Finding an appropriate email address may seem like a no brainer. Some may even feel it is a silly career discussion point in this day and age. Well, doesn't it? After all what is the big deal about an Email address? Well...yes you would think so, but as I have mentioned in my most recent Blog on this topic, Your E-mail Is YOUR Self Branding; Not Your Wife's or Fido's! and the earlier one published this year, Is Your Email Address Showing Your Age? Get Hip With It! that apparently "silly is as silly does" (box of chocolates anyone?) and too many people are being silly! After those two articles were published I received several emails requests asking HOW TO BRAND ones name to be used professionaly, especially since many of the common names have been taken by others for their email address; those of you with names like Bob Smith, Debbie Martin, and all the other John Doe's of the world. So let's explore a couple of ways to finding a great email address for YOU and hopefully not pick one that is a stinker!
Before we explore the best way to go about email PROFESSIONAL self-branding I would like you to ask yourself two questions, your answer may have you skip the rest of this Blog and wait for my next one on this series:
- Are you a person who ONLY wants a workable professional email for resume use and professional and personal correspondence with no aspirations or plans to one day open your own consulting firm or company of your own?
- Are you a person who is gainfully employed in a company (not your own) or unemployed seeking yet another corporate job BUT the one thing you both have in common is that you MAY want to build your own brandwith your years of accumulated work experience to hang out your own Shingle in the future?
If you answered Question 1. with a YES and Question 2. with a no, then read on! I am addressing the art of coming up with the best free email address that you can use for all your life (barring Yahoo.com, GMail or etc. doesn't go out of business or pull the service).
For you more entrepreneurial folks who answered Question 1. with a NO and Question 2. with a Yes or even if you think it may be a Yes for the future then skip the rest of this Blog; I have a much better approach for you to develop your personal current AND your future business brand using inexpensive paid services by buying your own Domain Name and I will address that in the Next Blog Article; How to Self Brand Today for YOUR Future Business of Tomorrow? For you corporate ALWAYS career types...read on.
The 6 Steps to Finding An Effective Email Address
- Always attempt to Brand YOUR NAME, not your passion, your dog or even stuff like JohnMedReps@xxx.com (I hate to tell you how many of those medrep things I get inserted into a name!).
- If you are lucky and have a unique name or not a unique name and just get lucky always try your email@example.com. An example of this would be firstname.lastname@example.org .
- REMEMBER to say the email name to yourself or recite it to a friend or spouse several times BEFORE you select it. The general rule is if you can't say it easily and/or people keep saying, "What? Could you repeat that? Again, please?" Then you have a STINKER for an email address!
- What to do if your last name has 20 letters in it or your first name is weird (besides wanting to shoot your parents for giving you a lousy first name or slapping your mother for marrying your Dad who has a weird last name...ok what does love have to do with it)? The remedy? Use pieces and parts of your first and last name that still reflect the essence of your name that people can remember easily; for example JoannahThumperkerdinklestein may want to try email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or she may want to go to court and legally change her name (you know I am kidding, right?).
- How about you common folks? You know, those Jim Smiths of the world! No worries, since you are among the masses of your kind, let's add a number at the end of your name that has a ring to it and not hard to remember (you are going to practice it as we outlined above in no. 3 to see if it works for you and others). Jim Smith is so common you may see FIRST if you can get rid of the "." between the first and last name (jim.smith) and add a number like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, people tend to remember the numbers that end in 0..keep going until you get the number for you until you get to 900 (1,000 don't use..people will ask, "What do you mean the word..the number and you just made the email address long with an extra 0). If your name is still taken by someone else you may want to check another service (Gmail vs. YMail and etc.) OR go back and start the series again on the sames service adding a 1 at the end of the numerical series starting wtih 101 (skip number 10) email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and etc. Doesn't work? Then go back and try jim.smith and etc., People tend to remember a name with a number's in that sequence.
- Use a decent more current email address like a Gmail Account or a Y Account, if you must, you can even try the yahoo.com but if you try any of the other emails out there, well then you are dating yourself and you must read my earlier article. I suggest NOT picking an email address tied to a cable or phone service. If you ever get rid of the service....you get rid of your email too! so why not go free and something not tied to a paid service like GMail, YMail or Yahoo.com (in that order of preference).
I bet you are thinking, "That is too much work and it will take too much time to figure out." I assure you that if you do the right homework and pick the right name combo you will spend FAR less time having to spell it out, repeating it over and over to your new contacts through the years! That brings me to the next point, once you pick this Email name of YOURS, KEEP IT FOR as long as you can and hopefully forever.
©Linda Hertz, All Rights Reserved
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