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Having a career you love with the pay you deserve is your number one priority. You’ve invested time and money into prepping for interviews and developing your elevator pitch. Maybe you’ve spruced up your social media profiles and have been diligent about establishing an expert reputation. You submit résumé after résumé, but no one is calling back.

Not sure what is responsible for the negative impact on your results? Here are three secrets your email address reveals about you during your job search:

Your hobbies

When you opt to download an app, sign up for a newsletter, or create a customer account, you’ll be asked for an email address. Your email address is a significant component of your digital footprint. By conducting a search for your email address, employers — or anyone — can see the music you listen to (from apps such as Pandora or Spotify) or the social media sites you’ve joined. Take some time and Google your email address. You may be surprised at what you find. Audit the privacy settings on your personal accounts and delete anything that may hinder your job search success.

Your age

Gmail is considered the gold standard for email. Not only is it the most common email service for job seekers, but it also offers one of the most widely used content sharing and social networking platforms, Google+. Older professionals tend to use services such as Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL. Using the email assigned by your ISP is slightly better than old school services, but signals you’re behind the times, not tech-savvy enough, or just too lazy to branch out. Some of us are loyal and see no reason to jump on the wave of every new trend. However, to maintain a competitive edge in the job market, change is necessary. If the hardest thing about converting email services is notifying your contacts that you’re making a switch, get over it. Forwarding your old account to the new one will work just fine.

Your professionalism

Time and time again, employers deny opportunities for job seekers with unprofessional email addresses. You may be the queen of shade, slay, and lit, but neither will produce a job offer if it’s not relevant to the position. Employers will frown upon details such as date of birth, year of graduation, nicknames, and derogatory words, so eliminate them from your email address. Stick to some variation of your first and last name. Make it easy for recruiters to find you in their inboxes. Take it to the next level by including an email address linked to your personal website. Ditch that college email address once you’ve graduated. Feel free to keep the “fun” account, but be sure to have a separate email address that is only tied to your job search. If an employer does research you, they’ll have a harder time uncovering the less than PC content you haven’t had a chance to delete yet.

Your digital footprint represents your brand. You can more efficiently protect your integrity when you understand the secrets of how employers use your internet data for employment purposes.

Ashley Watkins, of Write Step Resumes, LLC, helps job seekers and career changers find the careers of their dreams by offering the perfect résumé writing, interview preparation, and career coaching services. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or via www.WriteStepResumes.com.


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