Job searching has become more competitive than ever! As an aspiring professional, it's essential to understand that every detail matters when presenting yourself to potential employers in person and online. One aspect that often gets overlooked is your email address and surprisingly, it can have a significant impact on your job search success. So, let’s dive into why creating a professional email address is critical and the steps to do it right.
Why is a professional email so important? To put it simply, your email address might be the first impression your prospective employer gets of you. Not only is it at the top of your resume, it also helps set the tone in correspondence about the interview and the job itself. Try putting yourself in an employer’s shoes: if you had two equally qualified candidates, and one of them had an unprofessional or inappropriate email address, which would you be more likely to approach first?
According to a national staffing agency, over 30% of resumes are rejected due to an unprofessional email address.
Without a doubt, your email contact is something an employer will interact with in a direct way if they want to move forward with you. In addition, Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) and other resume scanning software might filter out email addresses with certain words or themes, which can also hurt your chances. Take the opportunity to set a confident tone of professionalism, attention to detail, and an overall positive brand image with a professional email.
There are several components to consider in making the perfect email address to represent you professionally.
1. Choose a leading email provider: Gmail (the top provider with 1.5 billion active users) or Microsoft Outlook, a close second) typically provide reliable service, security, and customization and can be accessed across most operating systems and devices.
2. Keep it current: Older email service providers like Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL all launched in the 1990’s. They are sometimes considered vintage domains for the less tech-savvy by hiring managers so it might be time to switch to something fresher for the purposes of your job search.
3. Create your username: Simple is better here. Try to use your first and last name if possible, incorporating a middle name or some combination of initials and names, such as jsmith, johncsmith, or johncalsmith, for example. Avoid including numbers and special characters apart from dots, underscores, or hyphens.
4. Stay professional: Avoid using references to your age, birthdate, address, or other personal preferences and adjectives for several reasons, including protecting your data and security.,
5. Be consistent: Use this email address across all professional profiles, be it LinkedIn, your resume, or other networking and social media platforms.
In today’s job market, every advantage counts. By crafting a professional email address, you create a positive first impression, increase your chances of getting through ATS filters, and highlight your mindfulness and professionalism. ATS algorithms prioritize professionalism and relevancy so don’t let your email (and resume) get lost in the virtual abyss.
Remember, your email contact serves as your first introduction to employers, and it's essential to make it count.
So, take a moment to evaluate your current email address and consider making the necessary changes. By following the simple steps outlined above, you'll enhance your professional image and set yourself up for success in your job search journey. A small tweak like creating a professional email address can go a long way in making a lasting impression on potential employers. Good luck!