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Does a Lame E-Mail Address Really Matter?

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the america's-oldest-luddites dept.

America Online 1049

theodp writes "Over at the Chicago Tribune, freelance writer Nancy Anderson makes an embarrassing confession. It's 2010 and she still has an AOL e-mail address. 'You've got to get rid of that AOL address,' her publicist sister told her five years ago. 'It's bad for your image.' Image, shmimage, Anderson thought. 'If I do good work,' she asks, 'does my e-mail address really matter?' Good question. Would an AOL e-mail address — or another 'toxic' e-mail address — influence your decision to hire someone?"

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1049 comments

yes (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721838)

yes.

Re:yes (4, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721892)

I agree.

Sincerely
iamapizza@BySendingYouThisEmailIHerebyConfirmYourAwesomeness.com

Re:yes (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721922)

It is terrible that someone would judge others by something as simple as an email address. Yet we all do it. *@aol.com instantly kicks in my "dumbass...." reflex, and I'm sure it does for most other nerds. Worse yet, can you image applying for an IT job with an aol email account? Right or wrong, it would be looked down on.

Re:yes (4, Interesting)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721992)

Well where I work, we did in fact throw a number of resumes out the window specifically because of hotmail and AOL email addresses.

But then again, I work in IT, those people SHOULD know better.

Re:yes (4, Insightful)

Teufelhunde (1159113) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722064)

Well where I work, we did in fact throw a number of resumes out the window specifically because of hotmail and AOL email addresses.

But then again, I work in IT, those people SHOULD know better.

But what if they are just using those AOL or hotmail addresses as their personal spam box? Maybe they are old email addresses that they give out to unknown people/companies?

I sure wouldn't be giving someone I don't know my personal email.

Re:yes (2, Insightful)

EyelessFade (618151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722112)

Uhm where you are applying for work? If that's your attitude when you apply for work, they have all reason to throw out your application

Re:yes (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722080)

I've got a Yahoo email address. Would you have been do stupidly biased against me?

That's my primary because Yahoo mail doesn't suck too badly (the "classic" interface, anyway), I've had the email address for about eleven years, and it's easier to have a webmail address as primary instead of an ISP's in case I move somewhere else.

Re:yes (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722088)

Gah, s/n do/n so/

I'm up early with my kid.

Re:yes (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722134)

You could look at this from the other direction too.

Suppose the applicant is filtering employers by using an aol address, on the presumption that any MANAGER smart enough to avoid aol addresses is probably too smart to easily sabotage and then replace after getting hired.

Re:yes (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30722140)

Your company is over run with dipweasels.

An AOL address is as viable as any other, and they may have good reasons for keeping it that have nothing to do with their profession.

There is not one damned thing wrong with an AOL account. You just want to think you're so much smarter, better or whatever. But you're missing one of the cardinal rules of IT: If the damned thing works, don't mess with it.

Snobs are not fun to work for anyway.

Good for the ones you rejected on such a stupid criteria. They probably found real jobs with real companies with real people.

Re:yes (1)

rraylion (1406761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722152)

If hotmail.com is unacceptable then what is okay? -- what passes your lithmus test??

Re:yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30722020)

It doesn't seem to have done Warren Ellis any harm.

Re:yes (5, Funny)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722024)

Probably not as much as if you had your resume hosted on geocities.

Re:yes (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722032)

I see applications from people all the time that send in resumes with stupid email addresses. Right or wrong, we judge on this.

Commonsense (and most recruiters or professional resume polishers) will tell you: Get a nice, professional-looking email address. Your.Name@SomeBusiness.com can work (though be careful of that, since if you leave your job it may go away). Your.Name at somewhere neutral (yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc) works well. "Spicysluttybarbie@cheapdate.com" isn't going to look professional and unless you're applying for work as a stripper, isn't going to help you.

An AOL email address, today, has you attached to a sinking ship. Right or wrong, people are going to judge by that. And right or wrong, having an AOL address will indicate to people that you aren't very good with technology, which does make it harder for you to convince them you can match the job's skills requirement later.

