You may not give your email address much thought, but having a professional email is a must if you want to make a good impression on recruiters. There’s no getting away from it. Even if you send your application by email, you will still need to include an email address in your CV which recruiters can reach you at. Make sure that it’s not a funny one or one that gives off an unprofessional vibe.
Your email address is one of the first thing recruiters will notice, because it sits at the top of your CV, amongst your contact details. If it doesn’t reflect the image that you’re trying to convey (hopefully one of professionalism), it doesn’t matter how good your CV is.
Don’t use an unprofessional email address
When including your email address in your CV, it’s important to think about the impression it creates. An email address like [email protected] or [email protected] may sound funny to your friends but scream unprofessionalism to recruiters.
By the same token, using a personal email address that includes your birth year gives away information that you may not have wanted to disclose and that could leave you open to age discrimination.
Applying by email
You may think that if you are applying by email, you don’t need to include an email address in your CV. However, that’s not the case.
Employers and recruiters often print out CVs as this makes for easier scanning and reading. If an employer prints out your CV, then it is separated from your email message. Therefore, include an email address so that they don’t have to remember which email to reply to!
When applying by email, send your CV and cover letter as a PDF attachment. This will preserve the formatting of both documents. Add file names that include your first name, surname, job title and document type to make it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to identify and categorise your documents, e.g.
Also, include a subject line in your email to ensure that it ends up in the right place, i.e. in the hands of the hiring manager.
Applying by post or with an online form
When applying by post or via an online application, we strongly recommend that you still include an email address in your CV.
Large companies and recruitment agencies tend to process large volumes of applications and will rarely be able to reply to you by post. By including an email address, you give them a quick and easy way to contact you.
With online application forms, there’s usually a field for entering your email address, which you won’t be able to get around.
Set up an email address if you don’t have one
Nowadays, it’s rare not to have an email address. However, if it is the case that you don’t have an email address, it’s highly recommended that you set one up. This is because recruiters will expect to be able to reach you via email.
What’s more, an email address makes it easy for you to deal with your job applications on the go without being bound to a desk. You can basically send and receive emails from any device that is connected to the Internet, including laptops, smartphones or even smartwatches.
Make sure that you check your emails regularly when applying for a job so that you don’t miss any invitations to interview! Also, check the ‘junk’ and ‘spam’ inboxes in case any messages from recruiters have landed there.
Avoid using your work email address
It’s always wise to search for jobs as discreetly as possible when you’re employed. If your boss catches on that you’re looking for a new job, it may raise questions about your reliability and loyalty. What’s worse, they may start looking for a new hire and force you out before you’re ready to leave.
There’s also the risk of forwarding or copying a colleague on a job-related email, who may provide an unfavourable reference or even snatch the job right from under your nose.
Save yourself the headaches that come with using a work email by using a personal email address or one that you’ve specially set up for job applications.
What’s a good email address for job applications?
A good email address contains your surname and your first name or the initial of your first name so that it is easily identifiable. Examples of a professional email address for a person named John Smith:
Ideally, you’re also using an email provider that’s cutting edge and up-to-date such as Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo. For Apple users, iCloud Mail is probably best.
While it’s fine to use a provider such as AOL, as it’s older than the Internet, it could give the impression that you’re behind the times.
If you want to go one step further, you could even set up your own domain. Not only do emails from a custom domain look more professional, but there’s also less chance that they will end up in the spam folder. Your personal domain could look something like this: