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Break Free From Email Stereotypes

Your email address can say a lot about your professionalism

Before the dawn of man… (the early ’90s)
I remember when I got my first email address. It was through my college back in the early days of the “information superhighway.” My address was “s” (for student) and then my student number followed by “” (Go, Penguins!) Email was relatively new and I remember explaining to my friends and family that people could type a message on their computer and then send it to me through this thing called the internet. Crazy, right? It might take a few days to get there, but it was still pretty cool. I didn’t have my own computer at the time, so I would go to the computer lab two or three times a week and log in there. My inbox was usually empty, but I always checked with wide-eyed anticipation anyway. Those were the days. I’ve since had numerous email addresses, both through work and personally and currently use about five for different purposes.

What does your email address say about you?
As the manager of digital media design, I lead a team that executes email campaigns that includes processing distribution lists so, believe me; I see a lot of email addresses. So many email addresses… and, whether you like it or not, your email address says a lot about you. For example, if the name of your business is Pete’s Perfect Promos and your e-mail address is – that checks out. Anyone sending or receiving email to that address can feel a certain degree of confidence in your professionalism. However, if your email address is something like, that might make it seem like perhaps you don’t have all your stuff together. Especially, in this age of email and phishing scams, when opening and responding to certain emails can be harmful to you and your computer. Be honest, from which of the above fictitious email addresses would you feel more comfortable receiving and opening communications?

But that’s not all. Certain free email account providers have certain… implications on your perceived technological skill level. Take for example, this comic from The Oatmeal, a webcomic from Matthew Inman, in which he demonstrates what your email address says about your technical skills. Granted, Inman might be a bit biased as he literally makes his living on the internet, but he makes a good point. Please note that some of The Oatmeal’s other comics might not be safe for work, so browse his other strips with caution.

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