is your AOL or Hotmail address hurting your job search?

A reader writes:

Does it really matter which email provider you use to apply for jobs?

I ask because I was reading an online discussion recently where people said anything other than Gmail makes a candidate look computer illiterate and/or less intelligent. Essentially, according to this discussion, AOL is for old 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?

I answer this question — and four others — over at Inc. today, where I’m revisiting letters that have been buried in the archives here from years ago (and sometimes updating/expanding my answers to them). You can read it here.

Other questions I’m answering there today include:

  • Is it appropriate to ask your boss to do some of your work for you?
  • Former manager won’t respond to reference checkers
  • Can I know if an employer already has an internal candidate picked out?
  • How to quit a job you like

{ 303 comments… read them below }

  1. Moonsaults

    The only time I’ve ever noticed and flinched at emails aren’t due to the provider. It’s the ones who use their “moonsoveryourhammy@whateverwhateveridowhatiwant dot com” emails. As long as it’s your name or a variation of that kind of thing, I’m just like “Good, they have an email.” since you know what’s worse than a bad email? No email at all.

    1. sunny-dee

      This ^^^^.

      Although I say this as someone who despises Google’s business practices, so I refuse to use their search engine or get a gmail address. :)

      1. acmx

        Same! Except technically I have a Gmail that I don’t ever check and is needed for apps :( (I held out as much as I could lol)

        1. Rotary Phone

          Yeah. I’m not a fan of Google’s business practices, particularly snooping through contents of emails to find stuff to target advertising my way. I have a gmail account for apps, but I never use it.

          I usually use my Yahoo account that I’ve had since 1995, because that’s the email I’ve given to friends, family, and whatnot for decades now, and I’m not switching them all just to put money in Google’s pocket. (I’m sure Yahoo could use the contents of my email for their own ends, but so far they don’t seem to have done that.)

    2. Rincat

      I think this is going to be the general consensus. I’ve looked at resumes for people using firstname_lastname@aol or whatever, and that didn’t bother me in the least bit. However, mattsbabykittenXXX@gmail or something else inappropriate does bother me, no matter the provider. (That is a mostly-real email (changed the “matt” part) a friend of mine was using on her resume. She asked me to look over her resume for her and I said the email had to go…she got upset when I told her most employers would find it inappropriate, and then never asked for my opinion on job stuff again…)

      1. Lynn in TN

        I had a coworker use babyboo@whatever I don’t remember. I just saw her resume. She didn’t ask and I didn’t volunteer to tell her to change it.

        1. Turanga Leela

          That honestly doesn’t bother me. I know a lot of people who are Name82 or Initials84. People seem to use their birth years and building numbers in their email addresses all the time. It seems unobtrusive and not unprofessional to me, as personal email addresses go.

          The only email addresses that stand out to me are ones that (1) are sexualized/wildly inappropriate, (2) look like multiple people are sharing an address, or (3) bear no relationship to the person’s name (e.g. WombatFan @ whatever). 90% of the personal email addresses I see from job candidates are totally unremarkable.

          1. P

            I will say that if you’re young (or old) for your field it’s a little different. I’ve always been able to pass for older than I am in person, but at an old job in a law office my boss noticed that my email was flast93 at gmail and went “oh god, tell me that’s not the year you were born… you’re younger than my daughter. Take that off.”

            I was a little offended over being scolded but I think he was right in that situation; I could pass as nearly an equal as long as no attention was drawn to my age, but with a year it does prompt people to go “omg, you were born the year I graduated from college!”

        2. Moonsaults

          I see that only as a problem because it means they can figure out your age easily. I don’t think it’s unprofessional because lots of times, you have a name that’s already been claimed on the domain. So you can’t just be Matthew.Smith@whatever and M.Smith. Matty.Smith, MattSmith etc are going to be taken, so you get stuck in that “what number do I add to it?” thing and it’s actually a suggestion from that domain in the end, “try this!!” comes up on yahoo from my old experience.

          As long as it’s not “MattySmith69” then I’m fine because it’s a total “ICWYDT” moment and it makes me roll my eyes so hard.

        3. Cath in Canada

          Heh, my first Gmail address had my birth year in it. It seemed OK when I first got it in my mid-20s, but I’m turning 40 next year and recently completely retired that account :D

          1. Jen S. 2.0

            Mine used to have the years I graduated from school. That stopped being cute right around the time I started feeling old when people referenced things that happened in college. Ugh. I changed to an address that gives away neither my name nor my age.

        4. chickabiddy

          Especially because I was born in 1969. I had a same-aged friend who used “69” in her email address (she had a common name and added her birth year to make it unique) and seemed surprised when I suggested that it looked unprofessional.

        5. Red Rose

          I generally use my school’s alumni email (which forwards to my gmail account) and their format includes graduation year, so I was concerned that it dates me (and figured I’d just use the gmail next time I’m looking). But if they assume it’s my birth year? I have no problem with them taking 22 years off my age!

          1. Turanga Leela

            Interesting—I’ve thought about using my alumni email account for job applications, but I’ve never done it. Have you gotten a positive response? Curious about other people’s experiences as well, both in applying and in hiring others.

            1. Middle Name Jane

              I use my alumni e-mail account as my personal/job application account and use my ancient hotmail address for bills and whatnot. My alumni account is firstname.lastname@alum.school.edu, and it definitely looks more professional to me than my hotmail. I didn’t want to create yet another e-mail address just for job stuff, so I’ve been using the alumni address for years with no issues. I think it looks good at the top of my resume. I think it also depends on how long your name is since the part after the @ is long. I have a short first and last name.

        6. Emmie

          We all have different perspectives here. It shows how a one person’s objection – like mine to birth years – can truly an isolated thing. Go forward with strong resume accomplishments!

      2. Isabel C.

        Oh, God, seriously. Also college applications: my mom was a college counselor, and I did a temp stint in an admissions office, and…holy shit. People: gmail is free. Get an adult-sounding email address. Use it. The end.

    3. Wendy Darling

      Even if I see @aol.com I’m just like, huh, oldschool. I’m not about to complain about someone being attached to an email address they’ve had forever — I’ve had my cell phone number for 20 years and they’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands even though I now live 1000+ miles from that area code.

      I don’t think an email address is a big deal unless it makes the person question your professionalism. firstname_lastname@aol? Fine. sexxxybeast_69_xxx@gmail? I have concerns.

      So yeah basically just don’t use the same email address to job search that you do to look for hookups on Craigslist and you’re probably okay.

    4. Pwyll

      My favorite was: mizindependant69@aol (Altered to protect actual person). Not even kidding. And she applied to EVERY POSITION we posted, from lawyer (she’s not one) to receptionist.

    5. Amy G. Golly

      Working in a public library, I have seen domains much worse than AOL or hotmail! Like: ameritech.net. Ameritech was a regional telecom company that’s since been bought out multiple times and is now completely defunct. Logging these folks into their email involves a bit of sleuthing, trying to figure out who now owns the ameritech domain email addresses. (It’s AT&T.)

      I can only imagine how out-of-touch such an email address would look to an employer!

      1. ThursdaysGeek

        I have a friend who still uses Juno. However, I think he only checks his email a few times a year. I use the phone to contact him.

      2. Moonsaults

        I used to have an Earthlink email and that was indeed on my resume when I was much younger and just entering the workforce. That was back when “oh good you use email!” was huge because I’m a geezer >_>

        1. Misc

          Aaaargh Earthlink. I hate dealing with Earthlink users because 9 times out of 10, I’m going to get my replies bounced back with the stupid spam filter demanding I fill out a survey to verify my identity (NO CHANCE), or bounced back because ‘the inbox is full’, and the user is technically incompetent. Half the time they are contacting me to complain that they didn’t get an email from us. Half the time the email demanding I verify my identity is in response to something like a password reset email that the user requested themselves.

          I work in tech support though, so this stuff actually matters.

          Hotmail used to be a pain in a previous job because notifications to users would just bounce back due to a full inbox. It became part of a regular spiel I had to give when people complained >.<

      3. CAA

        It really doesn’t look bad to use an old defunct provider though. I hire people in tech all the time, and I do not care one whit what domain your email address is in as long as the message will get to you. I am definitely not going out and researching to find out whether ameritech is still a viable company. If you say that’s your email address and you respond to the messages I send to it, that’s ok with me.

        The only domain that looks really bad when you use it is the one owned by your current employer (assuming your current employer is not itself an email service).

      4. Elizabeth West

        AT&T owns everything–you can’t get away. I still have sbcglobal.net even though I completely dumped both the phone service and then DirecTV when they bought them out. But I don’t use my Yahoo address for job hunting. I use my gmail.

      5. NoWhiteFlag

        I currently use my Ameritech.net e-mail address regularly for technical stuff. I have only had one person ever comment on it and it was positive. It is easy to log into the email. It works and unlike gmail, it doesn’t reject (tcompletely refuse to receive) my Microsoft or Apple stuff. I use gmail, which I hate with a deep hatred, for job searching and LinkedIn but I love my AOL account which I use for all other personal stuff.

        I would also appreciate it if you would stay off my lawn.

    6. NJ Anon

      YES! YES! YES! It blows my mind that candidates don’t think to get a new FREE email to use for job applications/resumes. And while they are at it, change the voice mail message on their phone. I’m not your “bro.”

    7. Bellatrix

      Plus, I have POP/IMAP for like four different email addresses that I had before I started gmail. I now use gmail as my primary one, including for professional communication – but all the other ones go in my gmail inbox and are answered from there using the address they were sent to (admittedly, very few people have my old ones, it’s mostly websites I signed up to back in the day).

      So even if someone is writing from an aol address, they could very well be doing that through gmail – or Outlook or a myriad of other clients. Domain doesn’t equal client people!

