If you are about to be unemployed, take a moment to follow Strom’s rules for appropriate email names:
1. Avoid use of Hotmail, MSN, AOL, Juno and Yahoo addresses. Get a Gmail address, or better yet, pony up the cash to get your own domain and let Google host your email for you. We are talking about $10 a year to do this properly, and the level of IT skills isn’t onerous to do so.
2. If you must use a free account, try to not use names that aren’t professional, such as ones that include cartoon characters, sexual or religious references, or other things that are best left to your personal side. This isn’t a matter of free expression or taste. Ideally, it should be some combination of your first and last name. Sometimes you might not realize what your name implies: one Kentucky woman was using “email@example.com” — stick with your name!
3. Pick something that is easy to hear and understand. If you have to spell it out when you are on the phone, use something else. You are going to be giving out your email address a lot, and this can get tiring.
4. Don’t use punctuation marks or numbers in your name. Why? See point #3. I know many corporate emails use dots or underscores, but that doesn’t mean you have to use them.
5. Make sure you use one address for all of your job-related activities: resume, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Monster, Craigslist, etc. Set up these services to send you notifications when people post messages on them, so you can stay up to date. Remember, it is your brand, or it will be soon enough. You don’t want to have to check lots of different email addresses during your search.
6. Speaking of checking email, please remember to do so at least twice a day. Respond to any inquiries quickly. You want to show that you are on top of things.
7. Start putting your connections (what some of us used to call our Rolodex) in your email address book. You just need first and last name, a title or some other thing to remember the contact by, a phone number and an email address. Gmail can auto-populate your address book to help things.
8. Remember that email addresses aren’t case-sensitive, so David@strom.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and dAvId@Strom.com are all the same mailbox.
9. Put your email address on your own business cards, along with your phone, LinkedIn address, and other identifying information. You can get inexpensive but good looking cards printed at OvernightPrints.com, too.
Good luck with your job search!