Career & Education

What difference does my e-mail address make?

Career Advisor

Carolyn Marie Smith

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Dear Career Advisor:

I've heard it said that employers judge one's professionalism by, among other things, one's e-mail address. What difference does my e-mail address make and why should that matter to an employer if I have the requisite qualifications and experience?



Dear Sara-Ann:

When it comes to the job hunt, the little things matter in a big way. What you have heard is correct: for most recruiters everything that you present is considered a representation of your professional image and persona. This includes your e-mail address. It might seem insignificant, 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, and 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. The safest and simplest rule of thumb is to use your name. Just keep it simple. However, for those who still wish to have creativity and wit shine through, here are a few things to avoid:

1. Clues to your age, religious, or political affiliation (eg: janey93)

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: lovetoparti). In fact, do not include anything to which you may be attached or which you hold in high esteem.

Although you may be comfortable with your existing e-mail address, consider creating a new one that has a professional appeal which you will use for your job search and other business communique. This doesn't mean that you have to abandon your existing e-mail address, simply reserve it for informal communication.

Remember, in the business of your career journey and development, even the tiniest details can prove hindrances to your advancement.


Career Advisor

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

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