Does My Email Service Provider Make Me Look Old

Posted by Rob Riggins

I recently asked a defense contracting recruiter if a job applicant with an AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo email address pegged them as out-of-date.

Her immediate response was, “No not at all,” and she walked away.

But then this 30-something recruiter turned around and said, “But when I was looking for a job last year I got a gmail account so I wouldn’t have to use my AOL account. I wanted to look more current.”

I received similar responses from many recruiters. Their first answer was usually, “No I wouldn’t think anything of it.” Then they processed it a bit more and realized that subconsciously they did immediately brand that person as old school. And not necessarily in a good way.

What’s the Big Deal

An “older” email service provider may brand you as behind the times or resistant to change. It’s not just an age thing. It’s the perception of clinging to old technology.

It may signal that you are out of touch with today’s technology or not in tune with change. And employers want to hire people who are open to change.

We make instant judgments about others we first meet, whether that interaction is online, on paper or in person. Judgments we don’t necessarily realize we’re making. Recruiters are making those judgments about you too. Whether they fully realize it or not.

What Should My Email Address Be

It’s not only your email service provider that you need to consider in your job search. It’s what appears before the @ sign that’s important too.

Your job search email should be your name. If you have a common name, add some numbers to it.

Don’t be one of the people that recruiters love to talk about — “hotsugarmama”, “noviagra” or “idontpickmynose”. Yes those are all real job seeker emails. The list is endless.

But you also don’t want to use a hobby or interest.

Why It Matters

Professionalism. Some recruiters view a hobby or informal email address as being unprofessional and inappropriate for the workplace and your job search.

When you use your name as your email address, a recruiter immediately knows that they grabbed the correct email address to communicate with you. For the same reason you should always identify yourself in a voicemail message used for your job search. The last thing you want to do as a job seeker is put doubts in a recruiter’s mind.

Even if you don’t agree with this view, consider this. It’s your job search. Why take the chance?

Take control of all the variables that you can — a professional email address, a professional voicemail message, a great cover letter and resume, etc. — so you put your best foot forward with every contact you make in your job search.

And from



This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 11:15 am

11 thoughts on “Does My Email Service Provider Make Me Look Old”

  1. Some of us with AOL emails have had them for a while (i.e. “we’re old”, I guess) and simply don’t want to hassle with changing to a new email address every time something else becomes trendy. It speaks of steadiness and reliability — and that we probably went to school when the 3-R’s were more important in 3rd grade than gender/race identity studies.

  2. John thanks for your comment. As a Yahoo email address owner of 15+ years I understand being hesitant to abandon an email address. Many job seekers set up a new email address specifically for use in their job search. You can have the new email address forward to your old email address to stay on top of incoming emails. That way if your personal email address is something like “[email protected]” and you don’t want to abandon it, you don’t have to. Just use a different email address specifically for your job search.

  3. I know what you mean. Actually, I have a spam-catcher that I use pretty regularly (including on discussion boards like this one.) If somebody is really angered by something I say and writes me a profane screed (or just wants to sell me misspelled C*I*A*L*L*U*S – lol!!), it’ll languish in my spam-catcher for weeks, maybe months!

  4. I have a gmail acct, acct, and a hotmail acct. I used my hotmail acct to get the job I have now. So, what does that say? I believe most recruiters do not care what email address you use as long as you present the skills and experience they need in your résumé.

  5. Fit821, I also have an AOL, gmail and a hotmail and a mail account. I welcome anyone who wishes to communicate witth me to use all of them one of them or none of them. I ind it harrd to believe that people are so shallow that they are judging othere now by their e-mail addresses. Come on people. How about dedication and devotion when looking to hire someone or how about looking at this as stability.

  6. I realize that having a Gmail account makes one look current probably because people know that it is associated with Google. However, someday that Gmail provider address will look as “ancient” as AOL, Hotmail, or Yahoo. It is just a matter of time.

    Perhaps, get a domain name or get an unknown email provider that cannot be easily dated such as GMX,, etc.

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