— July 15, 2019
Of all of the things you might be worrying about when it comes to your job search, should your email address be one of them? Yes. Yes, it should.
This tiny piece of contact information plays an essential role in how recruiters or hiring managers communicate with you about a potential job. They may have second thoughts about emailing if your account is something cheesy or unprofessional like ‘snugglebunny’, ‘surferdude2000’, or ‘partygurlXXX’. Is that really the impression you want to be sending to someone who could be your future boss?
Take the time to set up a separate email address just for your job search instead. Here are a few reasons why it can be beneficial:
1. You can tailor your address.
By creating a new account, you can customize your email address to something professional such as your first and last name. Already taken? Throw in your middle initial or use some variation of the three names such as ‘JRSmith’, ‘JoeRSmith’ or ‘SmithJoeR’. You can also throw in periods to break things up and create a unique handle.
Be careful about adding numbers that could be construed as your birthday, age, or graduation year. If you do add numbers, try to keep it simple by adding a 1 or 0. A better option might be to add something related to your job such as ‘JSmithCPA’ or ‘JoeRSmithAccountant’. Be creative, but keep it simple and professional.
2. You can filter your mail.
By using a separate account for only job-related communications, you’re less likely to have an inbox filled with spam or junk mail. Plus, you’re not weeding through emails from friends, family, or other businesses trying to find something related to a job you recently applied to. You know that any messages from potential employers will go to that email address and only that email address, so no need to be checking multiple accounts.
You can also set up folders for different companies you’ve applied to or organize messages by interest level, type of role, industry, or any other criteria you choose. It gives you more control over the content you’re receiving and your ability to quickly respond and stay organized.
3. You can keep it private.
It can be tempting to use your work email address simply because it’s an account you check multiple times during the day. However, this can also be seen as unprofessional. Unless you’re applying for an internal role at your company, it’s best to use a separate account. Company email servers are often monitored meaning your current boss could be tracking your activity. In addition, a future employer may frown upon the fact that you’re job searching on company time.
Avoid using your family or joint email account as well. The last thing you need is for your spouse or child to accidentally delete or respond to an email that was meant for you. These accounts are fine for communicating with family and friends, but when it comes to your career, have a separate email account that only you can access and that is only used for job communications.
4. It’s free.
Sites such as Gmail (through Google) are free to use. All you have to do is register for an account, and you can set up as many email addresses as you want. It is also a well-recognized platform. Though you may have used AOL, Yahoo, or Hotmail for the past 15 or 20 years, that’s exactly why you should consider an updated platform – those types of addresses can date you because they’ve been around for a long time.
Make your resume stand out for the right reasons – your experience, knowledge, skills, and accomplishments – not because you have a questionable email address.