Posted by Brian McCullough
This is a general “getting ahead” tip as much as it’s a resume tip.
This weekend we were short of writers because, well, like everyone else, a lot of our writers were on vacation. So I filled in a bit and took some of the overflow clients.
Now, I realize what I’m about to offer as a tip can probably fall into the “no duh” category for most people.
Then again, as I learned this weekend… I’m not so sure.
The first client I worked with had an email address that wanted to advertise the fact (?) that he was a ladies man, in so many words. In fact, he was advertising that he was “hot” for a very specific subset of ladies. And it apparently hadn’t occurred to him that this was not appropriate to put on a resume until I pointed the notion out to him.
The second client had an email address that indicated he was a Star Wars fan. And not even a fan of the good Star Wars. The crappy prequel movies. And this guy insisted that there was nothing wrong with the email address. He wanted it on his resume because it “spoke a little” about who he was.
(Obviously, I have to be a big vague. Can’t use the real email addresses.)
So anyway, the “no duh” advice is this: any 21st century professional needs to maintain a professional sounding email address, separate from their work email address and separate from their personal email address.
You simply never know when the need for this “professional” email address might arise.
And it’s very simple to do this. I keep more than one “professional” email addresses in reserve. I use them for things like when I’m communicating with my children’s teachers or doing other personal business like dealing with our real estate agent or accountant. Or for letter-to-the-editor purposes.
There are a million places to go for a quick and free email address. I’d recommend trying Gmail first. Having a Gmail address shows you’re a bit more hip and up to date than people with a regular old comcast.net or earthlink email addresses.
And even though I only use my “professional” email address sparingly, I don’t have to worry about missing emails. I simply set the system to forward all incoming mail to my primary personal email address. I get all the emails I need and when I respond, I go back and use the pro-address as the outgoing address.
I never worry about mixing business and personal emails. I never worry about embarrassing details leaking into my professional life. I keep the worlds from colliding, to paraphrase Seinfeld.
Furthermore, this is such a simple and key tool for a job search. For obvious privacy reasons, you don’t want to job search with your work email. And unless you’re as dense as the guy I describe above, you don’t want to put ‘SithLordSlevin’ on your resume.
I’d go to Gmail or yahoo or hotmail and try to set up an email address that incorporates your name as much as possible. I’m sure you won’t be able to get “JohnSmith01@hotmail.com” but you’d be surprised what you can do by adding numbers and a couple of letters. For instance, Jane Lawrence, a graphic designer might be able to nab something along the lines of ‘JaneRSmithGD1996′ thereby incorporating her name, initials for her profession and some numbers that are meaningful to her.
I simply feel that incorporating your name in your email address makes it easier for people to not screw up when they’re trying to remember it/typing it out.
Some people take the route of going with something like “JohnSmithJobSearchEmail@whatever.com”
I’m not against this exactly, but it does scream out temporary email address!
There’s no way for someone else to know that something like “JohnSmithJSE2008@whatever.com” is not your main email.