Before You Send an E-mail

If you are going to compete in the online world, take note: students often unknowingly advertise their entry level job seeker status via their e-mail address. The ".edu" extension hanging off the end of an e-mail screams out entry level.

The Internet levels the job search playing field -if you know how to play the game.

There are several free Web-based e-mail services you can use instead. If you haven't already done so, get signed up with Mail.com, Gmail, Outlook.com or Yahoo! Mail or one of the other free e-mail services. My preference is Mail.com, since you can choose among several the domain names (including mail.com, email.com, iname.com, consultant.com, techie.com, and others), and have a higher likelihood of your user name being accepted. The best user name is "first.last@domain.com" or, as an example: brian.krueger@mail.com. Using this format, which is the most common e-mail naming standard, will give you a more professional look when you communicate via e-mail. In addition, you can reserve using this e-mail address for "job search only" communication to keep it separate from your other e-mail. You can also change your standard signature to reflect your job search. Just make sure to consistently check your inbox at least once per day.

One final note on e-mail addresses. If you have an e-mail address that is not professional (such as hotbuns@hotmail.com or supersexy@gmail.com), now would be a really good time to either drop it or use it only for personal e-mails.