    1. MM

      Same! I was fortunate enough to get my hotmail account with my firstname_lastname back in the day before anyone else snagged it, so it’s very straightforward. I don’t get this phenomenon at all (and I’m a hiring manager myself) – as long as the address itself isn’t inappropriate , I really don’t care who the host is and 99% of the time would never have noticed.

    2. Audiophile

      I use a shortened version of my first name, it works just fine. Occasionally, I’ll get asked my preferred name and just explain that my whole name wasn’t available as a gmail address.

    3. CrimsonCaller

      You may be able to switch or register an @outlook.com address, which for some reason sounds more business than Hotmail, even though Hotmail is one of the oldest e-mail providers!

        1. AcademiaNut

          I signed up for an outlook email account as soon as they were available, even though I didn’t need or want it, specifically to get a decent first/last name combo. I also lucked out with my Line ID (which has overtaken Facebook messenger for popularity here), probably because my name is not common in East Asia.

    4. sam

      I think one of the bigger issues with hotmail these days is that it’s used by so many spammers that it often gets filtered out by many spam filters. I’ve actually got it blocked as a domain for leaving comments or registering on my website, because 99% + of the registrations coming from there were spambots. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way some of these things evolve. I went from hotmail to yahoo to a combo of my own domain and gmail depending on the purpose –

      I have my own domain email, but I actually set up a gmail address that I used specifically for job searching because I didn’t want to give out my website domain (even though it’s pretty innocuous these days – mostly photographs) on my resume. I was lucky enough to snag one that was firstname.middleinitial.lastname@gmail.com, without complications. My biggest issue is that my middle initial is L, so everyone seems to think it’s the number 1 when it’s lowercase. Why they would do that when I PUT MY MIDDLE NAME ON MY RESUME, I do not know.

      I definitely agree though – it is much more important overall that the name that appears be one that is your name and not something ‘cute’ – I have friends who have email addresses where their names are things like sparky and diva. just…no.

    5. Aurion

      Email addresses in general are hard to get.

      I deliberately chose my email as firstinitial.veryhardtospellmiddlename @ gmail. Partly because I really don’t like using numbers in my email due to the age thing, and partly because I have a very commonly misspelled first name (think Stacey vs Stacy, where everyone uses Stacy but I’m Stacey). I have had people who have never spelled my name right, even once, so any use of my first name in my email would have people emailing stacy.lastname because they just skim over. And then I’d never get my email. At least with ridiculously hard to spell middle name in the address people actually pay attention to the spelling.

    6. many bells down

      Yeah, I joined gmail early in beta and I STILL couldn’t get an address with my name. I had to opt for using my first, middle, and maiden initials and my married surname. Even my daughter, who has a much more unusual name than me, had to do the same thing to have an “adult” email address.

    7. Kittymommy

      Oh the benefits of having a weird first and last name! I could get two gmail accounts, one with my full name for business/professional and one with me first initial and last name for personal. No one ever says it right, spells it right, but there’s one upside.

  2. Venus Supreme

    I’m not sure if the answer to #5 should have a link in it? You write “more here” and there’s no link attached. Wanted to give a heads up!

  3. KimberlyR

    I have a yahoo account and I never thought about the provider and what it says about me. I just made sure to make an account as some variation of my name. I have seen people use inappropriate email addresses in business and I really wonder what they were thinking…

    1. caryatis

      sue_smith@yahoo is much better than sexxxysuzie420@gmail. But sue_smith@gmail (or something else professional) is clearly the best.

        1. Liz

          I don’t see anything wrong with either of those. Sure, gmail is the cooler option these days but as long as they both work *and they’re both yours* it doesn’t matter.

    2. sssssssss

      See, my only concern about Yahoo is the number of times I’ve seen friends’ Yahoo accounts get hacked, including mine. I would be concerned about future spam from a Yahoo account.

      I still have my Yahoo but it’s my back up for old friends who might get in touch with me out of the blue. I never check it but that’s okay since all email sent to the Yahoo gets sent to the Gmail.

        1. Observer

          Actually, the hack was a couple of years ago, but they kept it a secret. But, it turns out that they apparently ALSO added an email monitor that was reporting to the FBI.

          Nice.

    1. Wendy Darling

      I’d actually be worried (perhaps excessively) about people mis-typing part of the first half of that email address. (Then again last week I had to contact a recruiter about not getting the followup mail she promised and it was because she made a typo in my email, which is lastname_firstname@gmail, so it may or may not matter…)

    2. Koko

      Provider domains are definitely something I associate with older people who barely know how to use email, but in terms of hiring, I don’t really care. I’ll certainly make sure to ask other questions/look for other indications of tech savviness if the role requires it, but it’s not going to impact anything further than that.

    3. Jeff A.

      You know, it’s funny. Maybe it’s just the crowd that I hang around with, but in my experience the more obscure an email address (earthlink, juno, etc) the MORE tech savvy the user is. In fact, I know almost no one in IT who uses gmail as their primary personal email address. I think this perception lies much more in the realm of the pseudo-tech savvy that occupy most of corporate america.

        1. Kiki

          Yes, and pretty much when I’m hiring a new web developer or graphic artist, I expect either a vanity domain or a gmail account. An AOL, Earthlink, or Facebook email account makes me laugh, as does anything from a provider, like sbcglobal.net or comcast.net. So, the answer to this is really dependent on what kind of job it is.

    4. Cam

      The thing about ISP issued email addresses is you only have them as long as you have that internet provider. If you ever change providers, which is likely, you’ll lose that email address. I think that’s why these types of email addresses are associated with older people and those who are not very tech-savvy. I’m not sure that people will necessarily hold it against you, but it certainly won’t work for you.

      1. Kiki

        Depends on your crowd. My crowd is old people:extremely tech savvy, young people:some gamers but not actually techy. I get asked for help with tech by the under 30s all the time. I’m 59.

    5. Misc

      Earthlink *specifically* is a nightmare. Users with provider issued emails tend to be lower on the tech savviness, because they often don’t realise you can set up your own email with *any* provider and never did before joining that specific provider, but on average, not much more than anyone else.

  4. caryatis

    Re: email addresses, I agree with Alison. I wouldn’t reject someone for @hotmail, but if I already had concerns about the person’s level of tech-savviness (especially hiring for a tech/IT role), it would reinforce those concerns. Especially since Gmail is free, so it’s not a matter of being locked into one email provider because you paid for it…

    1. the gold digger

      But – this is the email address (at hotmail) that I have had for 15 years. It’s the address all my friends have. It would be a pain to change it. (And I hate gmail.)

      1. Persephone Mulberry

        So don’t change it. Just create a new one for work-related things. You can forward that one to your personal account if you don’t want to bother with checking two email boxes.

        FWIW, a Hotmail address wouldn’t faze me in the least. It was basically Gmail before Gmail happened, i.e. an email magically NOT tied to your ISP so that you didn’t lose it when you changed services.

        1. many bells down

          Yeah, I have a “fun” email address that’s my main one, and an “adult” email with my name. So my friends all email “thegoodwitch@whatever.com” and responsible adult stuff goes to “mbdsmith@whatever.com”

          I’ve also got a joint email with my husband that all the household stuff goes to; bills, bank stuff, insurance, tax returns…and our google music library. That way we both always have access to that stuff instead of him having to remember my email password to pay the electric bill if I drop dead tomorrow.

          1. Parfait

            THAT is a really good idea. Maybe the only good reason for a shared marital email address that I’ve ever heard.

          2. NJ Anon

            This. I’ve gotten comments or read comments where people say/think sharing an email is just an awful THING THAT’S NOT DONE. Umm, it’s kind of like a home phone. It’s for family stuff, bills, etc. I have my own personal email as well.

      2. caryatis

        See my comment below. You don’t have to change it or get your friends to learn a new one, just get a Gmail account and forward your hotmail.

    2. Blue Anne

      See, this kind of bugs me. 5+ years ago when I was fresh out of college I thought I’d use my full (rather long) first name professionally, and registered superlongfirstname.blue at gmail. Now I realize that I will always just use Anne, and so it’s awkward to have that email, and I would love to just register anne.blue at gmail – but there’s a somewhat well known tech executive with the same unusual name I have, and she has that email address.

      So what am I supposed to do? Keep using the gmail address with the less convenient, harder to spell name I don’t actually use, or register anne.blue at hotmail and get dinged for apparnetly being weirdly un-tech-savvy for a millennial?

      Argh.

        1. Blue Anne

          Yeah, I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and do that. I seem to have some kind of deep-seated ideological aversion to paying for an email address, though!

      1. Lucy Honeychurch

        Is lastname.firstname at gmail available? That’s what I use, since firstname.lastname was taken. It’s never been a problem.
        (I also have an unusual name and so was annoyed to discover that someone else nabbed “my” gmail first!)

        1. many bells down

          My daughter too! Very British Firstname + Mexican Surname isn’t a combination I expected to be taken, but it was! And using her stepfather’s surname didn’t work any better.

      2. Honeybee

        Or you could do anne.blue8 @ gmail.com or something like that.

        I’ve also seen people do initials or shortened versions – like aeblue@, anne.e.blue@, anblu@, etc. The caveat with the second one is you have to always remember to give the initial and they have to always remember it’s there, otherwise it goes to the tech executive.

        1. YawningDodo

          Yeah, mine is my first name and the first two letters of my last name @gmail — like yawningdo, except my real name is alliterative and it’s a bit more attractive as that sort of abbreviation. If you have a more common name it’s possible all those kinds of combinations are taken, but it’s a way to get away from firstname.lastname and still have something that’s clearly your name and doesn’t have any numbers (I don’t really judge anyone for numbers as long as it’s not 69, but I don’t like the way they look in an email address because it feels like just giving up on having a truly unique identifier).

        2. Dot Warner

          All the variations on my first & last name were taken, so I use a pun related to my profession and first name (I’m not a professional poker player, but think Poker.Dot@gmail).

