How much thought did you put into your email when you created it? For many people, they tried to make their email only to find that someone else on the planet already had it, and so they selected a computer generated one. The computer generated email no doubt contained some portion of the person’s original attempt and threw in some random number.
Now why on earth someone would choose to use a randomly chosen email is beyond me, unless of course the person isn’t thinking at all about what the email communicates; or fails to communicate.
Here we have hit upon one of the most significant differentiating things which define those who see an email address as just an email address, and those who see the email address as a chance to brand themselves. In other words, your email can actually market you to others, and to fail to recognize this is to miss an opportunity. Allow me to provide you with some concrete examples of both the good, the bad and the just plain and insignificant.
Let’s say your name is John Edward Brown; you’re looking for work as a Personal Support Worker and you want to create an email. I’ve intentionally selected a very common full name because the likelihood of finding that johnbrown@ etc. is still available is absolute zero. So you make the initial attempt and finds it fails. The platform being used, be it Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo etc. is going to say that gmail isn’t available and in order to expedite the process and keep you from being frustrated at the same time in further attempts, it suggests johnbrown238@, johnnbrown578@, etc.
Randomly selected, these could be misinterpreted by a potential employer in your job search as meaning you wer born on the 23rd of August, maybe May of 1978 etc. These are only marginally better than johnbrown1978@ which clearly suggests you wer born in 1978 and puts your age smack at the top of the resume; a major no-no.
Now of course you might be smart enough not to accept these computer generated emails, so let’s give you credit. Maybe you go for johnebrown@, john.e.brown@, j.ed.brown@ etc. These and other versions like them, certainly communicate a name without a number embedded in the email and that’s an improvement. There can be nothing revealed or suggested about your age or personal information like a birthday, and this also prevents some identity theft.
However, while the suggestions in the previous paragraph have their advantages over emails with numbers, they still aren’t saying anything about John Brown yourself in terms of the work you are identified with. What then if you thought about creating an email that both was devoid any prejudice and at the same time lent strength and identity to your personal brand?
Remember you; our hypothetical John Edward Brown are looking for work as a Personal Support Worker. If you chose an email such as PSWjohnebrown@ or iamjohnbrownpsw@, both your name and your career profession are embedded right in the email. Considering the location of the email at the top of your resume, it is one of the first few things the eye of the receiver sees and reads as they look at your resume.
In addition, whenever the employer clicks on your hyperlink to your email, or types in it manually addressing an email, they must associate you with your profession because it’s so visual.
A second option is to return to the whole point of having an email in the first place; you want someone to contact you. If then the point of your email on a resume or cover letter is to prompt action on the receivers part, you could opt for a different approach to constructing your personal email. This option works well when you are not specifically after one job or career only, or you are going for a job that might have different titles with different organizations.
So what is this second option? It’s choosing an email such as calljohnbrown@ as an example. This email address doesn’t label a profession, but it does state a desired action; a phone call. So if you were John Brown and you wanted to be a Personal Support Worker, but you knew sometimes the job is called, Health Care Aide, Support Worker, Personal Support Aide etc. you may want to have some flexibility with respect to your email address and not limit yourself to the single job title in the email address.
My suggestion is to also avoid the underscore in an email at all costs. john_brown@ may look good when there is no hyperlink embedded in the email, but as soon as the blue hyperlink underlines the entire email, the underscore disappears and appears to be a space in the email. Novices and those who give email a quick scan may actually type what they see and find their attempt to contact you is rejected. They may not bother to try a second time. How unfortunate. You can eliminate this remote possibility entirely by avoiding the underscore.
So there you have it; some ideas to help both yourself and others with your email address.