5 kinds of e-mail address that could keep you from getting the job

What e-mail address you should use on your CV

E-mail is one of the dominant forms of communication when you’re looking for a new job, allowing you to send information like CVs, job descriptions and offers and contracts securely and more efficiently than trying to read them out over the phone!

But unlike a phone number, we can pick an e-mail address ourselves. And that means we can be judged on it in a job application. So what do the different sorts of e-mail address say about you?

All the examples we’re giving in this blog post are fictional, so if you spot your own e-mail address here, it’s purely coincidental (but we’ll change it if you let us know, don’t worry!).

cathy-iconThe unprofessional

If your e-mail address has any words like hot, sexy, lad etc., you aren’t doing yourself any favours in your job applications.  You would probably be a little put off from a job if your manager-to-be or a recruiter had a similar e-mail, and the same applies the other way round.  It looks unprofessional to be using this sort of e-mail address – it might have been the same e-mail address you used as a teenager, and by not seeing the need to change it will suggest you still think like one.

hannah-iconThe totally clueless

Don’t apply for jobs using your work e-mail. It’s hugely unprofessional to be applying for new jobs while you’re at your old one, and recruiters won’t look kindly on you for it. Your employer has every right to monitor your e-mail accounts, so you might find yourself out of a job sooner than you think. You could even find yourself facing legal action for misuse of company facilities.  The only exception to this is if you’re self-employed.

jo-iconThe default

These e-mails are usually somewhere along the lines of surname1@internetprovider.com.  E-mail addresses like this, provided for free by internet service providers so were used by the people paying the bills.  Unfortunately, these sorts of e-mail addresses will be showing your age, especially if the original internet provider doesn’t exist anymore.  Younger people (the so-called “digital natives”) weren’t paying for their own internet connections so they had to get e-mail addresses from elsewhere. While age-based discrimination is illegal, there are companies out there that will be put off from hiring an older person. Age can also (often wrongly) suggest a candidate is less confident with the digital and online world we now do business in.  If you’re concerned your age might keep you from securing your dream position, a new e-mail address is one way you can look more youthful in your job application.

katy-iconSomeone else’s

The CV says Philip Brown, but the e-mail address that we’re given by the job board is for a Jenny Brown.  Stop applying for jobs on your son’s behalf, Mum. You’ve been busted.

lynne-iconThe jobhopper

Williamcookjobs@gmail.com… You just haven’t found the right career, have you?  Or perhaps you’re just keeping your options open until the dream opportunity pops up.  If you have to have a separate e-mail account because you’re applying for that many jobs and need to keep them separate, you’re just prefacing your CV with an enormous red flag.


Of course, this blog is meant to be a bit tongue in cheek. And we’ve probably seen successful applicants use all of these different sorts of e-mail addresses on their CV. But there’s a serious point to be made too.  Just like everything else on your CV, the e-mail address you use, the one you want companies to contact you with, says something about your personality – hotlips66 might be a laugh down the pub, but what about her work ethic?  Some e-mail addresses may suggest you’re an older person as well, so if you’re worried you might face discrimination because you do have more experience, a new e-mail might be something to consider as well.

The best tactic is to go with something neutral – your name followed by the e-mail provider of your choice. With a couple of numbers thrown in if you can’t get the combination you want.