      3. Venus Supreme

        I’m curious as to whether or not I have a professional-sounding e-mail. I have a fairly unusual (but not unfamiliar) first name and a very ethnic and difficult to pronounce/spell last name. I’ve tried not to use my last name OR numbers but all of those options were taken, and so I’m left using my graduation year. So my e-mail is VenusS.2015 (at gmail). My work e-mail is vsupercalifragilisticexpialidocious (at work) and a few e-mails slipped into the abyss from typing my last name wrong. But that’s how everyone else’s e-mails are formatted, so I’m not stressing that. Just wondering if my professional gmail sounds professional enough?

      4. Bob Barker

        Pity the Michael Murphys of this earth. One of them’s quasi-famous in his field; the rest are not. One of them is michael.murphy at gmail.

        …he’s not the famous one. I know, because he sent me a very exasperated note to the effect that of all the Michael Murphys in all the gin joints in the world —

        (All the rest use middle initials or names, and hopefully have an ongoing chat room where they trade misdirected emails.)

        1. YawningDodo

          That’s the big reason I didn’t even try to get my firstname.lastname gmail address. I got enough of that nonsense in college from the firstname.lastname emails they assigned to us, when people would misspell a name and it’d go to the wrong person. At least since I use an abbreviation I’m not going to get emails from people who just made a wild guess that whichever Yawning Dodo they were trying to email was yawning.dodo.

          1. blackcat

            See, I was very naive in 2003, the era when gmail was in beta and invite-only.

            I snagged CommonFirstnameCommonLastname at gmail. I get email for everyone else with my name, including people with spelling variations.

            The best is CommonLastnameCommonFirstname at gmail. Her elderly parents never could figure out that I wasn’t her (this was in 2004 or so, so not many options, and I figured it out), so to this day, there is a filter to send emails from them directly to her. She is quite nice and apologized profusely for the situation.

    3. MissGirl

      Another issue with not having a gmail account I never noticed until I changed industries is using things like Google docs and its appendages. I know a lot of people who didn’t have gmail accounts and now have to have them to access shared documents. Also, if you’re involved in anything google analytic related, you’ll need an address. I actually have two for different analytic accounts.

      In other industries, having yahoo or hotmail isn’t going to be noticed nor will it bother anyone.

    4. Experiment 626

      I wouldn’t reject someone for @hotmail, but if I already had concerns about the person’s level of tech-savviness (especially hiring for a tech/IT role), it would reinforce those concerns.

      I’m not sure this is a solid metric, many, many people who work/ed at Microsoft have hotmail accounts, they only transitioned to Outlook three years ago.

  5. PaidPeanuts

    I have to admit, when I see the @hotmail or @yahoo addresses, it does give me that one second’s hesitation. If it was for a job that required some tech savvy, the second’s hesitation would extend into an audible “eeeehhhhhh…” – never a good sign.

    But honestly, as long as it’s not something like SexyBeast69@nonsense.com (pretty close to a real email address I once received on a resume) or LisaAndSteve@fakeemail.com (I’ve received several like this – email addresses are FREE people! Get your own!), or MyLittleSugarBear@noway.com (or anything else overly personal), I’m probably not going to think twice.

    1. HR Jeanne

      YES! I admit I get a little judgy when I see something like carlandlinda@gmail or thehendersons@whatever. Get your own email for your job search, please please please.

    2. That Would Be a Good Band Name

      I admit that I used to use thelastnames@comcast several years ago when job searching. However, I’ve had and used firstname.lastname@gmail since gmail first happened (back when you needed an invite to get an email address from them), so I’m going to guess that just having email was tech savvy at the time I was doing it. :)

    3. Qmatilda

      So, for a portion of marriage counselors post infidelity they recommend the couple share social media and email accounts. It’s a very weird and real thing.

      1. Koko

        In that situation I would recommend that the job seeker at least signal they understand professional convention by maintaining the appearance of separate email accounts rather than involving potential employers in the messy repair of their marriage. IE get “Steve.Notacheateranymore@nodivorce.com” for Steve to put on his resume, and give Lisa the login if that’s the arrangement the couple has come to. The company doesn’t need to know that Lisa has the password, and Lisa can login any time to see that the only people emailing Steve are potential employers, not mistresses.

    4. nonprofit manager

      I need to defend the concept of “LisaAndSteve@”, at least in some cases. I am married. I have one of those email addresses, but it’s not quite that silly (it’s lastname.firstinitials@). It’s used for joint banking, investment, etc. accounts and even separate accounts, as it’s nice to have all of that in one place. I would not use it for job searching, however. Both my husband and I have our own individual email addresses and in fact I have multiple for various purposes.

      1. Lia

        The thing is, many banks and investment companies will let you register multiple email addresses. You can put both in and then share the login and password information if you’re limited to one login.

        The worst I have seen, though, is a joint LinkedIn profile. The job history was interesting — it read “Assistant Manager, XYZ Corp., 2009-2015 (Lisa)” and “Tech Support Lead, ABC Enterprises, 2012-2016 (Steve)” .

        1. nonprofit manager

          Yes, but why clutter up two email accounts with the same message?

          As I stated, I would not use this for job searching. Or for personal communication with friends or family members. It’s simply a way to gather all of our family business under one account that both can access.

          Totally agree on shared LinkedIn profiles. Don’t get that at all.

      2. many bells down

        Yes, we also have one in my house and it’s for bills and things we want to both easily have access to. In fact, we loaded all of our music into the shared library under that email address. We also use it for Amazon.

        1. nonprofit manager

          We use the shared address for Amazon, Netflix, and a few other shared things, as well. It’s really quite handy, actually. We both have the account on our phones with a separate email app so we both can see messages, and yet keep our primary email inboxes clean and clutter-free.

          But I do not go public with this address. It’s not used with friends, family members, or job searches. No way.

          1. many bells down

            Exactly. It’s so easy to make a new address – I have 4 active currently, including the joint one. The household account, my main account, my “real name” email, and my “I’m probably going to get spam” email.

      3. Dynamic Beige

        I think that makes perfect sense. However, if you were using that as your e-mail to apply for jobs, perhaps not so much.

        Someone I knew from school has no e-mail account. Literally none. If I want to e-mail her, I have to e-mail her husband, who tells her and then she responds back using his account. I was gobsmacked when she told me.

  6. AnonEMoose

    One thing I do notice with Yahoo and Hotmail is that, when I send email (from work) to people with those providers, they seem to be more likely to inappropriately route stuff to the spam folder. So, if you use them, and you’re job hunting, be sure to check your spam folders regularly.

    1. Wendy Darling

      I at one time had issues with my Gmail account causing emails from Microsoft (real ones, I had legit reasons to be talking to Microsoft) to vanish without a trace. They didn’t even go to spam, they were just GONE.

      My best guess is it was some kind of overzealous anti-phishing measure, but it was really annoying at the time.

      1. sunny-dee

        It was intentional. They did the same thing, for a time, with text messages sent from non-iPhone phones.

        1. Koko

          I believe what you’re thinking of was Apple, who disappeared text messages sent from iPhone users to Android users.

  7. TheBeetsMotel

    I think AOL addresses are more damaging because AOL is an outmoded internet provider, and suggests someone who’s behind the times. Hotmail is just an email provider though, and doesn’t carry the same stigma, even though it’s been around for a long time.

    1. fposte

      Agreed that AOL is better known; another concern I would have at this point in the game is if it raises the risk of age discrimination.

    2. Bad Candidate

      Except you can sign up for a free AOL.com email address just like Hotmail or Yahoo or Gmail without using their internet service. (I know this b/c I have an AOL email address but for only one purpose/sign on and literally no one else has the email address.)

    3. Koko

      I work in digital tech and actually work with a number of very tech-savvy people who use AOL email addresses. They use them because they were early digital adopters…some even worked for AOL when it was still a new company. None of them still get their internet service from AOL anymore, but they haven’t changed their address for the same reason people don’t change their cell when they move – it’s their address, it’s always been theirs, it’s the one everyone knows, and they like it.

      1. Been There - Done That

        I thought this same thing. One way of looking at people with these “old” providers like AOL or Hotmail, is that they’ve been using email (and other tech) for quite some time. Sure, maybe Gmail is newer and shinier, but it’s a hassle to move all your contacts and such over if you’ve been using email for a couple decades.

        1. Dynamic Beige

          Me too, very early days of e-mail when Hotmail was new. One day I received a “Thank you for being a Hotmail user for 20 years” e-mail and I was kinda… ugh. I have too many e-mail accounts, but I use this one for signing up for things.

    4. Isabel C.

      Certainly when I used to be contacting lawyers for non-hiring reasons, I would seriously side-eye the ones with steve@aol.com as opposed to steve@steveslawfirm.com–like, really? Did you just switch from Prodigy? (On the other hand, in that job I actually told a guy we’d send him his chapter and have him ask “so you’ll mail me the CD?” so…probably they did.)

  8. Cookie

    Is the boss in data entry example a woman (I know AAM defaults to female pronouns)? If so that’s why he’s balking…he thinks it’s women’s work. In the middle of my busiest time of year I needed a database cleaned up, I was told “Intern” could help. After explaining what needed to be done he asked if I or another woman could do it since he didn’t feel it was a good use of his time. He was months out of college and I have 15 years experience but he thought he should be going one on one with clients while cleaned up the database.

    1. fposte

      While that may have been the case for you, I don’t think you can generalize from that. I’m female, and I would balk if my data entry staffer suggested I take it over.

  9. caryatis

    For everyone who uses an outmoded email address: you know you can configure Gmail to have mail from other addresses forwarded, right? You can email me at any one of at least four different addresses I’ve had for various reasons, and it will show up in my Gmail account. That way I can use Gmail without the risk of losing messages from companies/people who may only have my old address from five years ago.

