The Unexpected Detail that can Kill a Job Opportunity in One Second or Less

You’ve crossed the “t’s,” dotted the “i’s,” precisely followed all the do’s and don’ts, and your professional résumé is now a testament to your abilities, strengths, and experience. You’re certain your résumé is the shining example that all other résumés should imitate. Still dizzy with the pride of your feat and the vision of job offers sure to come, you quickly complete an online job application and submit your piéce de résistance.

Moments later, in an e-mail inbox far, far away, a hiring manager deletes your submitted résumé before the Outlook e-mail alert fades from their computer screen. With one glance, they’ve eliminated your carefully prepared résumé and the possibility of your employment. So, what went wrong?

While it takes them only 20 seconds to review a résumé, an inappropriate e-mail address that does not reflect professionalism can end a job opportunity in a split second. A clever, witty, funny, silly, or even flirty e-mail address on a job application or résumé submitted online or in person is often perceived as unprofessional. But in a digital age, your résumé is a potential employer’s first impression. And, first impressions are notoriously difficult to change. Hiring managers spend an average of only 20 seconds reviewing a résumé before they choose to discard it or keep it for further review. Your e-mail address is a reflection of you. Your résumé may never make it out of the inbox if it looks like spam. So, it’s important to have a professional e-mail address when applying for a job. If possible, choose an e-mail address that contains your name, like

Maybe you’ve had your clever e-mail address since the days when AOL still announced “You’ve Got Mail.” Maybe it took days upon days to come up with that address and you’re loathe to part with it. If that’s the case, keep your clever e-mail for personal communication and open a professional one for your job search. You can even have your e-mails forwarded to your preferred address. Is it worth risking a job opportunity for the sake of a clever e-mail address?

No detail is too small to overlook on your résumé. So, make sure your e-mail address is appropriate and professional when applying for a job.



    I see way too many unprofessional email addresses that my clients are quite happy to use- until I mention it to them. Some shrug their shoulders and say- “well that is the one I check most- best to use that” and others get the point and use a better, professional and grownup email address on their resume. Those are the ones methinks might actually get the job!

  2. Brian

    Its true. These days its easy enough to create a second account. So you don’t have to keep checking two mailboxes, you can even forward it to your primary address. Just remember when you do reply to something career related, do so from your job hunt account.

  3. Terry

    If anybody believes this latest scare tactic, then they’re probably gullible enough to spend their unemployment compensation dollars on your dubious services.
    If a company is going to dump your resume because of the email address you use, forget them then. If they’re that pin-headed and stodgy then they’re probably not worth working. Besides, most resumes that are submitted via email are gathered using aggregators and your email address may or may not be part of the forwarded data from the aggregator.
    Oh, and I’m curious, is theresumechick considered a ‘professional’ email address? Shouldn’t you be replying with your-oh-so-professional email address?

  4. Brie Hobbs

    Associates of Express Employment Professionals do not pay for our company’s services. We’re simply providing advice to help job seekers put their best foot forward and a professional e-mail address is just one more thing to think about in the job search.
    If you’re unwilling to change your e-mail address on the chance that it will help your prospects, then that’s certainly up to you. But having a professional e-mail address is just a good way to demonstrate that you are a professional.

  5. Terecia Becher

    I absolutly agree, I have often looked at e-mail addresses and wonder “What were you thinking?”, Sorry to say, when I look at the resume or job application I am doing so with bias. It is sometimes hard to overcome first impressions. It causes me to wonder about their decision making ability.

  6. Kingsley

    Definitely take a few minutes to create a separate email account for submitting resume applications or discussing job opportunities.
    Professional Email accounts are easy to get and only take a minute or two to create.
    I suggest using something like your first and last name as opposed to bigbooty or yourdaddy.
    I also agree that the email address is the first thing a prospective employer sees, so if you have an inappropriate email you might as well not even send the resume because you will probably not be called for an interview.

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