Is “Hotsugarmama” an appropriate job search email address?

Believe it or not a job seeker really used this email address. Or “Noviagra.” A job seeker looking for a VP level HR position used this email address. Needless to say neither applicant made it past the initial screening process.

Just as you wouldn’t wear a t-shirt and shorts to a job interview because you love the beach, you shouldn’t use your “beachlover” email account for your job search. While your personal email address may seem harmless and a reflection of your personality, it’s important to use a professional email address when looking for a job.

By professional we mean a variation of your name. References to hobbies, interests or personal attributes are not appropriate for a job search.

There are many free web-based email accounts available that are easy to set up, so no excuses. Take a look at the email account you’re using for your job search. Do you need to change it?

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Stephen Peteritas

Depends what job you’re applying for… Hi-Oh! Sry I couldn’t resist Kathleen. I agree people need to clean up their e-mails. The only one that I’ll defend is my buddy (filmmaker so it doesn’t matter much either way) is still holding on to [email protected] just because it’s so amazingly awesome.

Kathleen Smith

Stephen – thanks for chiming in! Yes some industries personalities MIGHT make sense but for the most part I would stick with [email protected] or something to that effect. Mainly because it is part of marketing yourself and you need to remind the hiring manager of your name.

I also have found it helpful to have a professional email address that I use for some of the job boards that I have posted to mainly for security reasons. If I start getting spam or multi level marketing messages at one email address I know that the job board has been compromised or their standards are different than mine.


Agreed! I was in disbelief this past year from a resume I received – I desperately hoped it was a typo for a candidate with an email address of likkeredup! But even still, there’s no excuse!

Lauren Modeen

I agree. If the candidate has this little judgment, what else are they capable? Better not stick around to find out. Same thing with voicemails – should be very professional. If your message is something along the lines of you can’t come to the phone because you’re out buying shoes, probably not a good sign 🙂


I also think it’s part of branding even though it sounds snotty. Applying for a super cool techy new job and still rocking your old @comcast email is probably not cool – they want that or even your own name [email protected]

Kathleen Smith

Great question, Andy and of course good for another series of articles.

This goes to the issue of branding and marketing yourself. We are all becoming SMEs and we can become different SME’s for different topics. I actually have an alter ego that I have completely separate emails, twitter and facebook pages for. The two entities have crossed paths from time to time, but for the most part I keep them separate.

We run into this more and more in recruiting, as some great recruiters have long established their “entity” but they have moved from company to company. The truly great ones like @RecruiterGuy or @SourcerKelly are very clear that this are their separate entities but they will talk about their assignments or not depending on the corporate environment they are in. We are increasingly seeing recruiters and employers creating an employment brand and utilizing social media for that experience. The challenge will be separating the individual’s identity from the company, or not. But I digress. Big topic for me!

So back to your questions about Twitter accounts: my thoughts/recommendations would be to have a professional address that discusses your expertise, some of your opinions and so on. This would be used as a professional address for connecting with work colleagues and so on, but I would have the caveat in your bio that “the opinions expressed here are my own” We have seen an example of this with our friend Mark Drapeau with his two twitter accounts. Unfortunately during some of my Resume Reviews with GovLoopers I have heard stories of govies being told they cannot have a twitter account or they will be dismissed. Very sad in this day and age especially for anyone in government communications

And finally this might be too much for some, it just depends how much you are marketing yourself and to what end. I was presenting Social Media for Job Search at the Naval Academy yesterday (yes I mentioned GovLoop :)) and folks there were trying to battle having a social media account for job search, and I will touch on that at another time, but all I will say is that many folks don’t understand the privacy settings or segmenting their communications in social media and they should.

Does this answer your question Andy?

Donna L. Quesinberry

The dilemma with “handles” and “SNS (social network service) accounts” is often growth occurs before the candidate or business has begun to promote their information in a business frame of thinking. For instance, pre-Internet – companies often experienced such quick growth patterns the “enterprise-management” would fall to the wayside and post-success a lot of hurry up and catch up took place.

Internet growth is the same. Another example, early 1990’s when the Internet was just taking effect – handles were not strategic for “most” folks. And, many, many, many Yahoo users (pre-gmail) made up their profiles. It is difficult for those individuals vis-a-vis growth exponential (then including business) to go back and tweak everything and map to new coordinates without a) beginning a new handle (loosing contacts) or b) working with the existing handle, which could be “inappropriate.”

Also, while playing devil’s advocate – some folks still believe they can only create “one” email – I do believe. Not all of us “savvy folks,” but all other HR candidates might believe a handle is “one size fits all.”

All this in mind – the handles are – well – just in poor taste and therein is the rub – regardless it speaks volumes about character, which is the greatest human capital requirement.

I saw this on TFCN and wanted to comment there, but I am here so –


Amanda Blount

My daughter first established her e-mail account back when she was in 8th grade and it mentions cheerleading. Needless to say, she has since created a new one for work and professional reasons, but for old friends she still has her cheerleading address.

Mark Boelte

Candidates have presented me with everything from “hotmamma69” to “bigteninch” (neither of which mean what they seem to mean) and both clients did not see why they did not get any responses.

I find that people can be selectively blind when it comes to the familiar, and their longstanding e-mail addresses are so familiar that they don’t even think about what they say.

I usually advice customers to use [email protected] as a model as it make the name easy to read and easily recognizable. I don’t see the domain as important unless you know enough to get your name as a domain, that can impress.