One area of personal branding that is often overlooked is an individual’s email address. Whether emailing a college admissions officer, potential employer, business contact or family member, their first impression is your email address. So, make it a good one…
I was recently on Alexia Vernon’s website and reviewed her very impressive “Alexia in Action” promotional video. One section that particularly stood out for me, was when she stated: “What does your email address read? One of my favorites that I recently got from a student: SexyDragonSlayer22. Now, while SexyDragonSlayer22 might slay dragons while she is not in my class, I didn’t want to know that. And your employer doesn’t want to know that either!”
While it may seem like common sense for someone with a technical background like myself to have a professional email address, others may not realize the image certain aspects of an email address can imply. Everything from the username to the Internet provider you use helps the recipient judge a contact even before referencing the content of the message.
As displayed by the image above, Matthew Inman of the webcomic The Oatmeal has some very strong opinions as to what your email provider determines in regards to your technical skills, which social networks you frequent and even the acronyms you use most often. He shares these sentiments with human resource administrators and college admissions officers.
It is vital to have a professional email address from a well-respected email provider when applying to college and potential employers. I would recommend taking full advantage of the numerous free online applications Google allows its users. Simply sign up for a Gmail account and gain access to Google Documents, Calendar and many more tools for organization, productivity and education. For a full list of their current offerings, visit their Google Products page.
Furthermore, an appropriate username is required before contacting other professionals. As previously mentioned, it is not advised to contact a potential employer with the username “SexyDragonSlayer22”. Try to use your real name. If it is already taken, try to use your middle initial or add in a “.” Or “_” in between your first and last name. It is also popular to use only your first initial followed by your last name. Only in extreme circumstances should you include numbers in your username. And avoid using special interests/hobbies (PhotoJohn@email.com).
So, what does your email address say about you?