      1. Kaytee

        Gmail has just become the standard, much like how smartphones are now the standard. Still using Hotmail is sort of like still using a flip phone, at least in my mind.

          1. Skiptomylou

            I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. In my mind, it just says, “This person swims against the tide.” That can be great or not so great, depending on the situation.

            1. Bob Barker

              Hee, I still had a pre-flip phone (not quite a brick, but big and clunky) as of 2013. I was proud of it! I’d had that phone for 10 years! I even figured out how to text on it after 3-4 years of ownership! (Only to one person at a time, and laboriously with only 12 keys, but whatevs.) I am a Yankee; if it still works, there is no reason to replace it.

              I buckled and got a smartphone, finally, to be able to web browse while traveling. This also means I completely skipped the flip-phone era.

              1. Countess Boochie Flagrante

                I even figured out how to text on it after 3-4 years of ownership!

                Yeah, that’s the kind of thing that tends to concern potential employers.

                1. Bob Barker

                  To be fair, “after 3-4 years of ownership” means I learned to text in… 2007? Which is pretty good, as texting-for-work goes. (I did not actually text for work till at least 2010, at which time public transit got cell phone service underground at all, and it became possible to warn my workplace I’d be late for reasons of sitting helplessly in a stalled train.)

        1. Jeff A.

          I find it to be the opposite. Gmail is the equivalent to the iPhone, and apple’s basic premise is that they create devices for people who aren’t tech savvy enough to use better products on the market.

      2. Z

        I think with technology something that has existed for a long time inherently becomes outmoded (or perceived that way) because of the rate of change. Ask.com is probably a perfectly acceptable search engine, but I’m sure people would look askance at you if you said it was the only one you used.

        That said you can at least be happy knowing this will happen to gmail too.

    1. TheLazyB

      But why would I? I hate Gmail. And I don’t want Google spying on me any more than they already do.

      1. AcademiaNut

        It’s actually the combination of Google mail + smartphone that freaks me out a little.

        If I set it up and use it as intended, one company has easy access to all of my emails (work and personal), my complete web browsing history and media consumption profile (linked to my real name), any photos or videos I take, plus detailed information on the time and location at which I did all of the above, not to mention the ability for real time tracking and recording of my location. That’s an awful lot of personal information, particularly considering that those emails can now involve a significant fraction of an average person’s financial and shopping activities. Not to mention the whole issue of having a foreign government that wants free access to all of the above.

        1. Ikke

          This is precisely my conclusion.

          “When a service is free, the product is you.” I side-eye people using free services for their company operations. I’ve been researching offshore hosting, and a less than 100 dollars US to lease services under my own domain is starting to make sense to me.

    1. PaidPeanuts

      I don’t think it’s that at all. I know lots of very tech-savvy older folks who have left those email providers behind. Even my semi-retired dad (who is 65 and not at all tech savvy) is now using gmail after he got tired of ads on hotmail or whatever other provider he was using.

        1. Pari

          How’s it about savviness? Most people I know with those older email addresses are perfectly familiar with gmail.

          1. Ask a Manager Post author

            I should have said it’s about the perception of savviness, not about age.

            And the reason for the perception is tied to the perception of AOL as being extremely outdated and/or for people who want the internet fed to them in bite-sized, carefully managed pieces (which is what AOL was in the old days, for anyone who remembers — there was a whole special curated AOL internet for their users).

            1. Z

              Interesting! For me that’s a factor, but it’s more the “savvy” to try new technology and interfaces. Working in tech, rolling with change and trying/learning new systems is a huge part of the job. You absolutely could be an AOL person who tried gmail and decided it wasn’t for you, but it’s an at a glance signal that you’re not be inclined to branch out technologically.

            2. Retail HR Guy

              …but then if it’s about perception and not any actual savviness, how is that legal? If you have a hiring criterion that creates disparate impact against older applicants (even if unintended) and you aren’t able to justify it from a business perspective then that would meet the definition of age discrimination.

              1. Ask a Manager Post author

                You’d have to show evidence of disparate impact, and you’d have to show people were actually being rejected because of it — but mostly it’s just one piece of data feeding into a larger picture.

                1. Retail HR Guy

                  Yeah, but I’m not arguing you’re likely to get caught if you use that criterion in your hiring decisions. Just that doing so would technically be illegal age discrimination if we go with our two assumptions above that (a) older people are more likely to have AOL email addresses, and (b) having an AOL email address does not actually make you less tech savvy.

                  It would be like secretly not hiring people who like the Beegees more than Skrillex because you have a weird hunch that disco leads to absenteeism. No one’s ever going to catch you, but you would technically be violating the law.

                2. Pari

                  it would be difficult to defend an age discrimination claim if you said people with aol email accounts are less technologically savvy than those with gmail.

                3. Pari

                  the burden in an age discrimination claim falls on the employer to prove how an older is less qualified than a younger worker. I don’t think anyone who evaluates these things legally would accept the “savviness” of your email address as a legitimate job qualification. I believe the proper tee is pretext. The op clearly stated that people on the thread said aol is for old people. To

                4. Ask a Manager Post author

                  I don’t think anyone is suggesting that they’re rejecting people based on this. They’re talking about — or at least I’m talking about — how it contributes to an overall impression. That’s right in the answer: “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.”

                  I feel like I’m not making myself understood at all here so I’m giving up.

            3. Pari

              Do you believe downgrading a resume bc of an “old person” email address is legally problematic?

              1. Ask a Manager Post author

                I think that’s a straw man. Nowhere have I said it makes you look old. Looking out of touch with technology doesn’t equal old. It equals out of touch with technology.

                1. Pari

                  The op clearly said recruiters are downgrading resumes because aol email addresses are for old people. How’s that a straw man?

            4. Isabel C.

              Exactly. Ironically, back when I was first on the Internet, AOL was the signal for This Person Is Probably Seventeen–college students had @university.edu addresses, and real for serious adults either used serious ISPs or their company’s email or something.

              Young or old, it’s sort of always been the Kraft Mac & Cheese of ISPs, and I speak as someone who used AIM for a good while back in college.

      1. Pari

        Oh cmon- aren’t older people the ones more likely to have those addresses? You can’t really say it’s reflective of other IT skills without stereotyping. Most people I know with non gmail addresses have them bc they were popular at the time and just keep them because they work and don’t want to go through the hassle of changing all of their email subscriptions and notifying their contacts. Of course Gmail is only become popular relatively recently-indicative of age.

        1. LQ

          If you are going with older people are less tech savvy then wouldn’t they have been the ones jumping on the email train late and more likely to end up with gmail addresses? If you think it is young people who were using yahoo and aol then you are talking people who are now mostly younger than 40, and so that wouldn’t really be age discrimination (legally speaking). Or you know that people can be tech savvy at any age and some of them may have been 40 when they got their email addresses and were already people to keep up with current tech even if they were not “young”.

          Most people I know who have gmail addresses are younger than 40 or have firstname.lastname. (Of course assuming we are excluding people with their own domains altogether.) Most “old” people I know (60+) have gmail.

      2. Lindsay (Not a Temp Anymore)

        I’ll never forget the time a couple years ago that my 62 year old mother (retired for about 5 years, gmail for maybe 7) told me that she was thinking of switching from gmail because none of her friends had it and she thought she was outdated and out of touch with all her friends.

        …no, Carol. You’re staying right where you are, and no you can’t go to the cell phone store alone…

    2. Sfigato

      I’ll echo this – it’s about savviness, not age. If you have your service provider’s domain as your email, particularly one like aol, it sends a message that you are not current with technology. Which, depending on the position, might not matter, but if the position required someone that was technologically savvy and current with trends, it would be a warning. I would think twice, for example, at hiring a management consultant or graphic designer with an aol address.

      1. Pari

        Would I be less tech savvy if I bought an old persons car like a Buick instead of a tesla? Or if I used IE instead of chrome or safari? Or if I preferred to calling over texting? Or does it simply signal that I’m probably older.

        1. LQ

          Why are you calling an Buick an old person’s car? My 25 year old sister just bought her dream car, it’s a Buick, she specifically said she loved it more than a Tesla. Doesn’t assuming that “older” people use IE and drive Buicks signal that you’ve already decided what old people do? This doesn’t make any sense to me.

          1. Pari

            These are stereotypes which is the same as stereotyping people with an older email address as non tech savvy when all it really shows is they use an older email account to manage their emails. There’s not much difference in the technical “savviness” of gmail as compared to other email accounts…at least that I know of other than when they became popular.

        2. N.J.

          By certain measures, some of the examples you listed could create a perception of being less tech savvy. With the texting example, that could signal that you don’t like texting, don’t have a mobile device that features texting or do but don’t know how to text. It could, as you have stated, just signal that you like calling better, but any time a “new” technology takes root to a large enough extent, such as texting (which can be classified as a new mode of communication), there is the risk that not participating in that technology brands you as not being tech savvy. I’m not saying it’s right to assume that, it’s horribly wrong, but there you have it.

          1. Pari

            Are you saying that gmail’s email accounts are new technology that are more technologically savvy than say a yahoo account? How so?

            1. Z

              I think the willingness to switch to or explore new technologies actually does say something. I lead a team at a tech company and curiosity about new technology is critical to what we do (as it is on many teams). A person using an “older” email address doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have that skill, but it may signal a desire to stick with technology that’s known.

              More to your point: Google Apps for Business is really standard in my industry and you’d be expected to know how to use it, the way many jobs expect you to know how to use Microsoft Office programs. We allow for superficial branding and industry dominance to dictate other tools people use, at least with email it’s free and easy to work around with forwarding, etc.

              1. Pari

                I don’t understand How you’ve arrived at that conclusion. Are you saying people might not be curious about new technology if they don’t change their email address every time a new email provider comes out? Besides how do you know these people don’t have multiple email accounts but just choose to use an older one on their resume. It seems really misguided to ding someone, even incrementally, because they still have an older email address.

