Resume Writing, Career Advice and Job Search blog from ResumeWriting.com.
Coming from a recruiting background, I often keep up with HR and Recruiting blogs. I was reading one of my favorite recruiting blogs this morning and came across a post entitled 7 Tips to Keeping Your Contacts when Changing Jobs.
It’s aimed at recruiters and other folk who make their living based on their network of connections. There are issues of intellectual property involved, as in that line of work, your connections are your livelihood.
I happen to know a recruiter who left his company after about five years of service and was asked to give up his Linkedin and other accounts. (…) He had not seen this coming at all and was now left with the not so enviable task of having to start a Linkedin account completely from scratch; he went from about 5,000 connections to zero overnight.
Now it’s unlikely many jobseekers would encounter a situation where their LinkedIn account would belong to their boss.
But this does raise an issue I’ve seen many times with jobseekers: i.e., an over-reliance on work email.
In the years I’ve been a professional resume writer, I’ve seen more than a few job-seekers who were unprepared for a comprehensive job search because their work email was their main online identity. Most often this occurs with job seekers who have been at the same company for a long time. Maybe they have a decade or more of contacts, correspondence and even valuable career data tied up in one huge outlook file. And sometimes, with older clients, the work email might have been the first email they even received, and ended up being the only one they have ever used professionally.
Ask yourself, if you got laid off tomorrow, what would you use for email? Of course there’s the issue of backing up all your contacts and content that might belong to you. But if I told you tomorrow you were no longer firstname.lastname@example.org, how would your colleagues, contacts, prospects, competitors and even co-workers be able to reach you?
Your personal email address might work in a pinch, but long-term wouldn’t be appropriate. You really don’t want to mix those worlds too much.
Tip of the Day: Start Cultivating A Personal, But Professional Email Address
Do you know how a lot of times on business cards, and even on email signatures, people will list their office phone number, followed by a cell number, and then sometimes even followed by a personal cell number?
The implied idea is you would try calling their office number first. If that doesn’t work (or if it’s urgent) you’d call the cell number. And if it was REALLY an emergency, you might try their personal cell.
Well, at lot of smart jobseekers I’ve worked with have started incorporating personal, professional email addresses in addition to their work email. So, it would be email@example.com, followed by firstname.lastname@example.org.
The personal/professional webmail address is sort of a professional backup email address.
What are the benefits of this?
1) Well, first, you’ve got a backup. If you’ve introduced your gmail address into professional circulation, then your professional contacts will have a 2nd way to reach you in their address books. Maybe when your work email is down. Maybe when you’re traveling. Maybe when you’re at home. Maybe when your work email is so chaotic, they can’t seem to break through the mess and grab your attention.
2) For professional insurance. The sooner you introduce your personal/professional email address, the sooner you’ll have insurance if you get fired/laid off. Don’t wait until you’re fired and are forced to mass email everyone you know with a new address they don’t recognize. If you’ve been backing up with a personal/professional webmail address for years, then it will be in their address book already, and their contact info will be in yours.
3) For portability. The bonus is, this personal/professional email address can be portable. It can move with you from job to job, so it can go a long way to professionally branding yourself. Your contact info, including your phone number, might change many times over the years as you go from company to company. But this way, you’d have a solid, singular point of contact that’s evergreen.
4) For social networking purposes. You don’t ONLY want your work email on your LinkedIn profile. Again, what if you get fired or laid off? But you don’t want your personal email on there either. LinkedIn is for your professional life, right? So… today… put a secondary but professional email address on there. LinkedIn would actually prefer if you did this. They recommend it.
5) For professional discretion. Sometimes clients, contacts or customers might want to have a conversation with you that they don’t want on the official corporate record. It’s a grey area, but having something in addition to your @abccorp.com email address might allow them a place to message you and speak (somewhat) freely without fear that your boss is listening in.
6) For job searching. In a similar vein, you don’t want to start looking for a new job while utilizing your current work email address? That’s just asking for trouble. Don’t wait until it’s too late, get a personal/professional email now and it can easily double as your jobsearch email.
Final point: we’ve mentioned before that a professional-sounding email address is a good idea.
But hopefully you already knew that.