Is Your Email Address Sabotaging Your Career?

When it comes to hiring, employers and candidates insist that
first impressions still matter.  But apparently the brain hasn’t gotten
the message when the lips are moving and fingers are typing.  Quite a
few candidates are doing some pretty stupid things these days regarding
finding a job.

Let’s start with what is the possibly the very first point of contact
between a candidate and a company – the email address. The just
released HR Magazine
(May 2011) included an interesting article about how a cutesy, clever,
or freaky email address might create a bad first impression with the
employer.  For example, a few of my favorite inappropriate email
addresses submitted by candidates applying for jobs at my clients
included “[email protected], [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], [email protected] … and that’s just
scratching the surface.  With high unemployment and employers practicing
very selective hiring practices, turning an employer off with a
provocative email address might not be the best way to get the hiring
manager’s attention.

A recent study took this one step further.  Researchers rated the
email addresses of30,000  job seekers applying for entry-level, non
management jobs in the U.S. What they found was a potential link between
crazy sounding email addresses and low scores on pre-employment tests.

For example:

  • Cutesy and inspirational addresses and those with a money them scored slightly lower on pre employments assessment tests.
  • Candidates whose addresses were rated inappropriate  scored lower.
  • Candidates with appropriate email addresses scored higher in conscientiousness, professionalism, and work-rated experience.

I’m not suggesting – nor did the article – that employers should use
email addresses as a screening tool.  But when combined with a pre-employment test
assessing a candidate’s honesty, integrity, and work attitudes, the
email might trigger greater scrutiny during the interview and subsequent
background checks.

The study should prompt candidates to think twice about the email
address they attach to the resume  they attach to the job application.

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