                1. Z

                  I’m not saying I actually ding people–like many, many people have mentioned in this thread it’s more just a “huh, ok” thing to note (at most), not something that would make me reject a qualified candidate. However, unless it’s clear in other ways, it would probably lead me to ask questions that get at their curiosity and adaptability in an interview. The same way I might focus on collaboration for someone’s resume who might now show that as much as others.

                  Plus all sorts of things get this sort of “huh” note from resumes and again, email is free and very easy to forward from/test out if a difference address works better. I’d rather people care about email addresses than something like a person’s name, which has been studied to show a huge and very real affect on applicant and is usually racially biased.

                  (Also it’s definitely an anecdata conclusion, but even in this thread you see a lot of people saying they prefer not to even try a new email system, they’d never leave AOL, etc. Obviously that choice is fine and I don’t judge it at all–I mentioned upthread that us gmail people will be in the same place when something new takes over–but it does point to a preference towards sticking with the familiar. Not inherently a negative, but definitely something I’ve observed.)

            2. N.J.

              My impression of yahoo is a poor user interface and crappy spam protections. I can’t speak to the specific example at length, which is why I picked texting. I use gmail. I switched from hotmail roughly 10 years ago. I feel personally that gmail has a good email organization and filter system, decent ability to send an revive files and good capability to provide other value adds, such as google drive storage and access. That is just my opinion obviously. In general with your examples though, unwillingness to try new technology would give me pause when evaluating someone’s capacity to roll with change, ability to learn new systems etc.

          1. Z

            Right? Everything else isn’t truly indicative of anything, but I would definitely question someone who wanted to work in tech and their preferred browser was IE.

            1. Isabel C.

              I would question anyone who was under seventy whose preferred browser was IE. Maybe older than that, actually–my parents are in their late sixties/early seventies, retired high school teachers, and *they* use Firefox/Chrome/Safari.

  10. OhNo

    I wonder if outlook.com (or live.com or whatever it is now) emails have the same stigma attached? I think they’re the same company now, it’s just that hotmail’s been around forever.

  11. HR Pro

    Also, please don’t use your current employer’s email address on your resume. I thought this habit was dead, but I have seen it once or twice recently. And, frankly, it was from people who had been at their companies for many, many years. This is a signal that you aren’t very tech-savvy, people.

    1. HR Pro

      Or, perhaps worse, it’s a sign that you struggle with change. If you want to come work for a new company, you don’t want to send off signals that you struggle with change.

      1. JMegan

        It’s also a sign that you do get this job, you’re going to be using this employer’s email address (and possibly other resources, like time) to look for your next job when the time comes. Also nope.

        1. JessaB

          Especially since current employer can see those emails. It’s not just a bad idea consider – you give notice and leave and you still have some stuff going back and forth to that address that you will never see. OR you actually don’t want boss to know and they find out because IT saw that email. Just not good. Not private, not guaranteed to stay yours. Especially with so many free email programmes out there.

    2. Honeybee

      I don’t take it as a sign that they aren’t tech-savvy or that they struggle with change. I think it comes from thoughtlessness – most people never entertain the idea that IT is looking at their mail, especially if they work for a gigantic company.

    3. Lia

      This.

      I finally convinced a friend to change her email address from her employer to a gmail address. She’d been searching for about 3 years with few bites.

      Changed it and got interviews almost immediately. Hmm. Coincidence?

  12. Anon-a-llama

    Re #5, I’ve only quit when I’m unhappy but don’t mention counter offers if there’s no way you’d accept unless they bring it up. I’m in my 2 week notice period at current job and the timing is bad and going to put my coworkers in a bind and I feel bad about it. Not bad enough to take a counter offer and stay though.

    1. JessaB

      My issue with countre-offers is that if they thought I was worth x, they should darned well give me x. Then you end up taking the countre and either they push you out cause you ticked them off, or it costs you in the long run cause you had to force them to give you x and since they now think you’re overpaid or over benefitted you’re not going to get the next increase because you already got it. I can see very very few places where this would really work to the benefit of the employee in the long run.

      1. Anon-a-llama

        Exactly. In my case I was underpaid and they knew it and knew that I knew it. Now I’m going somewhere else for x and they’re going to have to pay x to the next person to replace me. Plus I’m not going to burn a bridge by withdrawing from my accepted offer and stay just to be resented for forcing the counter.

  13. AdAgencyChick

    Instead of asking my boss to pick up work for me, I’d rather just present an overly full plate as an open-ended question, or offer a solution that doesn’t involve my boss picking up the work (“I’m not going to be able to get both XYZ and ABC done before I leave today, so I was going to crank out XYZ and leave ABC for tomorrow morning”).

    The boss may agree with my solution, propose something different, or say, “I’ll take ABC.” This of course depends on two things: 1) a reasonable boss who won’t say “just find a way to get it done,” and 2) an earned reputation with the boss that I won’t say “I can’t accomplish these things in this time frame” unless it’s true and I’m not just being lazy.

    1. Honeybee

      That’s usually how I do it too. “I have three things to do this week, and I can only do two of them. I propose [solution that doesn’t involve my boss taking my work]. What would you like me to do?”

      I’ve gained the reputation at work as the person who doesn’t complain unless things are really bad, so if I say I can’t do something it is immediately taken off my plate or pushed back, which is great!

    2. Rocky

      That’s exactly how I handled it with a staff member who used to try delegating up to me on the regular. Once she realized that asking me to take on her work would trigger a conversation where we discussed everything that was on her plate, how things should be prioritized, time management, etc., most of those asks stopped. When I have someone who’s legitimately very busy, I usually offer, “How about if I do all of [responsibility we share] this week so you can get [responsibility that is yours alone] done on time?” or, “If you’re running short on time to finish High Priority Project, just push Minor Follow-Up Task until next week.”

    3. AnonEMoose

      That’s where I land, too. I can go to my boss and say, I have XYZ deadlines, plus A and B to manage. What needs to be the priority? And he will help me figure out what can wait, delegate something to someone else if need be, whatever. But that way he’s aware of the issue and makes the decision.

  14. AnotherAlison

    I don’t really get the email thing. 5 years ago, I would have agreed. I have both a firstmiddlelast@ yahoo and firstmiddlelas@ gmail, so I can do whatever, but I don’t really use my personal email any more. I get school correspondence for my kids, bill notifications, store coupons, etc., and that’s about it. For electronic communication with friends and family, I use social media or text more than email. I used to sit down and exchange multi page emails with remote friends, but FB pretty much killed that.

    I couldn’t care less if my “Reminder-Send money for the fundraiser” email goes to yahoo or gmail. What do employers think I’m doing with my email account that matters to them?

  15. GH in SoCAl

    I work in a “glamour” industry where age discrimination is definitely a thing, so yeah, I got a gmail account for work a few years ago. I keep my AOL address for my personal life. Since then I’ve started noticing who else has aol addresses and it’s a mixed bag of technophobe fuddy-duddies and aging early-adopters like me.

    I like having two accounts for business and not.

    1. Mreasy

      I have been using tech since the days of AOL, and I hire people, and if you have an @AOL email, you will seem weird and out of touch. That is because the only people I encounter professionally who have @AOL addresses are weird and out of touch.

  16. Fabulous

    I have a Hotmail account and a Gmail account. In having both, I learned that I really HATE Gmail. Absolutely hate it. Never use it except to access my Drive – because that is an awesome service!!

    Hotmail is actually great nowadays because it works on the Outlook platform and essentially functions just like Microsoft Outlook, which is commonly used in the workplace.

      1. Lucie in the Sky

        Same here. My last company had emails through Gmail servers — it was so nice to be able to use Gmail or outlook — I never used outlook pretty much

    1. Coalea

      I use Gmail via Outlook because I like having a Gmail.com address but don’t like the Gmail interface.

    2. voluptuousfire

      I’m a Gmail and iOS fan all the way now. I use Gmail personally and now professionally. I do not miss Windows and Outlook at all. It’s fantastic not having to archive emails twice a week because I’m over some arbitrary limit.

    3. Lark

      Me too! I’ve had a Gmail account for years, but recently created an Outlook account specifically for job searching. I just find the interface to be significantly cleaner than Gmail.

    4. Fabulous

      And of course the day after I touted the benefits of outlook over gmail, my email account had a drastic update last night to be more like gmail! It deleted half my sorting rules and now my inbox looks SO cluttered. Why why why does every email have to take up 3 lines???

  17. AnonEMoose

    One thing I would add: Whatever email address you are using, please make sure it’s correct!

    There’s a woman on, I think, the West Coast who has an email address close to mine. Mine is firstname.lastname@email.com. Hers is something like firstnamelastname8@email.com. And every once in awhile, I get a flurry of emails intended for her.

    Just little things…like stuff to do with her cell phone account. And a hotel receipt. And emails about potential jobs. And various newsletters I didn’t sign up for (and then have to unsubscribe from).

    It’s frustrating for me, and could be dangerous for her if I weren’t fundamentally honest. I actually called her cell phone provider to report the incorrect email address issue, and they were able to fix it. I’m not sure how much of it is other people mistyping her email address, and how much is her providing it incorrectly. I suspect it’s about 50/50, and I wish she would be more careful, because it’s annoying.

    1. Z

      Oh man, I have firstnamelastname @ gmail and honestly figured my name was unusual enough it wouldn’t be an issue. But no, apparently there are at least four other women with my exact name. I’ve gotten everything from storage unit receipts to church budgets to Facebook verification.

      I suspect it’s a similar 50/50 thing, but one of them is a serial offender and I have her address and really want to send her a postcard as a heads up for security. I could honestly take over a good chunk of her life without anyone batting an eye. Not good!

