NEWS + ADVICE
Does My Email Service Provider Make Me Look Old
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asked a defense contracting recruiter if a job applicant with an AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo email address pegged them as out-of-date.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 TheOatmeal.com: