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Don't Let Your Email Address Ruin Federal Job Opportunities

By Camille Carboneau Roberts

Is your email address cryptic like some vanity license plates? What goes through your mind when you drive behind a car with a license plate that says HVABEER? SXYBLND?

Or, what about KIDLESS, ILUVLA, ME4XTC, or HV2RUN?

I am not against vanity license plates. They are fun! I have one as well! Deciphering them can be a great pastime, especially on long car rides. Bumper stickers and T-shirts with slogans are other great options for personal expression.

However, unprofessional or unbranded email addresses are not a great way for job seekers to make a positive impression on a federal government employer.

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What Impression Does Your Email Address Create?

Do you want to be at the TOP of the employer's mind --Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA), or is your résumé and other marketing materials in a coma? You want to make it as easy as possible for the employer to associate you with what you do!

What do you think about the email address IHearVoices@gmail.com for a nurse in a mental health facility? Some may find it comical, but do you think a prospective employer would find it funny? Or, would they question your professionalism?

What do you think about soccermom@verizon.net or coolguy@cox.net? How about jim6932@yahoo.com or jennyandjim4ever@gmail.com? Or maybe jonesfamily@att.net? These are not cryptic or unprofessional, but will they associate a name that is easily remembered with the job seeker in each case? No!

These are common examples of emails that are not effective in creating that TOMA that will help the employers, recruiters, and other hiring professionals connect you to the job you are vying for at the moment!

Criteria for Choosing an Effective Email Address

Think about how your email address represents you. Put yourself in the position of a potential employer reviewing information of a job candidate.

Follow this advice when choosing an email address for your job search:

  • Your email address should not be suggestive, flirtatious, generic, silly, or funny.
  • It should be professional and easy to remember and create awareness.
  • It should be your name, preferably first name and last name.
  • It should be a personal email address, not one shared with a spouse or family.
  • Try not to use numbers or underscores.
  • If you cannot obtain your email at a "leading" email service such as Gmail, try your name at another email service so you can use your first name and last name.
  • Make it easy for prospective employers to find 'you' in their inboxes.

Remember that anytime you give your email address to anyone, that person becomes a member of your professional network. From your fitness instructor who sends you class schedules to the parent of your son's friend from school, your email address is representing you.

For job seekers, the answer is simple…use your name! If your name is Mary Jane Smith, you might choose maryjsmith@gmail.com. If it is not available, try variations that include your first and last name.

I know I wrote earlier not to use numbers. Depending on what you choose, numbers could be construed as the year you were born, or your age. Do not give them a reason to wonder what the number might mean. Read

TIP:

If you have a common name, you could associate your name with the position you are vying for like this: MaryJSmithArchitect@gmail.com.

I recommend you have a separate email for job search purposes only. Have one email that you use for all your job search communication. If you knew Mary personally and you knew that she loves baseball, ilovebaseball@example.com could be a personal email address!

Bottom Line

Your email address is part of your brand. Make it easy for the hiring professionals to find you and remember you. How do you want to be branded in the eyes of a potential employer?

More About Email and Job Search


About the author...

Job-Hunt's Federal Job Search Expert, Camille Carboneau Roberts, established CC Career Services in 1989 to provide total career management services to help clients land jobs faster. Expert services include federal resumes, private sector resumes, military-to-federal resumes, and social media resumes and profiles. Contact Camille via email at Camille@ccCareerServices.com, through her web site ccCareerServices.com, LinkedIn, Twitter (@CamilleRoberts), Facebook (CC Career Services), or join her public Federal Job Search Group on LinkedIn.