In an age where electronic mail is displacing traditional mail, email addresses are functioning as names, and names can be the basis of first impressions. What can be said about someone who applies for a job using an inappropriate email address (i.e. babyslayer666@mail.com)? The aim of this study was to determine if there are differences in job qualifications (as determined by pre-employment tests) between individuals who use appropriate email addresses to apply for jobs and individuals who use inappropriate email addresses. This study analyzed applicant email addresses in two ways. First, subject matter experts (SMEs) subjectively rated each email address for appropriateness. Second, the SMEs coded each email for content based on whether the address contained antisocial/deviant themes or otherwise unprofessional themes. I found those who use Appropriate email addresses score higher than those who do not use Appropriate email addresses on the pre-employment measures of cognitive ability, conscientiousness, professionalism, work-related experience and overall score. Additionally, I found individuals who did not use either antisocial/deviant or otherwise unprofessional email addresses scored higher on each of the pre-employment tests with the exception of cognitive ability. Implications, limitations and ideas for future research are addressed as well.


Dan Sachau

First Committee Member

Kristie Campana

Second Committee Member

Scott Fee

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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