by Stacy Pursell, CPC, CERS
The VET Recruiter®
Everyone wants to gain an edge in the employment marketplace. Fortunately, as a recruiter and search consultant for more than 20 years, I know how professionals can gain that edge. And I am more than happy to share my knowledge and expertise with those willing to accept it.
And that’s why I must share this piece of advice: if you work in the Animal Health industry or Veterinary profession, then you MUST use a professional email address.
You might be thinking to yourself, “Why, Stacy? What’s the big deal? It’s 2020, after all.”
While it’s true that we’re in a candidate-driven market, we still haven’t reached the point where candidates can do anything they want in terms of their career, with no discernable ramifications. And I doubt that we’ll ever reach that point. So, yes, this is still important, and yes, it will continue to be important.
There are two main facets to this topic:
- The service that you choose to use for your email
- The handle that you choose to use for your email address
Let’s look at these two facets separately.
There are a number of email services from which to choose. Unfortunately, some of them appear antiquated and/or outdated. As a result, if you use them, then animal health hiring managers and veterinary practice owners will believe—mistakenly or otherwise—that you are not current with technology. And as you might imagine, employers do not want to hire people who are not current with technology.
What are some of the email services that might come across as unprofessional or could brand you as someone who is not current with technology? Hotmail and Outlook, for sure. Yahoo might also be considered part of this discussion, but it’s more of a borderline case. Just to be on the safe side, though, you should probably avoid that one for professional use, as well.
So what’s the solution? Well, there are a couple of alternatives to Hotmail or Outlook. First, you could own your own website for professional and career reasons. If that’s the case, then you could use an email address associated with that website. If you want to sound professional, then you might consider this option.
However, if you choose this option, then make sure that you actually have a website and that the website is updated. That’s because when a hiring manager has your resume and they see that you have an email address associated with a domain name, they’re going to search for that domain name. Once again, using my email address as an example, a hiring manager would navigate to www.thevetrecruiter.com.
The second alternative is to set up a Gmail account from Google. Just about all hiring managers consider a Gmail address to be a professional email address. Fortunately, creating a Gmail account is free. You will, of course, have to first create an account with Google, but there’s a good chance that you probably already have a Google account.
This is the second important facet of this discussion, and it’s one over which you have 100% control. That’s because when you create an email account, you’re able to choose your email handle. One option is to use your first name as the handle of your email address. You can also use your first name and last name.
While you don’t have to use your name as the handle of your address and you do have some flexibility to be creative, you must be careful. You can’t choose a handle that is going to make you seem unprofessional in any way. Some handles that would fall into this category include:
Those all might seem like ridiculous handles to you, but I’ve seen resumes dismissed for less. Once again, it’s not reality that matters the most, it’s the perception of reality that matters. And after seeing emails such as the ones discussed above, the perception for hiring managers and practice owners is that the person is not professional and they are not current with technology. That may not seem fair, but it is the reality of the marketplace.
Another solution, one that many professionals have chosen, is to use two different email addresses. One is their personal address, and the other is their professional address. This is a perfectly acceptable solution to this issue. Although you may have to expend more time and energy to maintain two separate email addresses, it’s time and energy well spent and it will allow you to brand yourself in a more positive fashion with employers!
We want to help YOU grow your Animal Health or Veterinary career. To get started, I encourage you to create a profile on The VET Recruiter website and submit your resume. We want to help improve your life for the better by helping you grow in your career!
We help support Animal Health and Veterinary careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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