Career & Education

What difference does my email address make?

Carolyn Marie Smith

Sunday, June 25, 2017

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Dear Career Advisor:

Are employers that picky that they might refuse our application because they don't like our email address? My mother feels the reason I have not yet received an invitation for an interview is because of my e-mail address.

Yours truly,



Dear Keji:

Thank you for your question. To protect your privacy, your email address was removed from your letter. Having seen it, however, we do understand the reason for your mother's concern.

When it comes to the job search, the little things matter in a big way. Things that might appear insignificant to the applicant, an e-mail address being one, could in some way influence the employer's decision. You may contend that if the rest of your résumé is appropriate and aptly demonstrates your competencies, your personal preference of e-mail address should not matter. But believe it or not, it does make a difference.

An employer pays attention to any detail that gives insight into your personality — the font type, the size of your name on the page, your EMAIL ADDRESS. Take nothing for granted. If the address or elicits laughter from you, just imagine what runs through the mind of an employer to whom you wish to portray the image of a consummate professional.

In addition to words that have a frivolous or unsavoury connotation, here are a few things to avoid when creating an email address:

1. Clues to your age, religious or political affiliation (eg: janey87)

2. Anything that conveys a certain opinion you may hold of yourself (eg: 2hot4u)

3. Complex, codified-looking addresses (eg: RDWRER)

4. References to any questionable habits (eg: bingedrinkr) or hobbies (eg: lovetoski). In fact, do not include anything to which you may be attached or which you hold in high esteem.

The safest and simplest rule of thumb when creating an email for professional purposes is to use your name. Another option is to continue using your academic institution's email. Keep your email address simple and professional. If you must stand out, do so with your accomplishments, not with questionable or complex e-mail addresses.


Career Advisor



Carolyn Marie Smith is associate vice-president of student services at Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Manchester. Submit your questions to her at




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