Posted on March 12, 2009 on EmploymentCrossroads.com.
Here in the first decade of the 21st Century, we may lack flying cars, personal teleportation and household robots. But what we do have is the Internet, which is taking over every aspect of our lives.
That’s why today, if you’re going to hear from a recruiter, you’ll most likely have your first contact by email, rather than by phone. Your email address needs to be on your resume and cover letter; it must be associated with any info you have posted on job search sites or company career pages; and it should be on your personal web site.
You don’t have a personal web site? What are you, Amish?
But it’s important what email address you provide to possible employers. Create an email account specifically for your job search, separate from any other accounts you use in personal life or your work.
Absolutely DO NOT use your current work email. Not only may your company be monitoring your email, they actually own any information you share via that account. Also, if prospective employers see you using your current company’s email for job searches, they’ll assume you would do the same thing to them.
Who hosts your email is important. If you have your own web site, let’s say jennywilson.com, then having the email address firstname.lastname@example.org is pretty impressive.
If you can’t host your own email, the only real option for a free account is through gmail.com. Nobody will think less of you for using Gmail.
But on the other hand, DO NOT use any aol.com address. People who still use aol.com email come across as unprofessional. Maybe your grandma still uses AOL, but professional people do not. If you are still, for some unfathomable reason, using AOL as your service provider, then use AOL to sign up for a Gmail account.
Make sure you choose a professional-sounding email address. You’re not going to get an interview if the recruiter has to type in “email@example.com” in order to contact you. Likewise, no one wants to hire spongebobfan@ or tonylovessylvia@.
Stick to your real name: johnsmith@, john_smith@, johns@, jsmith@. Lots of people like to add their birthdate (johnsmith1963@), but are you sure you want to advertise your age up front?
Don’t get cute. The address firstname.lastname@example.org might get a laugh – and then your resume hits the round file. Keep your email address short, easy to spell, and directly relevant to you as a professional.
Good luck with your search!