Sunday, October 16, 2011

Advice to Apply using a different email address

It's not that I don't appreciate your desire to be different, but I worry about your chances of getting a job.

Why? Because if you apply for a job using that email address, you're going to look:

a) anti-social
b) unprofessional
c) careless
d) inexperienced

This may seem obvious, but according to a little gem tucked away in the latest TIP by Sachau and colleagues, not only are people with, shall we say, "casual" email addressed perceived negatively, they actually score lower on preemployment tests.

The authors used data from over 15,000 actual job applicants who had completed various tests from SHL. Email addresses were coded on a variety of scales such as craziness/insanity, drugs/alcohol, and sci-fi/geeky/nerdy. Then they analyzed the differences in test scores between people with more professional emails with the more casual ones.

Not only did raters agree on the lack of professionalism these types of addresses exhibited, individuals with these addresses actually performed lower on measures of conscientiousness, professionalism, work experience, and total score.

And while the effect sizes weren't huge (there was about a 10% difference in group means between high and low groups), it should give you pause that even if your address is questionable as opposed to outright silly, you will be perceived as unprofessional and may be assumed to have lower test scores.

...unless that's what you're going for.