My advice? Set your AOL address to a redirect, create a nice new, neutral/professional address, and go from there.

Re:yes (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722086)

Why do you get that reflex but the person uses that email address doesn't? The reason you get that reflex is because you know certain things. Someone who doesn't have that reflex, doesn't know these things. So the least that such an email indicates about a person, is that he/she doesn't have the knowledge about those things that give you that reflex. Depending on whether or not you need to have the person to have that knowledge, this could cause you to decide not to hire this person for a certain task.

What knowledge this is exactly? Don't know, maybe just knowledge of IT?

@aol.com instantly kicks in my "dumbass..." reflex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30722124)

@aol.com instantly kicks my spam filter rules. Use aol,hotmail or any russian address and I'm not going to see the mail. If you're not smart enough to avoid obvious filters you aren't smart enough to get the job ;)

Re:yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721982)

It matters because it's unprofessional. A business professional should have an email address which identifies them with the company they represent. This should be common sense. Unless you actually work for AOL (or hotmail, or gmail, or yahoo), keep that free webmail address for personal use only.

Re:yes (3, Informative)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722084)

If you're trying to apply for a new job, is the employer going to care about what company you were associated with beyond trying to figure out why you left/got fired?

Re:yes (0, Troll)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722050)

Same answer for a totally different reason.

Why would you advertise AOL or hotmail, when you have a chance to plug your own site?
I often chop off the username@ of interesting domains, and for a job application it can provide extra space to impress.

Re:yes (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722126)

Why would you advertise AOL or hotmail, when you have a chance to plug your own site?

Not everybody has 1. the cash for hosting for a site and 2. the time to maintain one.

Re:yes (1)

Will Fisher (731585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722162)

I really want an @compuserve.com email address. Retro-cool.

hell no! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721846)

--
turdeater@sexual-perverts.net

yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721850)

I think it does matter, first impression is everything and people for the most part cannot look past the bad connotations that attach themselves to anything that we use to represent us.

Re:yeah (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722012)

Well, when a stack of 100 resumes is sitting in the in box, the first thing you have to do is weed them down to the three or four you're actually going to interview. The first 80 get tossed because the applicant isn't qualified. That leaves 20 who "may be" OK. Some will then get tossed because they're ugly, or contain spelling errors. A toxic email address might be a reason one ends up in the discard bin.

It's all going to depend on the person doing the hiring. If they have that "AOL == toxic" mindset, you lose. Ask yourself if you are willing to bet a future job hanging on to your oldtimer@AOL.com address.

I don't think it will cost you a job. (3, Interesting)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721852)

but it sure will make you look a bit dopey if you're still rolling with hotmail or aol.
I see usa.net is still around too, I had one of those a long long time ago too.

Now if you're not rolling your own domain, gmail or at least a respectable ISP in the very least your co-workers will give you a bit of shit.

Re:I don't think it will cost you a job. (1)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721898)

not sure about gmail, i found it is blocked on many places for reason that most forum spammers come from gmail

Re:I don't think it will cost you a job. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722166)

Use GMAIL as your main (personal) email address and your ISP's email as a throw-away catch-all for signing up to forums and the like (which will eventually sell your address to the highest bidders.)

Actually yes -- in some cases (5, Interesting)

weave (48069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721856)

If it's a technology person, that's a red flag. I'd expect them to at least have their own domain name. It doesn't cost THAT much and looks far more professional.

Heck, even my cat has her own domain name.

If it's a non-tech field, meh, I don't care that much. But I have to chuckle when I see a small business with a website and their own domain name, but still using @comcast or @aol on their business card for email.

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (0, Redundant)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721954)

My slashdot login has it's own domain, although I am not really doing anything with it. pharmboy.org

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (1)

weave (48069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722146)

My slashdot login has it's own domain, although I am not really doing anything with it. pharmboy.org

Same here. weave.org ^_^

I see your website is almost as exciting as mine too.

