Article by Michelle Stute, Marketing Director
California Legal Jobs - CAlawjobs.com
Irvine, California / United States
While you are pretty much stuck with the name your parents chose for you, you can choose your own unique email name. Perhaps this accounts for some of the many creative and colorful e-mail names I've seen on job resumes since I've worked for Davidson Staffing.
While conducting a search for a marketing assistant recently, I encountered a resume from someone with a particularly distasteful email name, and set out on a mission to inform job seekers to think before emailing a resume!
As a marketing professional, it's my job to ask myself, "Who is my audience?" before I begin a marketing campaign. As a job seeker, you must realize that your e-mail resume is part of a marketing campaign, and potential employers are your audience. Every bit of information you send to an employer communicates and reveals something about you. Think about it - what perception is conjured up by the email name "freakgirl"? Or "dirtykitty"? How about "lovemuffin"? Unless you're seeking an exciting opportunity in the adult entertainment industry, these email names are likely to be viewed by an employer as inappropriate.
I asked Davidson Staffing's recruiters to share the worst e-mail names they've encountered, and I really touched a nerve. Amazingly, there are scores of otherwise hireable candidates who may never get to the interview stage simply because of an inappropriate email name. The best of the worst examples were; "joeslovemuffin", "hotchick", "cutecountrydncr", "duckfeet", "religiousman", and "sxykitten", just to name just a few.
Your first communication with a potential employer is most often your e-mail resume. The first impression is critical to getting your resume read and advancing to the interview stage. Cindy Crisp, a senior account manager at Davidson who's an eight year staffing veteran, points out...
"Depending upon the email name, it can reveal a lot about your after hours activities, your age, or worse yet, put a perception in their mind that is completely untrue."
Shannon Adams, Manager of Legal and Technical Staffing, concurs...
"The problem is that e-mail names give an employer an impression before a candidate has an opportunity to present their skills. Even the nicest of email names, such as "fairyprincess" or "sweetiepie", can still be viewed negatively by employers. Perhaps you are applying for a telemarketing job. The employer may pass on "sweetiepie" because of the perception it gives."
While many employers will find a personal email name too personal or inappropriate, you should also consider that an unscrupulous hiring manager may be interested in you because of a sexy e-mail name. Tabbie, a former recruiter, said the most inappropriate email name she'd seen was "sxykitten".
"It is not only bad to not be selected for "sxykitten", but it may be even worse for someone to select you because of it," she said, "Not all companies have great morals, so what you see as playfulness could be dangerous and put you in a bad situation."
Our recruiters have encountered a range of attitudes when suggesting a change in e-mail name to a candidate, from embarrassment to laughter, to seriousness to outright anger. Says Shannon...
"Many job seekers do not realize the negative implications, especially if they are a sweetiepie. Most think you are overreacting."
The solution to this problem is simple - email providers like AOL allow you to choose multiple screen/e-mail names, and there are scores of Internet sites that will allow you to set up free email accounts. You can go to Yahoo or MSN's Hotmail and set up an e-mail account with a generic name based on your own name and keep it specifically for your job search. For example, I might choose "Michelle_Stute", "MStute2002", or "MStute_Marketing". Using a different email account during your job search is also a great way to separate job search related e-mails from your personal emails. Some sites will even send you popup alerts when a new message is received, which will allow you to stay on top of employer responses.
The moral of this story, dear job seekers, is this; remember that while you may have fantastic skills and give a stellar interview, you may never even get a foot in the door with a freaky or funny email name like "shedevil", "martiniman", or "studmuffin". While you never know how an employer perceives you before they meet you, you can control some of the variables they evaluate you by. Silly e-mail names are just fine with your AOL buddy list but they are not appropriate during a job search. Put yourself in the employer's shoes and think twice before you send that email!
Michelle Stute manages Davidson Staffing's marketing department. Davidson Staffing specializes in Legal Staffing, Administrative Staffing, and Technical Staffing and is headquartered in Irvine, California. Original article at...
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