With so many other things to focus on when running a business, or even just running your life, one of the last things you’d ever think to change is your email address. After all, it’s just a place for people to send you emails, right? This isn’t always the case. An email address can say more about you than you might think.

Now, for the average person it’s perfectly ok to use free email services like Gmail or Yahoo. Nobody is going to fault you for that. However, there are times when getting TOO personal won’t help your cause. For example, when I was working a 9-5 office job I would regularly review resumes when we were hiring. I can’t tell you how many times I came across a resume with an email address along the lines of “xXxSexiLexiBabyxXx@gmail.com” or “BluntSmoke420@gmail.com.” Any respectable employer is going to turn these away immediately.

It’s fine if you want to have a personal email for your friends, but if you’re trying to get a job it’s best to stick to something a bit more professional. First.Lastname@gmail.com or something along those lines will do just fine. If you want to stand out you can even get personal and register a domain name that is your name, then have name@yourname.com.

For the small business owner, having an email address at your own domain is extremely important if you want to be taken seriously. It gives you, your messages, and your business credibility. It also helps you brand yourself so you’re more recognizable to the people that you’re trying to reach. It shows that you are confident in your business, and that’s a cheap price to pay considering how inexpensive web hosting is these days. At the very least, it makes you look more professional.