Sarah Mitchell, Associate Director
It’s a typical, modern day executive
search story. Recruiter calls executive. Recruiter describes to
potential candidate a position that could be the next big move of their
career. Potential candidate shares a bit about
his or her background and career interests, and the recruiter agrees
this could be a good fit for her client and the potential candidate.
Recruiter asks executive for his or her personal email address so she
can send along the position description.
And then, sometimes, things start getting weird.
following common email address faux pas are the most common offenders.
They might seem harmless and innocent, but they have definitely caused
us to ponder “what were they thinking?” Names, and addresses, have been
changed to protect the innocent.
1. The Attached at the Hip Address. At
least once a week, I am given a joint email account, along the lines of
bobandlinda@. Bob, or Linda, if that is the only personal email
address you have to give me, I am concerned that you aren’t giving one
another enough space. I realize I am not a relationship expert, but I do
know a thing or two about first impressions. The impression you are
giving me is that you don’t consider yourself enough of an individual to
get your own personal email address. An equally concerning email crime
is when someone gives us their spouse’s email address because they don’t
have one of their own. Then we are forced into awkward terrain,
wondering if we should address the candidate candidate’s spouse first in
the email, lest we seem rude, and worrying that the intended recipient
won’t get an important email until his or her spouse deplanes from a
cross country flight.
2. The TMI Address.
Sometimes we learn more about a highly accomplished executive’s
personal life too soon, with an address like ilovekittycatsmeow@ or
newyorkromeo3026@. I understand the importance of having a balanced and
rich life outside of the office, I really do. But perhaps one should
save these handles for the cat lover chat board or matchmaking service.
3. That’s So 2002 Address. This
one might take some by surprise, but it really does make a difference
if you have an outdated domain. When an executive still uses
@hotmail.com or @yahoo.com, or even worse
@aol.com, @comcast.net, or @verizon.net it says that he or she is
several years behind in technology at home. That goes quadruple for
someone with a technology company, or in an IT leadership role. Updating
to a @gmail address, or one’s own domain name, will not only be the
best thing you can do for managing your personal email, as the
technology is simply superior, but it will also save you some silent
A less than professional,
straightforward email is not going to be anyone’s downfall, but it sure
will give others pause. Given how easy, not to mention free, it is to
acquire a clean, straightforward, firstname.lastname@ address, there’s
no good reason to saddle yourself with an address that does anything
other than give you a quick and easy place to get your mail. If you have
any comments, you can reach me at my cat’s email address,
RuthPMitchell@gmail.com. Be sure to say hello.