Never Put THIS on Your Resume!
If you want to make a good impression, there is one thing you should never include on your resume: a cute, amusing, hip, witty or clever e-mail address. Why? It looks so unprofessional that it could actually be a career killer.
That's the word from Kevin Tamanini, a doctoral candidate in industrial and organizational psychology at Ohio University in Athens, who told LiveScience.com, "People want to be creative, but that urge to be creative can be a hindrance if you're looking for jobs." Job candidates with quirky e-mail addresses are rated lower by potential employers than those who have more professional sounding e-mail names, which would typically be their first and last name or initials.
Since fully 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies accept job applications online, the human resources department's first impression of you is often your e-mail address, and it could easily determine if your resume is deleted with a click of the mouse or forwarded to a hiring manager. Even more alarming, automatic online screening could determine your e-mail address sounds like spam and toss it in the e-trash before human eyes ever see it. Examples of unprofessional e-mail addresses include alliecat@, bacardigirl@, bighotdaddy@, drunkensquirl@, foxylady@, gigglez217@.
E-mail addresses are a piece of personal information about you that can turn subjective, just like your gender or looks. "A person has no control over gender, race or physical attractiveness, but can determine an e-mail name," Tamanini told LiveScience.
The study: Tamanini collected 200 e-mail addresses from a variety of sources, including university professors. He then showed 20 of them to 200 college students and asked them to rate the addresses on each of five criteria: success, ethical caring, popular fun, degree of masculinity and degree of professionalism. Resumes were then attached to selected e-mail addresses that sounded professional and unprofessional and a group of 90 students were told to act as if they were entry-level employees who were screening applicants for a managerial job.
The results: Applicants who used more professional e-mail names were given higher scores for effort, personal responsibility, management skills, success and motivation than those who used quirky e-mail names, regardless of whether their resume was of high- or low-quality. "I would think that people in the actual business arena would have an even stronger reaction to unprofessional e-mail names," Tamanini said.
The takeaway: Go ahead and keep your quirky e-mail address, but do set up a second address that sounds more professional to use for job-hunting.
The study results were presented at the annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology in New York in April 2007.
--From the Editors at Netscape