.) It certainly
conjured up an image, but not one I associated with friendly,
efficient customer service.
A few weeks later we
had a new graduate apply for a management trainee position.
"You know," said Joe, "this guy's application looks
good except for (you guessed it) his email address."
I took a look at the
email listed at the top of the resume. Hmmm ... email@example.com.
"It doesn't exactly instill confidence in his business
savvy and leadership skills," I admitted.
As I have witnessed
first-hand, an "unconventional" email address can definitely
be held against you when it comes to applying for a
job. It may seem unfair, but it's no more unusual than
employers making judgments about applicants based on
other superficial criteria.
For example, if you
show up for an interview with a dozen facial piercings,
you probably won't be hired for a position that involves
selling to corporate executives. Likewise, when the
employer phones to ask you to come in for an interview,
they may not be impressed to hear you impersonating
Rodney Dangerfield singing opera on your voice mail
"I have to be ME..."
you may argue. "If employers can't accept me the way
I am I don't want to work with them either." You can
weed out employers that way if you want to. In fact,
offers great advice if you want to break into an unconventional
career away from the corporate rat race.
Still, even in unconventional
careers, an oddball email address may raise red flags
with people who could help you get to the top. For example,
if your dream is to become a celebrity personal assistant,
and your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org,
you likely will not be as successful as someone whose
email address is email@example.com.
If you're not sure what
kind of message your email address conveys, get feedback
from friends and even some employers, if you can. Find
out what your email address is communicating.
If your "real" email
address is one that employers may judge negatively,
consider getting another, more professional sounding,
address through a free email service.
Most employers would
almost certainly look more favorably on a basic email
address using your name, such as ChrisSmith@yahoo.com,
than an address such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
After you've been working
for a while, your employer may be more likely to appreciate
the real you and your quirky personality or offbeat
sense of humor. But until then, consider playing it
safe if you want to get the job.
e-books that can help you break into a "fab" job. Visit