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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.