Many job seekers use personal email addresses in the search, but that doesn’t mean you should forsake professionalism. Your email address is your digital calling card. Here are three questions to ask yourself to make sure your email address is working for you rather than against you as you seek a new job.

1. Is it clear? Some combination of your first and last name is best. If your name is taken, you could reverse the order of your name (E.g. or include an initial or middle name. If the spelling or pronunciation of your name is challenging, be prepared with proactive clarification and phonetic examples when giving your email address over the phone.

2. Is it professional? While it’s common to move physical addresses numerous times during our lives, the portability of the internet enables us to keep email addresses for years—maybe longer than we should. An email address that you came up with when you were 14 may not be suited for a successful professional. A hiring manager should not have to reach out to Email forwarding is simple and easy. You can continue receiving email at an address you’ve had for years, while updating your address to something more appropriate.

3. What messages is it sending? Look at your email address with objective eyes. What unintentional messages might it be sending? It’s common to use your birth year to differentiate yourself if a simple name is taken, but doing so unnecessarily gives away your age. Evaluate if your domain indicates something about your relevance. An @aol email address will not show you to be at the cutting-edge of technology if you are seeking a position in a tech field.

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