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (4, Interesting)

gorfie (700458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721960)

Given the cost-cutting trend we've seen in IT over the past decade, would the image of someone that spends additional money/time on unnecessary technology be appealing? I'm just playing devil's advocate here as I don't have a preference one way or another. That said, it could be that there are extremes in both directions and it's safest to sit in the middle.

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (3, Insightful)

weave (48069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722046)

Given the cost-cutting trend we've seen in IT over the past decade, would the image of someone that spends additional money/time on unnecessary technology be appealing?

A domain name and simple email plan from most registrar's is less than $40/year. That's hardly extravagant.

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721966)

I work with a lot of small businesses (mainly proprietary schools) and this happens a lot. You'd be surprised how many people use their own personal ISP-provided email as the official point of contact for their business- even printing it on their catalog. It's not like these people don't have their own domain names for their school's website, they just don't use it for email.

I also have a telecommute-only coworker who uses his unpronounceable at hotmail email for work emails. This disturbs me greatly, but I have no authority to change it.

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (3, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721988)

what is the point of your own domain name? i've seen plenty of good IT people who almost technologically illiterate in some areas. most of our devs don't know a single thing about administration of systems

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (5, Funny)

fl!ptop (902193) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722008)

But I have to chuckle when I see a small business with a website and their own domain name, but still using @comcast or @aol on their business card for email.

i can go one better - an attorney client has on his business cards name@laywers.com. except that the correct domain is lawyer.com. so every time he gives out a card he takes a pen and scratches out the 's'. yeah, that looks professional.

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722056)

If it's a non-tech field, meh, I don't care that much. But I have to chuckle when I see a small business with a website and their own domain name, but still using @comcast or @aol on their business card for email.

And the website has blinking text, waving American flags and 37 colors with a complex patterned background (plus disco music) and a links page full of dead links; will not render properly in Netscape 3 and has been "Under Construction" forever.

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722066)

If it's a non-tech field, meh, I don't care that much. But I have to chuckle when I see a small business with a website and their own domain name, but still using @comcast or @aol on their business card for email.

Or on their van.

If you've got your own domain for your business, use it for your business email too! It looks so much more professional.

Re:Actually yes -- in some cases (1)

54mc (897170) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722076)

In the tech field, it can help greatly to have an email address at your own domain like "john@doe.com" or "johndoe@johndoe.com" If nothing else, it shows you have some kind of technical know-how. Plus, it's pretty hard to attach a stigma to something like that.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721858)

Influence? only if it was for a job requiring knowledge of technology. There are too many easy throw away hosts to crank out a less toxic address if you are in the know.

Sure (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721860)

Would

Depends in what line of business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721862)

I would argue it depends on the line of business. It IT/Tech, someone with an AOL account? Yeah, i'd have to wonder about it.

Maybe it wont matter as much in a field that doesn't have a negative impression of AOL.

Issues with AOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721866)

We have a consultant with an AOL email, and while the email address doesn't matter to me, the fact that he cannot receive PDFs (for whatever reason) blows me away. They always arrive corrupt.

Re:Issues with AOL (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721980)

Some mail providers are unable to receive GPG encrypted mail either (same deal, the mail gets modified in some way so the signature becomes invalidated)...

No (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721870)

No

Is she an aging hipster? (1)

eagee (1308589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721872)

Because then she could flaunt it like an, "I 3 NY" teeshirt, horn rimmed glasses, and fluorescent sneakers.

Yes. (1)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721876)

for me it would equal that she is not tech savy and her document would probably come written in Write for Windows 3.1

People aren't rational (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721878)

They will make judgements based on email addresses. They may be able to rationalise them. The rationalisations may or may not make sense but they will still make judgements.

You can either change human nature or change your email address.

Just you wait, AOL will come back into style (3, Funny)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721880)

It will be totally retro, like bell-bottoms, hip-huggers, wide ties, and beehive hair-dos.

Maybe (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721884)

Am I looking for a Cobol programmer or a .Net developer?

Not about the domain name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721888)

It's not about the domain name. But, if people connects a domain name to a bad service or frontend, it surely will pass that image to others.

