Let's just say my name is Sharon Jane Still (Not really but same initials though). I have an email account that is [email protected] and another that is [email protected]. My actual name is not available in any variation on any email domains unless I put numbers with it and I prefer not to use numbers. I prefer my gmail because more commonly known and outlook is less since it changed from Hotmail and looks longer. Which do you think I should stick with permanently and put on my resumes? I hope to work for State City or County jobs. I thank you for your advice in advance.

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    Sharon - This is an opinion-based question. "Professional" is a nebulous concept, in this context. It's obvious you don't work for GMail or Microsoft, so the "true" definition of professional is n/a. If you're really concerned, spend $10 on your own domain, and make an address there. Sep 6, 2014 at 16:28
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    While this is opinion-based, my $0.02 is that an e-mail of the form "imjohndoe" is much less professionnal that just "jdoe" or "johnd". Your e-mail should be a variation on your name. The simpler the better but people will understand if your name is common that not everybody can have "[email protected]".
    – ApplePie
    Sep 6, 2014 at 16:38
  • @WesleyLong whilst simply addressing this as an either/or quEstion is indeed very opinion based, I think that AlexP's comment and my answer provide useful guidelines for future visitors worried about this type of thing... Sep 6, 2014 at 16:44
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    That said, if the question was reworded to be less opinion based, it would be a duplicate of workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/11731/… :( as such, I'm flagging this question. @SharonJStill, I hope the answer I have linked to helps. Sep 6, 2014 at 16:49
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    And here are three more questions of a similar nature, the answers to them may also help. Sep 6, 2014 at 22:28

2 Answers 2


Both of those email addresses are reflective of your name, and I wouldn't judge a job candidate adversely due to either of them.

In general, the need to have a 'professional' email address stems from behaviours like going for something cutesy, eg [email protected] or something utterly unrelated to your name, like [email protected]. Those email addresses are fine for your family and friends, but might make someone who isn't into cutesy email or LoTR a look at you a little strangely.

Here is an amusing comic by the Oatmeal about what your email address says about you: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/email_address ;) although it is only referring to the bit after the @

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Doesn't really matter. Your name is not unique, so you might as well use digits to differentiate yourself. In terms of adding digits, you might consider staying away from "666", "69" or "4"- I understand that "4" sounds like death in Chinese. On the other hand, "8" is considered a lucky number in Chinese :) The "James Smith", "Joe Rodriguez" and "Jason Lee"'s are probably not having a great time conjuring up email addresses, professional or personal :)

You could have your own custom domain, but you'll have to allocate cash to pay for it. But even then, you must make sure that your domain name is not used claimed by somebody else.

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