Several months ago I wrote about emails being your personal brand. Your name belongs as part of your email address so that recipients can quickly and easily identify you – especially when you are looking for a job. You should never use nicknames, initials, or your high school monikers (e.g. stud@....). So much for that. (Check out the link if you want to know more).
But recently I heard several disparaging remarks about people who use email hosts like AOL and Yahoo! I thought I would make some observations about this.
I attended a seminar a couple of weeks ago. An agency president, who was on the panel, commented that when he sees a résumé with an AOL or Yahoo URL, he immediately discounts those candidates as being old fashioned and out of touch. I found that ridiculous and slightly insulting. However, then this week, I was interviewing a very senior executive who said the same thing. The first time I heard a comment about email URL's was a year or two ago when a candidate asked me about this since another recruiter had told him to change his host. So now I am thinking that there really is some substance to these comments.
I can think of a number of senior agency executives who still use AOL and Yahoo. In one case I actually commented this to an agency principal who used AOL. His response: “I have had this email address since the 1990’s when I first got email. Thousands of friends and business associates have it and it would be too difficult to change it. Besides, who cares?” I fully agree with him.
This discussion and the recent comments started me thinking. Just like my premise about bringing coffee on an interview, if there is a five per cent or even 2% chance of turning someone off while looking for a job, why risk it? Especially since adding an email account from Google or another contemporary company is free and easy. And, it can be done only for your job search, if you prefer.
It would be sinful for someone not to get a job because an executive they were interviewing with did not like their email host. Or even worse, decided not to see them because of it.
I would love to start a discussion about this topic. What do you think?