What Does Your Email Address Say About You

First impressions are important when it comes to job seeking, and an email address can make quite a first impression. Often times, the email address is the first thing a hiring manager sees – before even seeing your name! Before you send out your next resume, consider what your email address alone might say about you. Do you “appear” professional?

As most job applications are sent via email these days, your email address alone can play a huge role into whether or not your resume is opened. I have heard numerous stories from hiring managers about applications getting tossed simply because of someone’s email address. Often times, email addresses at face value appear to be spam and are never even opened. Email addresses like “sexykitten0007” or “bigmuscles”, for example, might be automatically filtered into a spam folder by an email server because of word content.


 The good news is that hiring managers are quite straightforward in what they believe makes up an “unprofessional” or unappealing email address. While it may sound harsh that most hiring managers critique email addresses, it does happen because they do create a first impression. Below are 7 deadly email sins to make sure to stay away from so you don’t end up in the “unprofessional” pile.


Wrong Name: John_smith@....com (when your real name is David Jones)

Don’t confuse the reader from the start! Is your name John Smith or David Jones? There is no reason to have the hiring manager ask this type of question at the start of your resume.


Fantasy Name: Invisibleman@....com

Are you applying for a job or are you auditioning for a video game?


Creepy Name: collegestrangler@....com

Given the fact that over 80% of companies now run background checks on potential employees, there is no reason to give an employer the impression that you may have a criminal record.


Sportsperson: tigerwoods50@....com

This might have been ok when you were in high school, but not in the workplace.


The numbers: 998877665544@....com

Confusing! You are just asking for someone to send an email to the wrong place.


The Crude Name: hairychest@....com

Not a good first impression. Also, many of these email addresses contain words that will usually get filtered into the spam folder


Confess love email address: bonjovilover@....com

Again, you are applying for a job, not a role as a groupie.


So...what should you do? Stick to the basics. The best email addresses will contain your full or partial name, followed by either characters or numbers. Think about how most workplace email addresses are set up – most of them contain a combination of an employee’s first and last name. Try to mimic this – a professional email address represents a professional job candidate. Don’t give your reader the wrong impression!

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Views: 10833

Comment by Gordon Basichis on February 14, 2012 at 6:22pm

Nice post and so true.  I also love the emails that read....EccentricProductsandServicesEnterprisesInternational@yahoo.com

Comment by Paul S. Gumbinner on February 15, 2012 at 10:59am

Funny, I have often thought this.  I am glad you wrote it.  Clearing spam and leaving a first impression are critical.  However, I get emails all the time and I don't remember and cannot tell who they are from.  You know, the person whose email is: NMP222@gmail.com.  And then they just sign the email, Tom.  I haven't a clue who sent it to me and often I have to email them back and ask who they are.  Worse of they are in the middle of interviewing with a company and send a thank you note that way so that the receiver has no idea who it is from, especially if they have seen two people named Tom.  Just this week I got a post card signed by Rob.  I haven't a clue who it is from.  In fairness, many people, especially millennials, chose their email addresses in high school or before and hadn't a clue they would be used in business.  Nevertheless, those people ought to phase in new emails.  Thanks for writing this.

Comment by Melissa Zentgraf on February 15, 2012 at 11:02am

This is a checklist point for me; if it is unprofessional, I will not contact the candidate.  You would be amazed at the level of candidate that breaks this rule. 

I've even told my children not to have goofy names as their emails.  They aren't too far off from college and scholarship applications and their email address will be one of the first things they see.  Keep it simple and professional. 

Comment by Tim Spagnola on February 15, 2012 at 11:03am

As the person that looks over every single new application to join the RBC to make sure folks are who they claim to be I will never understand your first one Gavin - wrong name. Are people really playing a shell game here? or that secretive of who they really are? I have seen this one quite off from my role here and working my desk and just don't get it. This topic might make for a good question of the day. I can only imagine what other recruiters have seen in this department.

Comment by Paul S. Gumbinner on February 15, 2012 at 11:11am

@Tim:  Years ago I asked a candidate who did this why he did it.  His real name was Tom Smith and his email name was Peter Jones.  His reply was that it protected against spam.  Huh?  It made me laugh.  It also made me forget about him as a candidate.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 15, 2012 at 11:52am
Part of my discussion with each new candidate is: get a new email address that you use for job hunting. It should be your full name no numbers. When you apply for a job or have any correspondence with me or any company, your correspondence is in the database or our email. If we want to find you we should be able to run a search and get resume and all correspondence related to you. Any email you get sent to that email address will be job related. You won't miss anything, we can find your information and we won't miss anything. If you want to be found use your name.

And in the name of common sense when you save your resume on your computer save it with your full name not "resume" or "bob's resume".

Think in terms of the person receiving your resume or your email. There is life outside your bubble. If you want to be a part of it identify yourself. We get 100's of emails and resumes a day if your resume is titled "resume" it is lost with the other 200 that only say resume. You may only have one file on your computer saved as "resume". I have 100s I will not open each one to see if it's you. If your email is your full name I might find your "resume" attached. If your resume is attached to an email from poobeartootsie@gmail.com I might find it, I might not.

Everybody is all twisted up about this goofy personal branding. Your personal brand is your name. It identifies you, differentiates you from everybody else. It is the only thing you have that is totally unique. If you have a common name ..Bob Davis.. Email can be "BobDavisChicago@gmail.com". Or BobTDavis. If the full name is there we can find you. Your brand will identify you.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 15, 2012 at 12:00pm
In terms of goofy emails I have an accounting candidate in her 40's who persists in using an email address that is "redTbear". I flatly refuse to send out a resume of a mature, professional woman who insists on branding herself as red teddy bear. Not from my office, thank you very much. I work with professional adults, not cuddle puppies.
Comment by Jim Murphy on February 15, 2012 at 12:23pm

@ Sandra,  red teddy bear......sounds like a pro! <grin>. Great post, serious points raised but funny too!

Comment by David King on February 15, 2012 at 12:28pm

All:  Great points!! 

 @Sandra, AMEN!!   ("Your brand will identify you.")

I've also been amused when candidates accidentally send resumes from an email address they use as an alias (perhaps for online dating).  But that's no excuse; their attention to detail must be called into question when this happens. Some email addresses are just too risque to state here, but if you can imagine any examples of this, I am certain they exist...

There is no excuse for this to continue; not in 2012. Anyone can set up a professionally formatted nomenclature as a Gmail or Yahoo (or whatever) account which they may set up to autoforward to ANY other email address they wish to send it to.  That way, the person will receive the email in the same inbox they may prefer to use, but the message will be sent initially to the more professional nomenclature. 

There is much work yet to be done on this topic.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 15, 2012 at 6:00pm

@Jim  There is a perfect example.  See i am thinking about a red stuffed animal.  You are thinking about an animal stuffed in a red teddy.  Go figure.  I may tell her that i sent her resume to somebody and the guy asked based on her email address if she really was a bear in a red teddy.  Love it, never crossed my mind.  Perception may certainly be reality. who knows.  Dirty old man (big grin).


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