Is aol.com so uncool it's kitcsh? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721894)

And perhaps even cool?

I don't know, I have my own domains. I don't use the sillier ones for anything remotely employment or business related. They get a laugh once in a while and I get the satisfaction that I'm in control of stuff. I recently gave up running my own mailserver from home though.

Not the domain (5, Insightful)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721896)

Domain? No. Username? Yes.

I really don't care if someone has an AOL email address, though I work in a non-tech industry, so it may be different for me. However, the username is important. Here in DC, if you're straight out of an internship and you still have an email along the lines of drinkingfiend01@gmail.com, that's a negative mark. Similarly, a friend of mine who works in HR in San Francisco gets resumes all the time with emails the likes of johnissogay@whatever.com. Yeah, it's SF, but that's still not work appropriate.

Re:Not the domain (4, Funny)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721956)

Actually, the best example of this I've heard didn't come from an application I was processing myself. It was one my dad received, for an engineering position in his small business. The e-mail address was cokefiend@isp.com

Needless to say, the applicant didn't get the job. However, this being a small business (where people tend to worry a bit less about form and procedure), the rejection letter included the following line:

"PS. I prefer Pepsi myself"

Re:Not the domain (0, Offtopic)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721976)

Domain? No. Username? Yes.

This.

However, the username is important. Here in DC, if you're straight out of an internship and you still have an email along the lines of drinkingfiend01@gmail.com, that's a negative mark.

If you're in DC, there's probably a lot of people with @aol.com e-mail addresses around who are competent IT people looking for a new gig. I tend to view hotmail as a bigger negative than AOL, honestly. If you've got a non-weird AOL username, you've probably had it for years and years.

A former co-worker had an interesting gmail username; it was his first and last name spelled backwards (i.e. resulami@gmail.com). Not a black mark on that one, IMO.

Re:Not the domain (1)

dushkin (965522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722102)

I once applied to a job with the email:
childmolester@isp.com

Somehow the school declined.

Re:Not the domain (1)

Etylowy (1283284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722150)

Which reminds me of one job application send from concrete-mixer-online@isp.com.. he got the job, even thou it wasn't construction related

Personal experiance (1)

theIsovist (1348209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721900)

I can recall trashing an email and resume from a mrsuperflyprofessional@(something).com. In most lines of work, you are selling yourself along with the product, and if you don't take the time clean up how you present yourself, then why should a business give you a chance to represent them?

Re:Personal experiance (1)

underqualified (1318035) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721942)

i wouldn't hire you either. even if you had the experiance requirement.

Re:Personal experiance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721970)

i wouldn't hire you either. even if you had the experiance requirement.

Yeah, well I wouldn't hire you. You're obviously underqualified.

I notice it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721902)

I interview software engineers, and I will notice AOL, Yahoo, and Hotmail addresses for sure. I don't believe that these really influence the interview, but I can't help but associate them with some level of technical incompetence (especially AOL). The only free accounts I really expect to see any more are gmail.

Re:I notice it. (2, Insightful)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722110)

Why is a GMail id better than a Yahoo id?

I once had a guy bring it up in an interview (2, Insightful)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721904)

I was talking to a company about a semi-technical consulting job and their CTO pointed it out. I think he was semi-serious. We ended up not working together. Of course, this was 10 years ago and I had and AOL address because of their big dial-up network. That made sense given that I traveled a lot. How hard is it to sign up for g-mail?

Re:I once had a guy bring it up in an interview (2, Informative)

ZosX (517789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722138)

Pretty easy. Its out of beta (FINALLY!)

It's Retro! (1)

intertrode (1564753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721906)

The right person can make it work. Obviously, if a person acts old and like they aren't up-to-date it will just concrete a negative image. The right person can make it look like they are intentionally being retro, and therefore hip.

Probably yes (1)

Winchestershire (1495475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721908)

It would certainly make a person feel the person doesn't keep up with the latest information. Ex: An accountant or a tax professional might seem less inclined to keep up with the latest changes in their perspective fields; at least in the eyes of perspective clients.

