Is your email address holding you back?

Amy White |
Categories: Applying

Is your email address holding you back?

Imagine you're a hiring manager and the following applicants email you regarding an available job:

Who are you most likely to contact last and (more importantly) why?

The anatomy of a bad email address*


*Please note that "bad email address" refers solely to suitability for a professional job search (personally, we think ninjas are totally rad).

Hiring managers aren't psychic. They don't know that the applicant's area code is 435 and he spent 23 years training as a ninja; to them that address looks like a bunch of random information mashed together. There are many reasons that applicants get passed up for job opportunities, but your email address shouldn't be one of them. It's easy to get a free, professional email address for your job search.

There are certain letters, numbers, and characters you should try to avoid using in your professional email address. Most hiring managers will copy and paste your email address, but if they type it out you don't want to make them guess the makeup of one of your most vital pieces of contact information. Depending on the font, lowercase 'L', uppercase 'i' and '1' can look almost identical; the same is true of '0','o' and 'O', so avoid including these characters in your email address whenever possible.

Quick Tips:

  • Do use combinations of your first and last name

  • Do not use underscores

  • Avoid the letters 'O', 'i', 'o' and 'L'

  • Avoid the numbers '1' and '0'

If you do not already have a suitable email address, there are many free email providers out there. You may have to try several email addresses before you find one that isn't taken, but any combination of your first name and last name is generally a good one. If no reasonable combination of the two is available, then expand your address options to include your middle name or words related to the field you are pursuing.

In January 2011 alone, online job ads rose by 438,000 to a grand total of 4,273,000 postings. If you've been sending lots of job-related emails and getting few responses, you may be overlooking a stealthy culprit: your email address.