Is an @aol.com or @hotmail.com address a risk on a job application? Do cutesy usernames mean a surefire path to the trash can? Chicago Tribune writer Nancy Anderson ponders the impact an email address can have on your career and job search.
This is embarrassing, but it’s 2010 and I still have an AOL e-mail address. I wonder if I hold some kind of record. I opened my AOL account in 1997. My first e-mail address was a combination of a nickname and the year I was born. Back then everyone had goofy screen names like Tarheels80 and SwimFan, so mine seemed appropriate. But as I started using e-mail more and more for freelance work, it seemed wrong. In 1998 I changed to a more respectable use of my initials and last name, still with AOL. It’s the e-mail address I have today.
"You’ve got to get rid of that AOL address," my sister, a Manhattan publicist, said at least five years ago. "It’s bad for your image."
How big of an impact does your email address have on the opinions of others? Would you toss the resume of a potential employee over an email address you considered stupid or out-dated? Do you shake your head when you come across an email address like foxxymom99?
It’s common to put emails on resumes, use them for applications, and hand them out liberally in social situations, so it’s not unreasonable to assess what kind of message your email address sends—or what message those of others send to you. Sound off in the comments with your email opinions and pet peeves.