Month: January 2015

3 Reasons to use a Professional Email Address

Fact: It remains a very competitive environment for job seekers.

While it varies by occupation-type, companies receive, on average, 250 applications for each open position. Hiring Decision Makers use whatever they can to whittle that number down to a manageable amount.

Therefore, job seekers must give themselves every possible advantage, starting with having a professional email address.

By “professional,” I mean, YourName:

The first thing potential employers see about you is your email address. Make it professional.

The first thing potential employers see about you is your email address. Make it professional.

FirstNameLastName@
FirstName.LastName@

If you have a somewhat common name, you may need to explore a few different email accounts before you can find one where you can use Your Name. Or, you may need to add a Middle Initial or Middle Name, or append a Number at the end (I suggest a two-digit number in the Teens. DO NOT use a four-digit number that resembles a date. It is often assumed this is your Year of Birth, and you have just revealed your age).

There are three main reasons to use YourName@:

First, when you use a less-than-professional email address, you give the impression that you are treating your job search less-than-professionally, and the expectation is, you will treat your job less-than-professionally.

Second, when you use a less-than-professional email address, you run the risk of offending the decision maker:

NASCARRules@… (I hate NASCAR).
CuteCuddlyKittens@… (A cat gave my child rabies).
BigJohnStud@… (You’re a harassment suit waiting to happen).

Third, by using YourName@, you are taking advantage of what is known in marketing as the Effective Frequency technique. Basically, the more often a potential customer (the hiring decision maker) sees a brand (Your Name), the more likely they are to make a decision (hire, or at least, invite you for an interview).

  • When you create an online account at an employer’s web site, you are using the email address, which is YourName@.
  • When you complete the application, you are using Your Name.
  • When you attach a resume, the file name is Your Name Resume. When they open the file, the first thing they see is Your Name.
  • If you are allowed to upload a Cover Letter, that creates two more opportunities to use Your Name (the File Name, and Your Name in the letter itself).
  • When you call to follow up, you are giving Your Name.
  • When you send an email to follow up, you have Your Name in the signature block, and YourName@ as your email address.

You lose opportunity if you use an email address other than YourName@.

Don’t knock yourself out of consideration by using an email address other than YourName@.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below.

Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.

9 Career Experts – My Mastermind Team

Expert job search and career management advice is only a click away.

Expert job search and career management advice is only a click away.

I claim the title of a Job Search and Career Management expert. This is not because I know everything, but because I lean heavily on the knowledge and experience of those who do.

My Job Search / Career Management Twitter list currently includes over 150 experts (feel free to subscribe, and please let me know who I am missing!). I consult it frequently, and many of the experts I follow offer excellent — free — daily advice.

Of those, here are a handful whom I refer to, quote, and heed most often:

Alison Doyle (@AlisonDoyle; jobsearch.about.com)
A tireless advocate for the unemployed, Alison is a major contributor to the massively linked About.com job search site. The posts tend to be short, easily digested, on point, and pages I can print to share with my clients.

Amanda Augustine (@JobSearchAmanda; @TheLadders; TheLadders.com)
Amanda is based in New York City (don’t let that stop you), and The Ladders aims a bit higher than many of my clients are seeking, but her advice is spot-on. She makes frequent TV appearances, and video is available from her social media pages.

Dayna Mathews (@KickAssCareer; DaynaMarieCoaching.com)
Dayna is a friend, a peer, a career coach in the Phoenix area. She focuses on assisting professional women in mid-career transition. I admire how she believes in and advocates for the maximum potential of all of her clients, a value which I also hold.

Hannah Morgan (@CareerSherpa; CareerSherpa.net)
A self-proclaimed Introvert, Hannah offers no-nonsense advice to help you navigate the job search landscape. Among her many strengths is a keen understanding of using social media, especially LinkedIn.

J.T. O’Donnell (@JTODonnell; @Careerealism; careerealism.com)
“Because every job is temporary,” or as I say, your next job won’t be your last. J.T. emphasizes that each of us are responsible for our own careers. With a growing staff, the Careerealism.com website is easy to read and use. More importantly, the panel of contributing experts is an all-star team.

Mark Babbitt (@MarkSBabbitt; @YouTern; YouTern.com)
YouTern.com focuses on students entering the workforce out of college — not where many of my clients are, so a lost of the content, especially advice on internships, doesn’t apply to my clients. Still, with frequent posts per day, it is not often that I can’t find some advice that I can use.

