Since the creation of e-mail in 1973 under ARPA (the
Advanced Research Projects Agency from the US Dept
of Defense) many changes, good and bad, have been
realized. It is far more flexible that originally envisioned
opening grand opportunities!
The bad is the "open design" of e-mail services left
significant security gaps. The original design was for a
limited number of users at a defined number of locations so security was good for
their needs then. The user community was also not interested in malicious acts.
The good is today's Internet has become the communications backbone for individuals, corporations, governments and groups globally. The omnipresence has opened great opportunities for everyone.
SELECTING AN E-MAIL PROVIDER
This is a potential problem if you do not think through the ready availability of e-mail accounts.
1. Does this account exist as long as I am paying tuition, fees or other costs to
This is trap many college students face. They rely on their academic e-mail
address for all purposes including before they graduate. Some, possibly
most, will cancel your e-mail account if your next major semester's tuition
and fees have not been paid. Having your Resume distributed with that
e-mail address is a big risk.
This also exists for Alumni Associations, Professional Societies, and other
groups you may join but at sometime elect to discontinue membership and/or
discontinue donations. This also can cause termination of your e-mail address.
Those who have interest in you as a job applicant now must rely on a telephone
number to reach you. If you used a dorm or apartment phone number you are
officially lost. If you keep a cell phone number as you move between locations,
cities and states you can be contacted. Talented people have unknowingly lost
their "dream job" from cancelling their telephone number and e-mail address
before their dream was offered to them.
There are free e-mail addresses that are independent of any organization
including Internet Service Providers (ISP's) that become attractive as these
addresses are accessible from nearly anywhere and any service giving your
greater freedom, independence and protection from change.
a) Say your Internet Service Provider goes out of business or sells itself.
Would you still have your e-mail account? Most likely the answer is no as it
will either be shut down or become an e-mail account under a different
domain name making you unreachable under your prior e-mail address.
b) Say you get tired of increasing Internet connection costs and change to a
You may be able to create the same e-mail address name but not the same
domain name. This leaves you with the same problem as above.
c) Portability of telephone numbers is possible with cell phones but not "land
line" telephones or many e-mail addresses when a provider is acquired or
CREATING AN E-MAIL ACCOUNT
We will have old friends who will be e-mailing us so using old names from high school, college, or a social group like "NutJob", "Greeser" or others is funny until you use it for professional purposes.
E-mail accounts that are anything beyond your name can create a professional image problem.
- IWouldRatherBeGolfing is great for a professional golfer or executive with the
PGA. For others this creates the potential vision of someone ducking out at
1:30 PM on Tuesdays to hit the links. Will that be the official reason for
passing on this applicant. Never.
- BigHotSassyMomma is another e-mail address that is anything but
professional. This may be a beloved name in the family or the block but not
for most businesses.
- JaneDoe1956 is one that may be perceived as someone born in 1956. Age
discrimination is illegal yet it happens and is difficult to prove without a
written and video taped confession. Using any number that could be
perceived as a Year of Birth could hurt your chances. It can also be
perceived as a college or high school graduation date, year of marriage
helping to put an age to you. Avoid the risk. IF you need a number, use
your ZIP Code!
So what should a good professional e-mail address be like?
Hyphens can separate the name for added visibility. MAKE IT MEMORABLE
WITH YOUR NAME! This is how the name should be presented (without
hypens) in your Resume, Business Cards,
LinkedIn Profile, e-mail Signature Block and any other communications or
places your professional information is presented. This approach helps to
"burn in" your name to those reviewing it making it easier to find you and far
more memorable. Your e-mail service may impose limits on characters, on
some special characters and e-mail address length.
Avoid using the underscore character. Remember, any link (such as LinkedIn
Profiles) or use of the underscores for highlighting will hide the underscore(s)
in your e-mail address or other links leaving people to innocently believe it is
a space and will not be successful in reaching you. These people are under
pressure to get applicants lined up and if they can't be reached these people
may simply reach for the next qualified applicant.
Avoid using periods as these also can be hidden by a link. Additionally you
are often limited by the Internet service to one period in an e-mail address
thus creating a problem of how do now present your name with consistency
and high quality appearance?
Does using your name the same way on all communications really make a
difference? Those in advertising know the more you repeat a product's name
in a commercial or print ad, the product is recognized more often and is
better remembered. YOU ARE THE PRODUCT!
- Do you have a very rare last name? There is an opportunity her for you as
well. Given the opportunity people want to type short e-mail addresses. One of our members has a very rare last name and uses only their last name for
their e-mail address and LinkedIn Profile. Either way it gets recognition, is
remembered more, and draws attention as it is only a last name. As an
applicant you want to capitalize your special differences to employers. Why
not a unique name as a differentiation that stands out?
So who is the best Internet provider to go with?
Simple question often make many complex answers.
Who is the best in this heavily driven competitive market to meet your needs
and concerns. So what are they? Here are some:
- Is this a very solvent company that has staying power to remain in business?
Solvent companies can go sideways or be "eaten" by a bigger fish and cause
nightmares. If a small local provider is acquired by one of the giants in the
Internet services, do you believe those customers would be allowed to keep
their old e-mail addresses or change to the new company servers to cut costs
and provide simplicity to the new company?
- Is this an Internet services company that has been bought and/or sold once
or more times and long term stability is still in question about them? Would
someone larger buy them up? What would happen to your e-mail account
and all your e-mails?
- Any changes in business usually do not involve a six month fair notice to
start backing up anything you have of value and hope it works in the new
- Understand the need for speed but what speed your really need. If you watch
a video once in a while across the Internet, one smart phone on your WIFI
connection, you do work across the Internet during the day or early evening,
do some video conferencing with tools like Skype on occasion, you may only
need THREE MEGABYTES OF BANDWIDTH. Bandwidth is like a loaf of bread. IF you find you don't have enough you go order more loafs each month. If
you have too much you wasted money and may not realize it. Increasing speed is often easy. It's hard to get a company to charge you less without a
If you have three kids playing on-line games every day and night, a spouse
who can't stop from watching the movies on the Internet and you're
videoconferencing and tracking the stock market changes, you're going to
need a whole lot more than 3 MEGABYTES. How much more can be a matter
of trial and error. But remember, nothing is intended to provide instant
service so accepting that will save you considerable money. And also check
the bandwidth that is being delivered versus what your paying for. Or did
you think they would do that for you and fix problems on their own initiative?
- What e-mail software to the providers available to me support? You may find
you hate Office 365 until you use some of the others out there. Let the buyer
beware as you may not have a choice. Also note Office 365 will carry an
annual use fee after the first year and be certain you carefully read through
all Terms and Conditions and Liability Limitations and Waivers. You may be
agreeing to a $1 settlement before you even have a case worth filing.
Personal thoughts: Someone big with lots of money that understand the
incredible value in reading everyone's e-mails for data
mining purposes. Very little is free without hidden costs
to you. These will be the long term survivors as their
revenue stream is not advertising but the value of your
e-mails. But do not panic, as companies have been
scanning the Internet for any and everything that can be
found for many years. The concepts of privacy on the
Internet are unfounded and of removing inaccurate items
completely from the Internet a myth.