Perhaps a long time ago, when your biggest concerns were what to do after school or how you were going to make it to basketball practice after your part-time job, an email address of “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com” seemed innocuous. Fun, even. My best friend in high school had firstname.lastname@example.org. Which was pretty great. (Please don’t spam my old friend. I anonymised it, but still.)
But you’re grown up now. You may still love My Little Pony, and that’s fine. But expressing your love for Pinkie Pie in your email address is not going to present a very good impression on your resume. I’m sorry. It’s time to get a new email address. Fortunately, they’re free. We have a few suggestions.
- Your address should reflect your name. You’re unlikely to be able to get, for instance, email@example.com. I’d wager that some other Mohammad beat you to it. However, there are lots of ways to get something unique. Switch your first name and last name. Add middle initials. Add numbers. Add punctuation. firstname.lastname is great, if you can get it. It’s easy to remember and it’s professional.
- Choose your email provider a little more carefully. Hotmail was great, but because so many kids (and adults who were kids) have/had Hotmail addresses, it’s perceived as less professional. People give a little more credence to gmail, though. Outlook is Hotmail all grown up. There are other providers available, too. Yahoo is still going, as is Lycos(!). You can try Inbox.com as well, if you want something simple. There are many options.
- Add a signature. Include your other contact information. A quote is not necessarily a bad thing, but consider it before you add it to every email you send.
- Fill out the contact information. When your email appears in someone’s inbox, the sender is usually listed as someone’s name, not as their email address. Fill that out so your email comes from you.
- Use spell check. At a minimum. Your OS has one. Your browser has one. And if neither of those do, Gmail has one.
Before we sign off, we should also say a few words abotu voicemail. You should have it. If you don’t get it. And when you record your greeting, keep it simple. Silly and fun are great, but if you want to make a favourable first impression, stick with simple: “Hello. You’ve reached Firstname Lastname. Sorry I missed your call, but if you leave a message, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” It says everything that needs to be said. You can add instructions, but by now most people know what information you’ll need to get in touch.
Good luck on your search. If you need more help with it, WIL is always willing to lend a hand.