Martin Yate (@KnockEmDead; knockemdead.com)
Author of the popular Knock ’em Dead series of books for job seekers, Martin offers relevant, practical, and up-to-date advice useful for anyone in career transition.

Susan P. Joyce (@JobHuntOrg; Job-Hunt.org)
If all she did was compile and present the thousands of resources on the Job-Hunt.org website, Susan’s contribution to job seekers would be invaluable. But she also provides outstanding advice on an ongoing basis.

Paul DeBettignies (@MNHeadhunter; MNHeadhunter.com)
Paul’s focus is on IT recruiting, and a lot of his Tweets are about Minnesota sports (my hometown, but not my current residence). I include him because when I was given an opportunity in 2009 to reconsider my own career path (I was laid off), very early on someone pointed me to a series of free webinars, “Be Your Own Headhunter,” that Paul presented. They were paradigm-shifting, and I realized that everything I thought I knew about job search was wrong. That led me to figure out how to job search, which resulted in my current career. I have found my passion, and for that, Paul, I am grateful.

There are many others that I could have included but space prevents.

Who did I leave off? Please share in the comments below!

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Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.

These are a few of my favorite things

With apologies to Julie Andrews

With apologies to Julie Andrews

These are the Employment services I recommend to my clients in Phoenix. If you live outside of Maricopa County, you will have to search a bit to find your local-market equivalent.

Arizona Workforce Connection, through Maricopa County and the City of Phoenix
The Career One-Stops have computer labs and Career Advisors. They conduct workshops on job search, resume writing, interview skills, and other topics. You may qualify for funding for short-term certification training to make you employable in a new field, or more employable in your current occupation. They frequently sponsor job fairs and hiring events. Go to www.azjobconnection.gov.

Goodwill of Central Arizona
A not-for-profit whose mission is, “We put people to work,” in 2014, they helped 45,000 Valley job-seekers secure employment. They currently have 20+ Career Centers with computer labs and Career Advisors. Goodwill offers a two-week Computer and Customer Service Training, and nearly everyone who goes through the program lands a position within a matter of weeks. They offer specific programs for persons with disabilities, mature workers, and Veterans. They have hiring events at various locations almost every week, and Goodwill annually sponsors one of the largest Career Expos in the state. For more information, call 602-535-4000.

St. Joseph the Worker
A not-for-profit whose mission is to serve low-income, homeless, and disadvantaged job seekers. Headquartered in the Humans Services Campus downtown Phoenix, in mid-2014 they debuted their Mobile Success Unit, a decked-out RV that takes services into neighborhoods throughout Maricopa County. SJtW removes barriers to employment by providing transportation assistance (bus passes or limited gas cards); professional clothing for job interviews or work; and in some cases, with a job offer on the table, financial assistance to pay for certifications (restrictions apply). Call 602-417-9854.

Community Re-Integration Program through the Family Services Agency
The FSA is the oldest not-for-profit in Arizona, providing many diverse services. Specifically, the Community Re-Integration Program works with job seekers who have felony backgrounds. They have a three-day workshop (fee-based, call for details) to address issues specific to backgrounds, with follow-up assistance. Historically, a ridiculously high 75% of those who complete the workshop are able to find employment. They know what they are doing. Call 602-264-9891.

Career Connectors
Meeting multiple times per month throughout the Valley, to connect professionals in career transition with hiring companies and quality resources. Every meeting has employers and a Topic of the Week, plus resume writers, social media coaches, photographers to take a professional profile photo, and excellent networking opportunities — all at no cost to the job seeker.

Greater Phoenix Urban League Mingle with Employers
With a promising rollout late 2014, the GPUL hosts a dozen or more employers, once or twice a month. Very specifically designed to not be a job fair, employers will share their openings with job seekers, providing an opportunity to meet, network, and learn how to follow up. Call 602-254-5611.

LocalWork.com and Jobertising.com
LocalWork and Jobertising provide two of the better Career Fairs several times per year in the Valley and throughout Arizona. Each brings 30-40 or more employers to their events.

Finally, I recommend our own Central Arizona Shelter Services Job Club. We meet every Wednesday morning in the Lodestar Day Resource Center on the Human Services Campus, 1125 W Jackson St. We rotate through a number of topics, including STAR Stories, Elevator Speeches, Networking for Job Seekers, How to Work a Job Fair, and others. Free and open to the public. Call me at 602-256-6945 x 1401 for more information.

What Phoenix-area services do you use? Please leave a comment below and let us know!

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Success doesn’t come to you. You go get it.