    2. Honeybee

      I managed to snag firstname.lastname@ gmail.com for my address – I got it back when Gmail was still in beta – and I get misdirected email all the time. (My first and last name are both very common separately and together.) A lot of people forget initials or numerals or both. I’ve gotten an invitation for an interview that wasn’t meant for me, people’s financial information, invitations to baby showers and other events, etc.

      I always respond and let the person know they’ve emailed the wrong person, but yeah, some people would get screwed over!

    3. Skiptomylou

      Oh man, my husband was lucky enough to sign up on gmail so early that he got firstinitiallastname@gmail.com. And it’s a fairly common last name, so he gets email for so many people that have the same first initial and last name as him. He typically doesn’t respond and just deletes things, but he’s had to reply to lawyers who’ve sent sensitive documents to him intending them to go to other people.

      The best was when he got an evite to a family picnic. He went to the evite and RSVP’d that he’d be attending with 8 guests, and that they shouldn’t serve anything with gluten because he was bringing “you know who” and “you know who” has an allergy attack if she even smells gluten within a 15-mile radius. Cocktail weiners were okay, though. That comment stayed up on the evite site for a solid week before someone finally realized what happened.

    4. A

      I have this same problem and it drives me bonkers. I think the other woman is careless, frankly, because I’ve gotten wrongly addressed personal messages AND things she’s subscribed to. I was super confused when I got her “Congratulations on your pregnancy!” emails from WhattoExpect.com when I was at home nursing my 1-month-old. And now I get HER reminders about parent-teacher conferences at her kid’s preschool in Delaware. I live in the Midwest and have plenty of my own school reminders to keep track of.

          1. Elsajeni

            Yeah, my personal and work email accounts are really similar — both are my first initial and last name, the personal one just has some numbers at the end — and I know I’ve put a mixed-up version of both on a form at least once. The time I know of, I put the account part of my personal email and the domain part of my work email, so it just bounced, but if I did it the other way around, there’d be some other E. Lastname out there going “I can’t believe this idiot keeps signing me up for her Lands’ End coupons.”

    5. Chickaletta

      I had something similar happen to me. For about a year, I got emails from a court in another state intended for someone else with my name, they were trying to track her down for something. I looked into it because I wanted to make sure she wasn’t stealing my identity. I think I emailed the agency to let them know I wasn’t who they were looking for and I haven’t received emails from them since, so as far as I can tell they just had the wrong email.

    6. AnotherAlison

      I have done this. My personal email addresses are firstmiddlelast@ yahoo and gmail. (Had to include the middle name because of my extremely common last name). My work email is first.last@ work.com.

      I’ve caught myself verbally saying “first dot last @ yahoo dot com” because I give out my work email so much more than my personal email. I apologize on behalf of everyone else who does this. : )

    7. AdAgencyChick

      I am suddenly so happy that I chose APunOnMyFirstName@gmail.

      (it was also nice not changing it when I got married)

    8. DCGirl

      I also got FirstInitialLastName at gmail way back when and get flurries of emails for other people with my last name and first initial. Earlier this year, it was a constant flood of correspondence for a woman who booked a bunch of flights via Wizz Air (a low-cost carrier based in Hungary, I had to look it up). When I got the emails that it was time to check in and select a seat assignment, I was soooo tempted to put in her an aisle seat in the last row next to the bathroom.

    9. Kaybee

      I also have a name-based email account, and the number of people who accidentally (I assume) use it is astronomical. And annoying. One person set up accounts with about 7-8 temp agencies using my email address! Even though I reached out to each and every one to pull my email from the accounts, my email was flooded for months with temp listings in an industry nowhere near my own.

    10. BookCocoon

      I’m adding these stories to the many reasons I’m glad I took the opportunity to change my last name when I got married. I went from a name so common there were four at my university to being the only one with my name in the United States (possibly the world).

    11. Karo

      Oh god – I was trying to secure a mortgage recently and needed a very specific inspection letter. It was getting to the point where if I didn’t have the letter by EOD I wasn’t going to make my closing date, so I was calling these people every 2 hours to get them to send the letter. They kept swearing that they had, but I never got it.

      Come to find out they were sending the email to FirstnameLastname@gmail instead of FirstnameM.Lastname@gmail.

      So this poor woman got at least 10 separate emails with multiple attachments concerning the foundation of a home she couldn’t care less about. I actually wrote her another email (which may have made it worse) apologizing.

    12. MegKnits

      OMG YES. I swear if I ever meet Rhonda, Cheryl or Terry who keep using my e-mail address (which is lastname###@gmail, and I assume theirs) I will have some choice words. I get a cable bill, healthcare information and for a period of 3 months, accounts created on *ahem* “camera” websites.
      Frustrating, but I simply unsubscribe if possible. If I get really cranky I reset your password and cancel your order that you just placed and then delete the account. But that was the 4th shopping website in a row I got signed up for so I was done.

    13. Anon-a-llama

      One of the reasons I gave up on using my firstnamelastname @yahoo.com was because 3/4 of my mail was for other people. After I got married and changed my name it wasn’t worth dealing with all the other mail for an email that didn’t match my name any more.

  18. March

    If I were to see a hotmail my reaction would likely be “huh, that’s a bit older”. I’ve got an old hotmail that I would never use for work – it’s not really all that great, I blame the sage wisdom of being thirteen when I made it – but I wouldn’t hold it against anyone for using hotmail. AOL, I think predates my email years a touch, so I think it’d be more of a surprise. But as others have said, if you have a good email address, it shouldn’t matter if it’s AOL or hotmail or outlook or live.

  19. itsame...Adam

    Boy, hotmail or I guess its called outlook now a days is soo much better than Gmail or any other email provider like yahoo. Anybody that looks down on it is actually the one who is a bit computer iliterate.

    1. Honeybee

      Well, Outlook is an app/service that you can use to manage any mail account; you can use Outlook to manage a Gmail account, for example. Outlook has also eaten Hotmail and become an email service as well, so you can have a @outlook.com email address, too.

      Personally, I use Gmail and Outlook for different things. Outlook is excellent for work because I can manage my work calendar and email together, and I can schedule things from emails and send emails to meeting attendees and such. But I prefer the simplicity of Gmail for my personal mail.

    2. KR

      But would you think poorly of a candidate who used Gmail or Yahoo because of your personal preference?

      1. itsame...Adam

        Personally I would not. Email providers are rarely consciously selected by actively comparing them and most people only remember that they have used them forever already. My wife uses yahoo and she hates what they turned it into but it is impossible for her to make the mental change to another provider since she had it for as long as she can think.

    3. Blue Anne

      I think it’s really a personal preference. A lot of people love one email provider and hate another, and it’s really down to the client interface a lot of the time, I think. It’s a bit like being a Mac or PC person.

      Personally? Gmail and Windows all the way. :)

    4. Moonsaults

      Outlook is kind of trash and only used because it comes bundled in Microsoft Office…I guess if you’re a Microsoft fan, yes it’s superior. It’s like saying Internet Explorer is the best browser because it’s on the computer when you got it and therefore most people who aren’t actively against it are going to just jump right in there.

      1. nonegiven

        You may be confusing the Outlook program with the Outlook email service. I don’t have Office, but I use Thunderbird to read my Outlook and Gmail email.

    5. Observer

      Hotmail was garbage. Then MS bought it, and improved some stuff and made some stuff worse. THEN they finally started cleaning up their act, but they basically abandoned the hotmail platform because it was such a mess. So, today anyone with a hotmail address is actually on the outlook platform (which may be a pain, but is pretty solid in most respects.) So, if I see a hotmail address, I’m wondering about tech savviness. If someone actually said what you did to me, I wouldn’t let them near my systems.

  20. Honeybee

    My immediate reaction to #1 was “that’s silly, who cares?” But then I thought about it and realized that I do have a slight bias against Yahoo and Hotmail users, lol. I persuaded my husband to get a Gmail address when he started job hunting.

    Also, why do so many managers get so salty when their employees leave? Do they really expect that people are going to stay in one place their entire careers and never leave?

    1. AnonEMoose

      I think there are various reasons managers get upset when people leave. Sometimes it might be because they’ll be inconvenienced or put in a tough spot trying to replace the person – either because they’ll have a hard time keeping the headcount, or training isn’t easy (or both). Sometimes they might be thinking about the adage that people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers, and so take it personally. And sometimes, they might just be jerks, not like change, feel jealous that the person is moving on to a different, maybe better, opportunity and they’re not, or any combination of the above.

  21. Amber Rose

    For the longest time I only used the email provided by my IP company, like, first.last@telus. Because I once belonged to a website that said if you weren’t paying for your email you shouldn’t bother, only children use free emails.

    I changed my mind after the 5th or 6th time I switched providers though. Too painful. And it turned out nobody else cared anyway.

    Gmail was difficult but I finally managed using my first and middle initials and full last name. The middle initial throws people off but it’s better than my Hotmail account, celestial_strawberry (fruit changed for privacy.) =P

  22. Erin

    This is why I have “Erin@ErinNudi.com” that is set up to run right through my gmail. :) I definitely think this made a huge difference when I was job searching.

  23. Glod Glodsson

    I do have a bit of a bias in hiring. Gmail or an own address is okay, hotmail and yahoo are okay too but they do read a little less tech-savy to me simply because they’re no longer the norm. But I don’t weigh that in my decision making, really. But really old/provider addresses do make me raise my eyebrows. They’re more typically used by people who aren’t tech savy, and I need that in the positions I’m hiring for.
    One thing is an instant no-go for me, and that’s addresses that are used by couples, like annandjohn@aol.com. I just CANNOT with those. Like, why would you even do that? It’s not a house you both live in. It just feels very wrong to me – but I get a few each time. Inappropriate ones are off-putting but if they’re from younger people I don’t care overmuch, since don’t always seem to realise this isn’t professional. I do mention it if I hire them though :D

    1. justsomeone

      I have a shared email account with my husband that is for shared bills and family stuff so we both have visibility on it. But I’d NEVER use it to apply for jobs. What are those people even thinking?