No biggie, but still (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721914)

Having a funny e-mail address is not a big deal, but still it is a stupid thing. Suppose you know someone with his own business and he has very cheap/strange-looking business cards, as if printed on a cheap home inkjet. It doesn't really matter in this day and age, but still -- it looks stupid.

So if you have good qualifications, why in heaven's name would you have an e-mail address like blonde1223@hotmail.com?

Also, if you're an IT professional, you should know that it's really easy to get your own domain and link it through to a Google Apps account. I like it when people have a firstname@lastname.tld account.

Yes--sometimes (1)

Kopachris (1594707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721916)

I agree with most of these Anonymous Cowards here: it all depends on the job. If the job is technology-related, I'm less likely to trust someone with an AOL address than someone with a Gmail address.

It's what comes before the @ that matters (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721918)

Depends. I've done a good few external hires over the last few years, and while I'd never actively sift on the basis of e-mail addresses, there's no denying that an outlandish one can make an impact (and probably not the sort you wan to make).

I wouldn't particularly care about an AOL address. I don't honestly think that any address which conforms to the firstname.lastname@isp.com format (or any other varation including initials, dots etc) will set any alarm bells ringing for any sensible employer.

However, there is one type of e-mail address that does cause me concern. This is the obvious "naughty" one. I've actually seen job applications listing addresses like partychick33@... or drunkenmick@... These do not give a good impression. Is it unfair? Probably. After all, there's nothing wrong with going out and enjoying yourself. However, using that e-mail address for a job application does imply that you have a problem when dealing with boundaries.

To sum up; a potential employer is far more likely to be put off by what comes before the @ in your e-mail address than by what comes afterwards.

The real problem is often what the username is (1, Redundant)

weave (48069) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721920)

What's bad is getting a resume with something embarrassing before that @aol.com bit, like p4rtyg1rl69 or phillygansta92. (Yes, I've seen a few like that).

Re:The real problem is often what the username is (3, Funny)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722096)

something embarrassing before that @aol.com bit, like p4rtyg1rl69 or phillygansta92

TOTALLY EMBARRASING. Thus, I'd immediately 1) delete the mail from phillygangsta92 and 2) forward p4rtyg1rl69 to my personal e-mail account.

Yes it would (1)

nebular (76369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721926)

Yes,

It takes all of 2 minutes to create a gmail account and tht account can forward all of your emails to whatever email account you normally use.

Much like the clothes you wear to an interview and the layout of your resume you can choose how you want your email address to look.

And heck to be honest an easy to remember phone # will stand out just the little bit more than a tough one.

it's human nature

Depends (1)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721932)

If you have a job already I don't think so, although if you are looking for a job having John.Smith@gmail.com as a email address on your resume is way better than having Hotguy81@hotmail.com as a email address on your resume.

Hotmail is Microsoft (1)

sciencewatcher (1699186) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721936)

Hotmail addresses were fine. Until Hotmail was bought by Microsoft. Something about 'Resistance is futile...'

Re:Hotmail is Microsoft (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722014)

more like MS completely destroyed the #1 internet brand of the 1990's

Re:Hotmail is Microsoft (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722016)

Hotmail was not fine before Microsoft. Really. You must have been a big-time noob back then.

No more than... (0)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721938)

...say, a low Slashdot UID.

Depends (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721944)

If I read a resume from someone with the email jsmith@aol.com, I wouldn't bat an eyelid.

If I read a resume from someone with the email buttsex69@hotmail.com, I would be concerned as to why they didn't bother to submit their resume with a different email address. It's not hard to make a free one with at least part of your real name, and it shows professionalism and frankly, social understanding.

I say the last bit before some geek complains that I'm focusing more on "image" instead the applicants credentials and hence ability to do the job. Unfortunately image is an important part of being human, and I didn't make the rules of human nature.

Someone set up us the email! (1)

Silent Node (54344) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721950)

I no longer even want to think about changing my email address. I've been on Gmail now ever since I was able to beg an invite, and it would suck to try to update that many contacts.

