By Betty Punkert, Employment Facilitator/Computer Instructor
Many of my clients have an email address when they first come to see me. Since your email address is part of your brand, sometimes this can be a problem. hotmamafuzz@, while it may be funny, is not going to be appropriate for your job search.
It is quite common for people to have a personal email and a separate one they only use for job search or business purposes. Here are some guidelines if you need to set up a new e-mail account.
1) Use whatever service you are most comfortable with
We teach Gmail here at the center in our classes and workshops, but if you already have a Hotmail account, you might as well create it there instead. We do not recommend Yahoo, simply because they have no online storage component and they seem to be really prone to hacking. Let’s not try to teach you a whole new system at this point. (If you have Shaw or MTS mail you should be able to set up secondary e-mails or aliases, but you probably need to talk to your friendly tech support guru from their company about that.)
2) Do NOT include your year of birth
This is such a common error. I get people who complain they are being discriminated against due to their age, and it’s right there in their email address like a blinking sign no matter what changes I make in their resume. But when you have a common name and you are frustrated because it won’t accept anything, it’s what a lot of people fall back on. If you’re going to use a number, try something like 007 or 13 or 42 or 99 or even 204 for Manitoba’s primary area code (do NOT use 69, it’s not appropriate). It’s better to try adding something like mb or ca to your email ID as people don’t like typing numbers.
3) You want something in the form of firstlast@ (or a variation)
Your professional email should contain your name. Not a nickname. If you have a business of your own and have an email address registered to that business, you might be able to get away with that, but be cautious because obviously declaring that you are a small business owner can backfire. (Many times people become their own boss precisely because they don’t like taking orders, so there is some concern that they won’t make good employees.) If you are concerned about privacy, try your first and middle initial and your last name. If your name is super common (Smith is always a challenge), see above for some ideas about how to make it unique.
4) Never EVER email anything from your current employer (and be careful with schools)
I really shouldn’t have to say this, but it comes up more than you would think. If your only email is at your current job, you should create one that is yours. Think of it as having a digital affair on your current employer. School emails can be tricky, even though they let you keep them as an alumni, often for years. If you are still in school, that’s acceptable, but if you have been graduated for a year or more, your email needs to graduate too.
NOTE: The ONLY time applying with your work email is acceptable is if you are applying for an internal job or promotion with your existing company, in which case they would expect you to use their system.
If you need help setting up a professional email account, you can drop in for one of our Walk In Wednesdays (check our calendar for upcoming dates: https://ovrc.ca/events/month) in the morning. Or you can book a one on one appointment with our Reception desk at 204-989-6503. We’ll set up your professional email account on either Gmail or Hotmail and walk you through the basics.