  24. Gene

    Obligatory Oatmeal link: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/email_address

    There are fields where this Very Much Matters. I was an AOL charter subscriber, so I had a simple, 5-letter aol address that I finally gave up a few years ago when I wasn’t using it. I also have at least a dozen other emails I can use between work, Yahoo (to run the work related group), my own domain, my other own domain, and Gmail.

    1. Persephone Mulberry

      Woo hoo, someone with more email addresses than me! I think I’m currently at 8…old personal, new personal, junk mail, work, work Gmail, job search (custom domain), art gig (custom domain), Yahoo (for fantasy football and Yahoo Groups). This isn’t counting the provided-by-the-ISP inbox that I don’t actually use.

      1. Maria

        I am among my people! Personal, financial, professional, freelance, junk mail, school and professional coursework, online purchasing. I wish I could link them all under one Gmail, but I’m maxed out.

    2. NoWhiteFlag

      Yes, that’s me as well. I have 10 active e-mail addresses which include 3 of my own domains. However, each of those exists for a specific purpose. So, I use my old AOL e-mail as my default personal e-mail.

  25. Chickaletta

    I think it does matter in some industries. For example, I have a networking connection with another freelancer who claims to be a marketing expert, but she uses an AOL account. Sure enough, her website is also terribly outdated, for example it was built with tables, and has cliche clip art like targets, arrows, and light bulbs. To me, that’s a red flag that she’s not up to date in her field at all. She would like to subcontract with me on projects from time to time but I’ve politely turned her down because I’m concerned that being connected to her would tarnish my own reputation, it’s that bad.

    To all the gmail haters: it does take a learning curve if you’re coming from Hotmail or Yahoo, but it’s worth it. It took me a few months to get used to it. Now, when I crack open the door to my old Hotmail accounts I don’t like them anymore. (I haven’t deleted them because I can’t remember what other services they’re still connected with).

    1. the gold digger

      I hate gmail because I was one of the first users (back when you had to find someone to invite you) and it is a pain in the neck to use. I want to create folders, thank you, and I do not want threaded conversations.

      (Although for the sharepoint site I set up for my group, tags are the way. Tags are the only way when more than one person is adding files. But if it’s just me? I understand my folders. Leave them alone.)

    1. Chickaletta

      Sure, nicknames are fine as long as you’re ok by people actually calling you by that name, since you’re kinda opening yourself to it.

  26. Sfigato

    I was just thinking about this.
    #1. I concur that having a cute or sassy email address is not good for a resume. Or life, really, unless it is for your grindr or tinder account.
    #2. I absolutely think that if you want to be taken seriously in an industry or profession where technology is involved, you shouldn’t have an internet provider as your email domain. It basically says that you are not technologically savvy. I deal with a lot of people working at small nonprofits, and I want to tell them to ditch their pacbell or aol address. It immediately sends a signal that they are out of touch. I also work in silicon valley, so maybe I’m biased. For them, I’d recommend getting a Name.Lastname@organizationname.com email address, which you can probably do through aol or yahoo. I know you can do it through google.
    #3. Under no circumstances should you ever use an earthlink email address for anything except spam. No employer is going to be impressed with your auto respond message asking them to click a link to prove they aren’t spam.

  27. Ama

    For the #4 question (applying to a job that you suspect has an internal candidate), I once got a summer job in grad school at a completely different university, because they had sent a job posting to my campus and I had a class that was right next to the bulletin board the campus employment office used. Everyone I met there was astonished that I did not know anyone working there before I applied — apparently that department in particular usually hired any summer/temporary employees based on referrals from their full time staff. I think my being a grad student (when they were expecting most of the applicants to be undergrads) is one of the reasons they took a chance and invited me to interview, but I also had experience in exactly the type of project they were hiring me to help with, which is what got me the job.

  28. The Irish One

    As a seasoned IT vet I applied for a job in IT, using my Yahoo email (yes, I have a Gmail as required by my phone’s operating system, but I don’t use it for anything). Here’s the kicker. I have 2 Yahoos – one fun (but not offensive or inappropriate) for using when I buy stuff/sign up for things, and the other is soley for personal correspondence. The online application got caught in a timeout loop using my personal one (firstname.lastname), so I reapplied using the “fun” email address which doesn’t have any part of my name at all in it. Got an interview, then more interviews, and then the job. I guess they weren’t caught up on the Yahoo or the “fun” email name, but moreso the experience I had and the cover letter to get me an interview. Needless to say, I changed my personal contact information on my work profile to my personal Yahoo after I started the job. And, as a total aside, I’m lovin’ the new job!

  29. OlympiasEpiriot

    My personal e-mail is ancient by ISP standards. It is something that got swallowed up before Y2K. It had swallowed others before that. I keep it because, well, it is mine and everyone has it, AND I was an early-enough adopter to actually have an e-mail address that is just my initials. I didn’t need to add a year, or my full name, or a bunch of random characters. I didn’t need to come up with something ‘cute’ and misspelled. So, in a funny backwards way, I think it shows off a certain familiarity with tech for a really long time. In order to have an ISP in those days, you had to actually have a reason for getting on and browsers were think on the ground and those that existed were not very user-friendly. Modems likewise. You knew what a baud rate was, you most likely knew the difference between machine code and assembly code. You had the full set of screwdrivers for opening the CPU and adding memory and cleaning the fan.

    I make a point of telling people when I give them my personal e-mail address that I’ve been around the web long enough to have a profile on The WELL. (Long since lapsed as there was a point in my life I constricted my expenses for a few years and that membership was one of the things to go. Occasionally I think of getting on the conferences again, but my life is so jammed already. If you aren’t familiar with it, there’s very good conversations in it.)

    And, I refuse to have a gmail addy. That company is far too porous. However, when I look for a job again, I quite possibly will just get my own domain.

    1. Chickaletta

      I love stories from people who worked in IT when it was young. There’s a picture of my mom in a museum, she’s sitting in front of the first monitor that her company had. My dad too remembers the days of punch cards and servers the size of refrigerators. So, I don’t mind them keeping their comcast email accounts, but I think people expect someone my age to be up with current trends.

      1. OlympiasEpiriot

        I actually didn’t work *in* IT, I just used /use it. I refer to it as a tool. A complicated hammer.

        But, yeah, the “early” days.

  30. Katz

    I don’t think badly of people who have aol, hotmail, or yahoo addresses… but I definitely assume they’re a minimum of 40 years old.

      1. Mreasy

        I had an AOL account in my teens (36) and still have active Hotmail & Yahoo accounts – the former for buying stuff online, the latter for mailing lists – but I have them both forwarded to Gmail because the interface is easier to integrate w phone/etc and web interface was better at the time (it took hotmail a LONG time to upgrade). I always feel bad for kids a decade younger than me – I am just full name @ each provider, but they all have to add numbers & underlines & things!

  31. Bend & Snap

    I work in enterprise tech and hotmail or yahoo would be the kiss of death here. I remember being mocked for not using Chrome when presenting something a few years ago. It’s really Google or die in this particular slice of tech.

    1. OlympiasEpiriot

      Things have changed! I remember when using something you didn’t code yourself would get you mocked. (Don’t laugh…I remember when setting up a letter or other document meant putting in code to create margins, etc.)

      1. De Minimis

        I was thinking that…it would probably make a difference in tech.

        I keep waiting for AOL to be retro cool in a 90s nostalgia way, but I don’t think it will ever happen.

        1. Bend & Snap

          My dirty secret is that I love hotmail and use it for online bill paying and retail accounts. The folder/sorting functions are fantastic and so is the mobile app.

              1. OlympiasEpiriot

                That’s my second least favorite thing about Gmail. I have to use it for a volunteer position I do. (Think board member title @ nonprofit organization dot net that’s an alias for a Gmail account.) After working with it for 3 years, I can state assuredly that I will never use it for my personal stuff.

                1. OlympiasEpiriot

                  I did. But it was the default, which I don’t think it should be. And I still don’t like using it. It is worse than several others for dropping attachments. Porous.

                  What it tells me (from my experience) is that someone *doesn’t* have real tech familiarity, will probably send me a document with inconsistent formatting that I have to access from Google Drive. They haven’t a clue as to what an FTP site is when I offer mine to let them upload something I expect to be 35 MB or larger. There is a high degree of risk that if they are sending me a PDF, it will be saved to a non-standard size and will be difficult for me to print. They also tend to try to use the ‘animation’ provided with PowerPoint and have kitchen-sink presentations with bad grammar.

                2. Maria

                  My understanding was that you can un-thread Gmail on Windows and Mac, but not on Android. Is that still true?

  32. bearing

    For personal email, we have the domain Lastnamefamily.com . Every combination of Lastname.com, Lastname.net, Lastname.us has been squatted upon by a company run by a very distant cousin of my husband.

    I suppose it’s unprofessional sounding to have the “-family” on there, but none of us have yet used it to try to look for jobs. I think it’ll be acceptable when my teenager starts looking for retail jobs in a year or two, I hope.

  33. Laura

    I’m 39 and still using AOL for personal email because I don’t feel like going through the hassle of changing. For job searching I use FI.MI.LastName@ISP.com. I read at one time that gmail was the only acceptable domain to use, and checked with a friend in HR. Her reply was that any company that screened applicants who were otherwise quailed because of domain email (not sexykitten@whatever.com) was a company to avoid.

  34. Mary

    My boss (he’s 58) still has AOL. Whenever I hear that guy say “You’ve Got Mail” I wonder what decade I’m in.

    My email address is lastname@gmail.com. I joined in beta and was fortunate enough to snag that. BUT, when someone asks for my email address I know better than to say “It’s my last name at gmail”. You would be amazed how many people have tried sending to mylastname@gmail and then telling me it doesn’t work.

