A reader writes:
Does it really matter which email provider you use to apply for jobs?
I ask because I was reading a thread on Reddit recently, and the people there said anything other than Gmail makes a candidate look computer illiterate and/or less intelligent. Essentially, according to this thread, AOL is for old people, dumb people, or people who can’t use a computer; Yahoo and Hotmail are slightly better, but not much; and Gmail is the provider of choice for intelligent candidates who are computer savvy. Recruiters there said they downgrade candidates who use anything other than gmail or an address with a personal domain. Is this true?
No reasonable employer is going to reject you because of your email address’s domain, but it does contribute to an overall impression of you. Using an AOL address does make you look way behind the times when it comes to technology. Yahoo and Hotmail also have a dated feel to them, but not nearly to the same extent. (AOL is particularly bad, because 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.)
It’s not going to take you out of the running, but there absolutely are stereotypes about those email addresses, and you should at least be aware that you might get branded with them.