This post did get me remembering when I used an @bigfoot.com redirector for a long time until they made some changes to the service that I didn't like.

Well yeah... I s'pose... (1)

whoppo (218875) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721952)

I suppose I might lean towards giving my business to a non-AOL.com addressed resource if there was a choice....

Either way, it's better than something like "whoppo@BigButtSheep.com" - oh... wait.... that's my address. ::sigh::

Yes, For Business! (1, Interesting)

Breccia (785630) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721958)

Just two days ago my company received an inquiry from what might have been a potential new client -- but they used a gmail e-mail address.
At my company, we assume that legit businesses have company e-mail addresses like joe@mycompany.com -- anything else say potential spam or worse...
My Auntie Mable on the other hand uses one of the "public" e-mail providers, and that's just fine.
Just my 2 cents worth...

Business email... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721962)

For a personal email i guess it's not so bad, at least for people working outside of IT..
I would expect anyone who applies for an IT related job to have their own domain at least.

What does put me off however, is businesses which use free email addresses... It's not uncommon to see a storefront or vehicle painted with the company name, phone number and logo on the side, and then a hotmail email address..
It's even worse when the business has it's own domain name for a website, but does not use that domain to host their email...

The answer is yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721972)

@aol, @hotmail, @"your-ISP-issued-free-address" are all signs that you don't take the internet seriously.

But there is an actual practical reason to avoid @aol emails. The mask is banned in lots of places and/or added to spam filters to send the mail straight into the junk folder.

Gmail and Yahoo Mail are free. There is no longer an excuse to use outdated mail hosts like AOL because above anything else, it's the Scarlet Letter of the web.

Ok, one last metaphor -- having an AOL email is like wearing a fanny pack around your neck whilst surfing the interwebs.

Yes (1)

frozentier (1542099) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721978)

I would not hire someone with an AOL e-mail address unless it was a job stuffing pillows or working on a production line doing a simple, repetitive job. AOL (in my opinion) was always marketed as "our internet access is so easy, even a caveman can do it". Commercials showed people in their 30's saying "look, now even my elderly parents who can barely figure out how to use a computer can use AOL".

So what's the new cool? (1)

hduff (570443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721984)

So what's the new cool?

j.public@ibm.com?

imsomebody@somebody.com?

bigkarma@slashdot.org?

a.megahottie@mayspace.com?

me@gmail.com?

What?

Re:So what's the new cool? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722120)

Its still me@godisdead.com

But it was the last domain available! (1)

paranoid.android (71379) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722022)

You mean putting my @clownpenis.fart email address on my resume is a bad idea?

Re:But it was the last domain available! (2, Insightful)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722160)

Wow, you don't just have a domain, you have your own TLD!!!
That is so uber-cool!

(sorry about the rest of the domain though)

Nah (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722026)

I'm not in HR (I am in IT though) so we may not even get that far. HR, then our supervisor has to vet the candidate before he or she even gets to us. Now we might rib the candidate prior to meeting them and then over it in the post interview chat depending on how it goes.

I'm more interested in work history prior to the interview and then their replies during the interview. We've had some interesting answers to questions :)

[John]

Yes, it matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30722042)

Why would you use an e-mail address you don't own? A .com with e-mail/web hosting is peanuts these days. @aol.com or @gmail.com look bad because (1) you are too lazy to get your own domain name and (2) you run the risk of losing it at any time.

Aol is one thing but a @hotmail? (0, Troll)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722048)

I would never in my life hire someone for a technical position if they have a hotmail account in their resume. Hotmail is to me and i suspect many others the most lame address anyone can have. If someone is a geek and still has a hotmail account i instantly file those under "rampant Microsoft fanboy" because most techies with some skills choose a much better mail provider.