    1. Maria

      I also joined Gmail in beta, with a crazy common name, and some days I wish I hadn’t gone for the obvious professionally-named account. I cannot tell you how much junk I’ve gotten meant for others: actual mortgage documents including cancelled checks and background info, prescriptions and medical forms that are filled out and scanned, and bills for everything under the sun. If I was a jerk, I could have stolen at least ten different identities over the past few years alone.

  35. SusanIvanova

    My brother is old enough that when he first put his AOL email address on his resume, he got “wow! You’ve got an email address!” He’s in finance but I got AOL in the first wave of early adopters so I’d given him a subaccount.

    Gmail… nope, I don’t want ads based on my email contents or surfing habits. I’ve only got a google account now because they bought youtube. Sorry, everyone who thinks the “don’t be evil” slogan still applies – they dropped that years ago.

  36. MegKnits

    Chiming in from a tech perspective. Gmail, hotmail are both fine. I will give the side eye to yahoo but that won’t stop me from taking you seriously. AOL or an inappropriate first half (my coworker used hunnybunny343) I will seriously consider how up to date your knowledge is and how professional you are.

  37. DEJ

    I work in sports, and I can think of several well-known TV commentators who still use AOL addresses.

  38. DevAssist

    Can someone explain to me why so many people seem to despise google or gmail? I’m unfamiliar with any controversy.

    At this point, I have 4 (!!!) email addresses- a personal one that is like 10 years old (I am 22, for reference), a school one (.edu), a gmail one (secondary personal because my first one has recently started receive a crap ton of spam), and my work email.

    1. Experiment 626

      I think the beef people may have with google is that it’s insidious, in that it’s your phone, email, calendar, browser, search, drive, documents, music, wallet, youtube, maps, photos, ai, assistant, a phone number, video calls, chat etc.

      Gmail on the other hand, while it’s free, and in theory it’s great if you can master it’s filters, labels, categories and whatever else it’s provided for organization, what it lacks is folders for sorting. It’s a functionality we used to have with other services or applications and it makes it inferior as a stand alone thing. To get this wonderful magic that is folders, one must use a third party application to handle mail in a way that was pretty great before stupid ol’ gmail came along. I’m a fan of Eudora (last release was 10 years ago). Appel’s Mail doesn’t quite do it well enough, Thunderbird doesn’t do it, Outlook web mail does do it but doesn’t hook together with all of that insidious google stuff. If you’re used to sorting your incoming email into folders for ease of use, gmail pretty much fails. Cats help you if you’re a google/android user switching to an iphone, that’s pretty messy.

    2. Milton Waddams

      They snoop on the contents of your mail as far as they can without actually reading it, and sell metadata to advertisers.

    3. Sketchee

      A user side algorithm targets ads within Gmail. The on screen content is matched with advertising displayed.

      Other email providers use random ads or ads that only target wider demographics.

      Some don’t mind having computers use this content in this way. Others find it a fair trade for free email. Some even find the ads less annoying since at least they are practical or useful.

      Even within the tech industry, there are different preferences and opinions on the subject.

      Humans aren’t able to read your private email any more than they normally would. (E-mail isn’t in anyway a secure technology.)

  39. Observer

    For me it’s like this:

    No email – I doubt you’re going to get considered for most positions in our organization (there are a few exceptions, but none of the office positions fall into this category)
    Inappropriate@anything.com is going to get your application marked down. It’s just bad judgement. Nothing to do with being tech savvy. It’s like showing up to a job interview at a conservative company in a nightclub outfit.
    appropriate@hotmail.com – probably not too tech savvy. Do I care? (some jobs yes, others not so much)
    appropriate@yahoo.com – probably not too tech savvy, though not as bad as hotmail. Do I care? (some jobs yes, others not so much)
    appropriate@gmail.com or appropriate@yourname.com just fine

  40. (Another) B

    My friends make fun of me for using Hotmail but I’ve had it FOREVERRRR and Gmail annoys me. I’m also under 35 so I’m not old… but who knows. I have gotten jobs with it though.

  41. Kittymommy

    I’m screwed when gmail becomes not cool. I’m not getting anymore email accounts. All total I have 6. 2 gmails, a yahoo (I use all of them), a centurylink assigned by my internet provider, an all my friend uses to check on her husband while he’s on match.com (long story), and my work one.

  42. ZSD

    Does anyone care if the name on the email address doesn’t quite match the name on the re’sume’? My email address, which I’ve used since college, is firstnamemaidenname at gmail, but on my application materials, it says First Name Maiden Name Married Name. Nobody would care about that, would they?

  43. Milton Waddams

    #1: This is the modern-day equivalent of fancy vs. non fancy resume paper. There are places that will care, (while the vast majority don’t) but they are generally the same sort of places that hired fancy resume paper over non-fancy — cargo cult hiring places that you likely don’t want to work for unless you really need the job.

    1. Professional Merchandiser

      Dinosaur here. I have three Hotmail accounts and one AOL. I use them for different reasons: one personal, one for sign-ups and one for newsletters. The AOL I use for merchandising business. I have never missed getting a job because of having an AOL address. I like it because I hardly ever get any spam and I can just scan it quickly to see what jobs I’m interested in.

  44. AB

    Not gonna lie – I would probably subconsciously think worse of something using Hotmail or AOL. But i work in a really technical field. I’m the same with people who put on their CV that they are good with all Microsoft Office applications… for the kinda of work we do i would assume you know how to use MS Office the same way I would assume you know how to read and write!

    1. Milton Waddams

      I don’t really understand that. You’re not talking about people using POP3 instead of IMAP or whether it’s nerdy or sensible to attach your PGP key to every email you send out, you’re literally talking about superficial branding.

  45. MissDisplaced

    Well… I work in a pretty technical area of communications, AND I still use my @yahoo address because it’s my name.
    I find Gmail to be a pain sometimes, though I do use it for work (because I want it to all be connected).

    As for AOL, I do still see it sometimes on my email marketing lists, as well as a bunch of other foreign ones.

    1. MissDisplaced

      I should add that I have never had an issue with my yahoo account in the many years I’ve had it.

  46. Fafaflunkie

    And I thought that Microsoft was no longer allowing anyone to use @hotmail.com to sign up with them–I was under the impression they were pushing you to use @outlook.com. But I don’t care–I’ve never used either.

    I use a short form for my real name @myisp.com as my pricipal email account. I have a Gmail account for things I don’t find as criticial in my life, but still want to keep track of. Finally, I have a Yahoo(!) account that is only used when I need to sign up for an account I otherwise wouldn’t give a crap about, and only look at it for that website’s confirmation email that I need to respond to in order to post a comment on some blog. Thankfully most major blogs use a commenting service like Disqus or Livewyre to avoid needing to do such a thing.

  47. Andrew

    I’m not going to make fun of people who use an aol account, I’ve had mine since the 90s when I was in elementary school and due to my mom working for AOL-Time-Warner, AOL and AOL DSL was free for me which I kept until I was on FIOS. By then AOL was allowing people to keep their email accounts even without subscribing so I just stuck with it for everything personal. I was an early adopter of gmail when it was invite only.

    I like how people that know me, know I am tech savvy, but still ask why I have an aol account when we send money through paypal. It’s easy enough to explain, the email service works and I have an attachment to it since it was my first email address.

    I consider myself competent with computers (build, fix and install operating systems), but its way too much of a hassle to change all my bank account and credit card information to my professional gmail account that I use for work. Not to mention, my screen name is easy to remember, and it isn’t childish.

    Honestly I have like 5 different email accounts all for different reasons, AOL for personal, yahoo email for an old yahoo list serv/mailing list, and various gmail address.

  48. boop

    Oh hell, so when I couldn’t get my full name as a hotmail address and had to put 02 in there (which is the year I created the email, I think it was a teacher’s suggestion), does this mean that a few years from now everyone is going to think I’m some kind of time-bending 18 year old?

    I mean… people already think that BUT STILL.

  49. A.N.

    In my current position as a recruiter someone with a Yahoo or a Hotmail address will have a harder time getting hired than Gmail. Not for any bias reasons though, but because their spam filters are way different and 90% of emails from our company end up in their junk mail! Although we tell every single candidate to check their spam folders since it’s a known problem, people forget about it quite a bit and it’s hard to get hired if the reason you missed your interview or your drug test is because you simply didn’t see the email.

  50. Another Jim

    I’ve had a Yahoo account for twenty years. Anything non-personal goes there. Job searching and mailing lists. I’ve had a Gmail account for ten years and that’s for my personal stuff. The thing about free email accounts is that you don’t have to change them. In those years I’ve had four or five telephone numbers, but only the two email addresses. Trendiness really shouldn’t be something a recruiter is looking at and if I lose out on a job because of the email service I’m using then it’s with a company I wouldn’t have wanted to work at anyway.

  51. ADragon

    How do people feel about ones that are not readily identifiable, i.e. a somewhat obscure character name, or fictional thing?
    say, sheogorath@hotmail or adamantium@gmail etc.

    I actually use a variation on my name @live.com.au or did last time I had to job search, but I’m curious because my general, personal email is similar to my examples (and sounds vaguely Spanish, judging by the spam I get)

  52. Not a Mere Device

    Mostly I’m using either my two-character username at my old-school ISP (which I’ve been using since some time in the 1990s), or that same username at MyVanityDomain.net (which I’m also using for email forwarding for my partners). I have a gmail account, but aside from not liking the interface, the best username I could get was I.DifficultSurname@gmail.com (it’s one of those names that people misspell when they’re looking at it). Mostly I use it for logging in to google docs.

    Reading this makes me wonder if I should have the mail forwarding/vanity domain address on my resume instead of the old school ISP one.

Comments are closed.