If you use email for personal use, you may have had the same email address for a while. When you created it, you may not have given too much thought to how suitable it would be for job hunting. But there are a few things to consider.
Does it give the right impression?
Is it saying anything it shouldn’t?
Using something like firstname.lastname@example.org would be wrong on just about every level. Now might be a good time to have a sideways look at the email address you’re throwing in front of potential employers and recruiters, and check that it’s making the right impact. You want to stand out, but you want to stand out for the right reasons.
It makes sense to grab a new email address and only use it for job hunting. It helps to keep the job-related emails and the emails of cats with hats separate in your inbox. Job hunting also throws up lots of spam and using a different email account that you can stop using once you’ve found a job makes sense. Hopefully one day, you’ll no longer need job alerts popping into your inbox four times a day. You don’t want to have to trawl through your mailbox and unsubscribe to each email.
There are a few ways of getting a new email address.
Signing up to a cloud service like Google, Outlook, GMX or iCloud, is the most common, but you won’t be able to control the full address. The providers’ name will always form part of it. Services like these have been around for a while, so the common combinations of names may have already gone. Google has already issued 1.9 billion email addresses, so I doubt you’ll be able to get email@example.com or even firstname.lastname@example.org. You might, therefore, need to get a little creative when picking your address, and that might get you right back to square one.
One benefit of using Google, Outlook and iCloud is that you’re getting more than just email. You get access to their cloud-based drive for storing files and docs, their cloud office suites for editing docs and also calendars, notepads and contacts, for day-to-day admin.
All have web-based email clients and all, apart from GMX, have an email app. They can also bolt into more generic email apps and in all cases, configuring them is easy. In most cases they auto-configure.
If you can’t find a suitable address using the ‘usual suspects’, or you’d like more control to what’s both before and after the ‘@’ sign. An excellent alternative is to use an email provider.
You need some IT knowledge to do this, and it also comes at a cost. At the time of writing setting up an account with Zoho (https://www.zoho.com/mail/) costs £9.60 for the year. But the benefit is ending up with an email address similar to email@example.com. You can pick the domain name (johnsmith.com) and then the name before the ‘@’ sign. The domain name has to unique, but there’s enough choice as you don’t have to use ‘.com’. There are hundreds of options that include ‘.me’, ‘.net’ or even ‘.email’. You can see all the options possible before you pay.
Configuring email applications like Outlook to use these types of email accounts is more involved. Each service does though have the process documented.
Using an email specific provider like this is straightforward, and it only takes a few minutes to set up. In reality, you’re registering a domain name and only using email with it. Some might see that as a missed opportunity, and you can go a little further.
If you own a domain, along with your email, you could also host a website. You could then point potential employers, and recruiters at it and show them more information about your skills, qualifications or experience?. The Internet gods (cue heald of trumpets) set up ‘.me’ (johnsmith.me) for precisely this purpose.
Setting this up, then designing and managing a website can be a little intimidating, and requires time and some IT confidence. But it’s not as complicated as you might imagine. The chances are that if you can put a PowerPoint presentation together, then you’d have the skills to build a good looking website and manage any emails associated with it.
It also costs more but, you’d then have a professional-looking email address that references a website that enhances your CV.
That must give a better impression than firstname.lastname@example.org.
In part two of this post, we’ll look at what makes a good and bad email address.