Depends (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722060)

If I were hiring for some non-tech position then no, it wouldn't really matter. However, if I were looking to hire on a developer or admin then someone with their own domain, @cpan.org or some other project-related domain email address, etc, would signify someone who isn't just interested in a "career change" and thinks that "IT" is "easy" or "stable" 'cause they remember the bubble days of people getting money hand-over-fist with any sort of qualification at all.

But, as other said, its really the username that's important. I've had all kinds of ridiculous, throw-away email addresses in my day that had "cool" names. However, when I got my Gmail account back in the day (2003 or 2004 I think?), I picked my first two initials and my last name, as I was about half way through college at that point and figured that I needed a "respectable" email address along side my school email, which was first initial and last name @ my school.

My personal account on my own domain is middle name@14thanddock.com, and then I have other 'dumping' accounts, such as the one that my @cpan.org address gets forwarded to, and one that I use when I sign up for things that I know are going to keep sending me crap email that I don't want pushed to BlackBerry.

I know that its fashionable, especially in geek communities, to say that what other people think of you shouldn't matter and your work should speak for itself. Unfortunately that's not how most people work and in reality what other people think of you is approaches being the ONLY thing that matters. Having some suggestive pledge nickname on a domain with a bad reputation isn't doing you any favors and you know it.

Get your own domain! (1)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722062)

Just get your own domain name.
It's what ? $20, $40.
What's cooler that having your own domain.

          me@firstlastname.com
or
          first@lastname.com

or, if your name wouldn't work:

          yourname@aolsucksalot.com

BTW "aolsucksalot.com" is still available :)

hey! (5, Funny)

potaz (211754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722070)

Hey, I've actually done a comic on this subject [qwantz.com] ! I'm firmly in the "I'd rather you have a cool email address then a suck-up one" camp.

Re:hey! (5, Funny)

Fanboy Fantasies (917592) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722136)

holy shit it's you.

Not always (1)

consonant (896763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722116)

I would (might?) not judge someone by their choice of email service provider. Being only human though, I would most certainly regard unfavourably applicants with email addresses like cool_dude19@hotmail.com or sistahs4eva@gmail.com. Pretty much anything which isn't some part of their name is a no-no, although the occasional exception for a well-thought out/curiosity-arousing local-part can be made..

Nobody takes any notice- anon@biggotsfortheKKK.com (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30722118)

Nobody judges me by my email address

Username matters too (4, Interesting)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722122)

When I'm looking at a resume, I don't want to see RoxxyFoxxy@somewhere.com. Or something completely weird and difficult to decipher and type out. It's not hard to maintain a FMLastname or Firstname.Lastname@gmail.com and direct it to an address that expresses your individuality or whatnot.

Basically, I'm looking for professionalism. That means a resume with no typos or obvious errors/exaggerations ("Proficient in C, C+, and C++" is a gem that springs to mind), and appropriate attire at the interview. Having some kind of in-joke or bizarre reference or obscure handle as your username on the resume is kind of like wearing a tshirt with a weird slogan on it to the interview, although certainly not so severe.

Same as what you wear (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722130)

I think it's similar to being dressed poorly for an interview. You may completely know your field, but if you show up looking foolish or inappropriate, then people will judge you. You may think that's unfair or not right, but people will do it and this is something very similar. As everyone else is pointing out, how long does it take to sign up for your own domain or use something at least current. AOL for an IT position? You don't have broadband? You don't have access to GMail? You can't sign up for your own site? Perhaps for a non IT field it's not as big a deal. It's the same as showing up with black jeans instead of slacks/khakis on. You couldn't spend $10 and some time to run out and buy something nice for the interview?

yes. The address is important (1)

z_gringo (452163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722144)

If the address is loads@beer.com or foxy4U2@hotmail.com, yes that probably won't help them get the job. Ditto if it is religous, political or whatever, The best option is to not try to be cute with the email address you are using professionally.

I would (1)

jonathancarter (745316) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722148)

In the one free software company I worked for, we had a board member that I had never heard of before that sent a company-wide e-mail from a hotmail address. A lot of us weren't very impressed with that. IMHO it's best to send work related things from your company's domain name, if it's purely personal I don't think it should matter.
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