One of my biggest pet peeves in recruitment (particularly resume screening) is seeing email addresses that are unprofessional. Your email address is a reflection of you. It seems inherently personal because it's something you likely use for corresponding with friends and family, but if you're going to put it on a resume it should reflect your professionalism.
Ideally, your email address should contain your name. If you have a name that is difficult to spell, considering switching out for your initials. For example, I might use "SheilaKnights@host.com" but sometimes Sheila is misspelled, so "Sknights@host.com" might be a better option. You can include numbers but, in my opinion, it's best to omit them as they're easily mis-typed or mis-read by a recruiter. Please avoid using your birth year in your email address - age is something that should not come up until after you've been offered a position. "SheilaKnights1986@host.com" just gives away too much too soon, it looks unprofessional. If you're going to use numbers, try two or three digits and avoid any years; "firstname.lastname@example.org" wouldn't be considered unprofessional.
I know that some people like more anonymity in their email address or are cautious about their online presence. In that case, I've seen some professional email addresses that are related to the field they're in. For example, "HRgeneralist@host.com" or "SheilaHR@host.com". These addresses aren't as cut and dry for professionalism though - I'd recommend brainstorming and asking friends/colleagues for their opinion before registering one.
This tip was considered specifically for ladies but it would apply to anyone who has changed their name: ensure consistency in your application. Your email address should match your display name (that shows up when you send an email) and it should also match what's on your cover letter and resume. I often get the impression that some candidates are confused about what their current name is because they'll switch back and forth. It's confusing, and we log you by your full name so if you're using two then your application will likely be split in half between your two personas. Take some time to proofread and make sure that you're portraying your personal brand accurately.
Choosing a host is sometimes difficult as well. I would recommend Gmail, as it is so common that it's unlikely to be mistyped by a recruiter. Try to avoid anything with ".ca" as an ending as most will automatically type ".com" without thinking or verifying. Hotmail and Outlook are other common ones, I would avoid going too out of the box in fear that it might be overlooked (for example, I've caught myself typing "Gmail" when the carrier was "yahoo"). If a recruiter is sifting through a pile of resumes they might miss your funky host and then you would never hear from them. Creating your own domain to host your account isn't a bad idea either, just make sure it's professional and not something easily misspelled.
It's often easier for me to point out what NOT to do than to provide tips on creating a professional email address. Here are some suggestions of what I should definitely not see on your resume:
I could go on and on with these. I honestly wish I didn't have so many examples to go off of (these are all based off true emails I have actually seen on resumes). Take the extra few minutes and create a permanent professional email address that you can use both for your business/professional life and your home life.
Sheila Knights brings three years of human resources experience to her current role as a Resource Management Support Clerk with the Department of National Defence. Formerly residing in the Ottawa Valley, Sheila has been eager to continuously upgrade her skills even with the limited opportunities presented by a rural community. She is currently enrolled in a part-time online Business Administration program through Algonquin College working towards her CHRP certification.