I just received a cv from someone.. with a weird email address.

the starting part.. sexythug@######.com.au

or one guy.. was.. @ willworkforfood.com

i've had others with interesting names etc.... the question.. how much should one read into this? If they are silly enough to have an outlandish email address for their applications, should we take them seriously?


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I'm one in the "if the email address on your resume is unprofessional - then most likely you are unprofessional" camp. I need go no further than remind myself of purplehazexx@hotmail.com for all the personal reminder I need! (The xx is in place of the actual year mentioned - but thought it best to leave it out.....)

Good point Dan.
hahaha I talk about this all the time! I've been meaning to do a list sort in my ATS of how many addresses contain the letters s-e-x in that order or 6-9. And I deal what what are supposedly professional engineers! I'll check the stats when I return to the office in the am!
I think I have a double standard. I don't really expect candidates to be "professional Job hunters." What I worry about more is working with fellow recruiters who use @hotmail e-mail addresses. I actually think that the person who took the time to register the domain for "Willworkforfood.com" shows more dedication to their goal than a recruiter who uses a hotmail/gmail addresses when dealing with clients. I'm actually going to touch on this topic a bit at thetechrecruiter.com, because I think there are a good amount of inconsistencies regarding professionalism in the recruiting industry. (I'm actually from the camp that thinks we need to get over ourselves as the "professional)"
Hi Dan -

I've been through this debate a few times with peers of mine and I can honestly say I've never been fully swayed one way or the other.

On one hand, the candidate is using his or her personal email address so I am inclined to give a little leeway. It could be that they are something of a fun-loving free spirit out of the office, yet perfectly capable of maintaining a professional demeanor at work. Of course, they could just be an outright goof all the time as well. That said, as long as the email isn't too wild I'll usually conduct a phone interview to get a feel for the person. If I think they are worth their salt, I may schedule a face-to-face just to be sure and suggest they register for a more 'professional' email address that they use for job search purposes.

The other side of the argument is that a candidate seeking a professional job should know better than to have an outrageous email address that potentially reveals some things about their true personality. If they have one account, surely they are capable of signing up for something docile like john.doe@gmail.com. Just like with most things, though, there are exceptions to the rule. I would find it odd if a programmer or creative designer had a very bland email address as their personalities generally lead to more expression and a departure from the norm. I'm sure that many recruiters working at IT or ad firms will tell you they see crazy email addresses daily and think little to nothing of it.

When it is all said and done, I still don't have a passionate opinion for either side. I still give the benefit of the doubt to those with an odd, yet not offensive address and advise they change it once we talk and the truly outlandish ones just make me shake my head. On a related side note, the wildest email I saw on an application was murder187@xxx.com (xxx's are in place of actual email name). For those not in the US, 187 is a common numeric code used by law enforcement regarding murder. Even if that email was a joke, it certainly wasn't one I was laughing at!

I agree with Gino... When it is so easy to set up a new, free email account to have your job-search related correspondence routed to, I do have a bit of a hard time with these. But, although it would be nice for all job seekers to be wonderfully organized and want to have a nice and tidy email address and inbox to go along with it - not all see the benefit from either angle.

Probably best to consider this red flag in with the rest and take a look at the whole package, rather than to allow it to sway you one way or the other right out of the gates. What about if an email address reflected that a candidate was a fan of your favorite sports team or band? This could be positive, a good place to break the ice - but it wouldn't make them any better (or worse) a candidate...

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