I get some great information from one of the blogs I enjoy reading, InterviewChatter, and recently commented on this subject. I wanted to take a moment and expand on my experiences with this and explain the impact of the email address on your image during the job search process.
Lets be honest, there are a lot of people out there with some emails that I would not want. They indicate interests or self esteem, political affiliation or *** orientation. I have seen emails that range from the simple to the simply odd. The job search process is not the place to push your personal agenda or social make up on possible employers. It is a time where you are to look attractive, be professional, and offer a solid image to companies so they will take interest in your services. The email address is a constant form of communication that is common to every aspect of our lives. From business cards to resumes, email is one of the largest communicating platforms we have and therefore forms an association between your name and who you are as a person.
Unprofessional screen names or emails are a certain death sentence to the job search process. Would you hire someone that had a email like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com? I do not know many people that would but each and every day there are resumes that come across my desk of professionals seeking gainful employment with these sort of blunders staring me in the eye on a resume they probably took hours to construct. What they do not realize is that most people will not even read past the name/address/email when they are faced with a ridiculous email. They will simply move forward with other candidates, looking for the best possible skill set and not having some hard to look over email.
Image is everything. I know that it might be unfair, but the professional image that one represents offers a solid insight into what that person might be like as an employee. With an email like one mentioned above, the possibilities are endless of what someone might do or say within the office and therefore offer more threats than positives when considering them as an employee. Business is one of decisions and in most cases minimizing risk across the company while making a profit. Hiring the best people is the key to making that happen and the factors in determining that can be difficult as well as ambiguous. Give employers a reason to want you, not a glaring red flag that says “please do not hire me". If you think that personal email does not say that, than you are kidding yourself.
Bottom line, keep the email and just go get another one. With all of the free domain email providers like Yahoo and Google, there is no reason you cannot go out and have a professional email in minutes. Use that for your job search and keep your personal for another time. Best of all, it allows for a common place to keep all of your files and correspondence with potential employers in one place rather than having to check multiple emails.
Jason Monastra is a 10 year veteran in the recruiting industry and current partner with United Global Technologies, http://www.ugtechnologies.com - a leading recruiting and consulting firm serving the IT and engineering vertical based out of Charlotte NC.