Sunday, September 11, 2011

Virtual First Impressions: Why Your E-mail Address Matters

 In this digital age, there are many times where the first contact with another human being is a virtual one. From virtual introductions to on-line applications, the first time someone ‘meets’ you may very well be via an e-mail.

Do you realize that you can effectively lose a career opportunity or job based upon your e-mail address alone?  In this day of virtual address books, we rarely have to type an e-mail address more than once, however, the kind of a ‘first impression’ are you making when someone really looks at the address to try to figure out if they know you before opening that first e-mail, or they have to type your e-mail that first time is critical for your success.

When doing anything that is of a personal, professional nature (be it applying for a job, applying to school, submitting a loan application, etc.), make sure that you use an e-mail address that contains your name. Using an e-mail address such as allows you to make a professional ‘first impression’. Likewise, any of the following are professional, personal e-mail addresses: (where ‘’ may be,,,,, etc.)

USE YOUR REAL NAME. If you have a common name, add a number but not the year you were born, 3-digit area code, city, or something similar.  Unprofessional e-mail addresses are actually used as an excuse to ‘dismiss’ someone from consideration when there is a crowded field of applicants.

One more note: While and e-mail addresses are fine, if you want to change your internet service provider, you are going to have to change your e-mail address, as well. You might be better served by setting up your personal e-mail address on a free service such as those available from Google, Yahoo, MSN, or a myriad of others. By doing this, you are less ‘obligated’ to your Internet Service Provider because you can switch your service provider without changing your e-mail address. You may also want to consider setting up an e-mail account on a free service provider that is used only for job searching.

P.S. Don’t forget to have a professional sounding message on your answering machine, too!

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at