Resume header: Your professional email address

One of the most common resume “uh-oh”s I see is with email addresses. Is it overly picky to care about someone’s email address? Here’s the point: this is just one of the many elements that can contribute to a professional image.

It might seem obvious that certain e-mail addresses do not convey professionalism. I’ll take your word for it, but our office might not call you in for an Unless I’ve advertised for a personal trainer, that’s probably not relevant.

Aside from a professional-sounding address, for consistency of personal branding, I recommend an email address that closely matches the name on your resume. This kind of address has the added bonus of always being recognizable; it takes the guesswork out of a contact list.

Did you know that there are certain details that should not be in your email address? At Peak Performers we are widely recognized for our nondiscrimination advocacy. Unfortunately, not every other employer shares this value. To play it safe—and, again, to demonstrate that you’re familiar with professional, industry standards—I recommend an e-mail address that doesn’t include:

  • a reference to age or year of birth
  • race or national origin
  • religion
  • familial status (marriage, children, being a grandma/grandpa, etc.)
  • or a reference to any other characteristic that is a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

One of my favorite “inappropriate email address” real-life examples is the curse of a name that inherently sounds unprofessional. Ms. Goodbody, anyone? My guess is that if life has saddled you with a name like this, an email address is probably the least of your worries. For professionalism’s sake, the author over at SnagAJob suggests using a type of format. This helps Ms. Goodbody land that coveted interview–and gives her a readymade joke once the recruiter sees her resume!

Above all, the most important thing is that you give out an e-mail address that you actually check. The hazard of setting up a new, professional e-mail address (kept separate from your personal e-mail correspondence) is that you’ll forget to check it. The solution is simple: set up account forwarding. This way, you’ll be able to send and receive e-mails as a professional, with the convenience of being able to check both accounts wherever, whenever.

Since Gmail seems to be the most popular e-mail provider for these new, professional addresses, I’ll leave you with a tip on how to set up e-mail forwarding with Gmail.