Is your email giving the wrong impression? We’ve all heard how important it is to have a professional email address for your personal brand and for your job search (and resumé). But how do you know if your email is professional?
In the current job market, your email is guaranteed to get more than a common glance. All communication is virtual. For example, you may get a phone call to invite you for an interview, but the link to attend the interview (Zoom, WebEx, Skype, Google Meetup) goes to your email.
Be honest, have you ever read a professional’s email and thought – What is going on here?
I’d like to share a true story that taught me the importance of an email.
I was working as the lead inside sales representative for a luxury window and door company and was interviewing several interior designers for a multi-million-dollar project in La Jolla, California. After conducting in-person interviews and having the designers make their pitches, I chose the perfect designer for the project… that is, until I went to send her an email.
The candidate’s email address was tasteylove. I’ve left out some numbers and the domain name to protect the innocent. I kept trying to type in the email, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t imagine having my client’s communicating via email back and forth with tasteylove.
I was only 24 at the time and didn’t think to ask her for a different or professional email address. I simply went with the email she provided. In the end, I decided that although she was my top candidate, I would move forward with my second choice. And my second choice did a great job. The moral of the story is pick a professional email handle.
Here are some tips on creating a professional email. First, I would suggest Gmail. Gmail is the current professional standard. Hotmail was bought out by Outlook and so you will appear outdated if you use this provider. Also, these days Yahoo is not considered professional, either.
Now let’s talk about the beginning of your email. Clearly tasteylove is out. Some additional tips: try to limit numbers as they give away age whether it is your birth year, graduation from high school or college, anniversary, etc. Keep it simple; your name will suffice. If your name is common, try adding your middle initial, or periods to separate your first and last name, or including your entire middle name.
Trust your instincts. If you are questioning if your email is professional, it probably isn’t. Why not create an email specifically for job search or your professional connections? Seems like a no-brainer, right?
You can choose how your name is displayed on most virtual platforms. Make sure the display says your name, not your spouse, colleague, friend, or child. The other day I was on a networking call and one of the attendees was using a colleagues account. It was quite confusing because this was his first time attending our meeting and he had to keep reminding us of his real name. And now, this is my first impression of him!
Until Next Tuesday…
Have you ever made a decision based on someone’s email address?