What should a professional email address look like?

What should a professional email address look like?

  1. Pick an address that you can stick with - your current copy of your resume may last a lot longer than you think. The email address is an ideal way to contact someone about a job, so make sure you'll be regularly findable at that location. Things to avoid here: a friend's server, domains you think you'll leave within 3 years, work addresses that will go away when you leave your current position.
  2. Get good spam filtering - resumes are public things, they get spread far and wide. That's great for your career options, bad for spam. Make sure you have a reasonably decent spam filter on this account.
  3. Set up your account for frequent checking - many fields and recruiters expect a turn around time in hours to days, not weeks. Don't set up an account that you aren't prepared to check regularly.
  4. Avoid references to race, creed, gender, religion, or particularly wild things in your username - john.smith.programmer479 is better than wildandcrazysaturdaynightspecial - no matter what you read into that... it's just not professional.
  5. Avoid very long, typo-prone cases - Realize that in some cases you'll have to hand write the email address or that it may end up being hand-typed by a reader - a few numbers are not a big deal - john.smith.394857 is fine. But something with a very long string of digits, or cases of highly typo prone usernames are something to avoid (Il|1i - are easily confusable with each other - particularly in some styles of hand writing, as are oO0 - easier to figure out from context - if the context is clear).
  6. Do connect it with anything professionally related to you, don't connect it to anything that makes you look unprofessional - the classic being don't use a username for your email that is easily connected to your drunken pictures on Facebook. But the positive view is that it's not so bad if, for example, your username is easily connected to great questions and answers on Stack Exchange.

In general, no one is going to be bothered by an exceedinly boring email. Just keep it easy to read, easy to type and non-offensive. And check your email early and often.

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