Smart job seekers (hopefully) know by now that a professional email address is essential – email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org will hurt your chances of landing an interview. But what some may not realize is your email carrier alone might also be negatively impacting your search, with the main culprits being AOL, Yahoo!, and Hotmail.
These email providers can date you and signify that you’re technologically challenged. As stated on Askamanager.com, “AOL originally marketed itself as a safe way for non-web-savvy users to experience the big bad web, in their own safe little AOL community.”
DailyWorth’s CEO Amanda Steinburg posted that she heard a successful CEO say, “If an applicant applies for a job with us and is still using Hotmail or Yahoo for email, they’re immediately eliminated,” at a tech exec dinner.
In his PersonalBrandingBlog.com post, “AOL Email Address Brands You As Technologically Obsolete,” Phil Rosenberg states, “If you want to show employers that you’re not keeping up with the times, use an AOL email address.” He makes another great point that if you’re using the same email address you created 20+ years ago for your job search today, chances are it isn’t as professional as it should be (as someone who created her first AOL account in middle school, I can certainly attest to this).
Sound like a lot of opinion and not enough facts? I am unaware of any specific research that has been done on this topic yet, however with several sources claiming these 3 carriers (among others) are outdated and citing Gmail as the provider of choice, it may be wise to go ahead and create a new email account, even if exclusively for your job search. You can set up automatic forwarding from your old account to your new one as well. Stick to something simple like your first initial and last name, and if you need to include a number, go with 2016.
For further insight (and a chuckle), check out this infographic created by TheOatmeal.com: