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What's in a Name?

October 11, 2000

CLEVELAND (BUSINESS WIRE) — A lot, say recruiters at MRI when that name is your email address. More and more job candidates are submitting resumes by email, and more and more executives at companies and recruiting firms are taking notice of what your email address says about you.

An email address may be your first foot forward with a prospective employer, and it can communicate some important things about you, according to top online recruiters at, the online recruiting and career website of Management Recruiters International. MRI is the world's largest search and recruitment organization and a subsidiary of CDI Corp. (NYSE:CDI), a global top 10 provider of staffing and outsourcing.

"Your email address, no less than your resume itself, is a message, a communication aimed at a potential employer," said Neil Fox, Chief Information Officer at MRI. "And if you think no one's paying attention to that string of characters, you're wrong."

The most obvious email mistake job candidates make, according to Fox, is to use a funny "screen name" type email handle. "HotBabe" or "StudMan" are obvious examples of names that would give pause to employers who are highly sensitized to sexual harassment and discrimination. But subtler problems may arise from probably harmless handles such as WineLover, FastCar, or even Sherlock.

"Anything with an obvious reference could hurt you," said Fox. "You just don't know how it's going to strike the person doing the hiring. You're vastly better off with a more businesslike approach. Use some variation on your actual name, or your location, or even a random sequence of numbers and letters. The thing you want to avoid is having your personal interests or an inside joke be the first thing a prospective employer learns about you."

While name is an important element of an email address, what comes after the "@" symbol is also important.

"There's no shame in having an email address from one of the big email providers such as AOL, HotMail or Juno," said Fox. "In fact, having an obviously personal email account tells a potential employer that you are careful to separate personal business from company business. If your resume comes attached to an email with your current employer's domain name, a future employer might wonder how much personal business you do on company time."

Fox concludes there is another reason for having a personal email account. "There' s no guarantee that your email is private if you're sending it from the offices of your current employer," he said. "So unless you don't care about having your current boss know you're applying for a job somewhere else, it's a lot safer to use a personal email account."

Unlike any other existing job board or career site, offers job seekers direct contact with and advice from a network of 4,600 recruiters organized into virtual villages serving specific industries. These recruiters actively partner with job candidates and companies to create the most powerful on-line recruiting space in the industry today.

Management Recruiters International, Inc. (, is the world's largest search and recruitment organization with 1,000 offices worldwide. Based in Cleveland, MRI has system-wide billings of $575 million and places 35,000 people in jobs annually. MRI is a subsidiary of Philadelphia-based CDI Corp. (, a global top 10 provider of staffing and outsourcing. In 1999, CDI had revenues of more than $1.6 billion and nearly 100,000 people worked on company assignments.

Contact: Kitchen PR David Norman, 212/687-8999 or Nina Dietric, 201/493-8944


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