What Does Your E-mail Address Say About You?

Given how tough the economy is these days, even minor typos in resumes, cover letters and job applications have been known to sink candidates’ chances for new employment. However, did you know that your e-mail address might also be giving off a very negative impression?

When the Internet was more commonly accessed through Internet service providers such as America Online and CompuServe, it was the usual practice for people to pick user names that did not contain their actual name, in order to preserve their anonymity. Many people also chose user names that reflected their personality, such as “SexyGirl69″ and “BadBoyXXX.”

However, as Internet use has become more prevalent in the business world over the last 10-15 years, the trend has been toward user names and personal e-mail addresses in professional correspondence that reflect the name of the person behind the messages, rather than a clever anonymous pseudonym. The reason for this is the same reason that formality is generally demanded in business communications in the first place, which is that one simply cannot assume that one will get along on a personal basis with a client or customer with whom one is doing business. Business relationships demand a certain level of formality so that people with widely differing viewpoints and ideas about the world can successfully interact with each other, and user names like “SexyGirl69″ and “BadBoyXXX” presume a certain level of friendliness and familiarity with people that is wholly inappropriate in the business world.

Aside from whatever direct impact this kind of user name may have on a person reviewing your resume, it also tells a potential employer that you do not know how to communicate with customers or potential future coworkers on a professional basis. Although this is clearly not the intention of the people who use these user names, their use can communicate a kind of immaturity that can be fatal to job applications in this tough environment. Instead, most personal e-mail addresses these days used in professional correspondence are composed of some combination of a person’s first name, last name, or initials and maybe with some numbers, dashes or underscores thrown in for people with common names. With a professional sounding e-mail address, you can be certain you are putting your best foot forward in job applications and other business settings.

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