how professional-sounding do resume email addresses need to be?

A reader writes:

When using an email for a resume, what makes them professional enough to be used? Some people have told me the email should have my full name in it and be simple to remember. I have seen other emails that are a random arrangement of letters and numbers (such as What about emails made up of pronounceable words that are unrelated to work (such as or my own email, which is something like (if my name were Caroline)?

As long as it’s not unprofessional, you’re fine.

You don’t want sex, drug, or drinking references. You don’t want You probably don’t want politics or religion unless you’re applying for political or religious jobs.

But as long as you’re not doing something that looks like actively bad judgment, you don’t really need to worry.

Names, fine. Letters and numbers, fine. Puns on your name, fine. Words unrelated to work, probably fine as long as it complies with the rule above. (bluepost12@ is fine. dicksgalore@ is not. Nor is weedman@, unless you’re a professional landscaper, and even then I’d proceed with caution.)

If you want to be really safe, the most boringly professional format for your email is jane.toadsmore@ or jtoadsmore@ or jtoadmore12@ or something similar — something clearly built around your name.

But really, other approaches are fine too. No reasonable hiring manager will care about your email address unless there’s something obviously controversial/unprofessional about it, nor will they care one bit that your address is instead of your name.

The one caveat I’d give is to use an email address that isn’t easily misread or mistyped. Most hiring managers won’t be typing in your email from scratch (they’re going to be hitting reply or using an electronic applicant tracking system), but you never know and it’s smart to ensure you’re not using an address with a high chance of being mistyped (like one with six i’s in a row or a 1 that could be mistaken for an L or so forth).

{ 462 comments… read them below }

  1. CustomerS3rvic3*

    I work in customer service. People email us with their personal e-mails all the time. Some of them would not be job search appropriate. Great post!

      1. Lana Kane*

        I once received a resume where the email address was partygirl(some numbers)@. Another one had 69 in the name and let’s just say it was clear it wasn’t referencing their birth year.

      2. Forrest*

        I once had someone apply for an entry-level accounting post with Which is a nightmare to type as well as — not exactly fitting with the formal work vibe.

        I also used to work with someone who had They were a graphic design / branding person, and it was certainly a memorable brand! But I never saw it without feeling a bit grossed out and sad for the eponymous giraffe!

      3. KaciHall*

        I process background checks, about 50/50 employment or school volunteers. The email addresses I see for school volunteers are kind of horrifying given that they’re being provided to volunteer at their child’s school.

        The worst was an employment applicant whose email was sofa_king_lazee@something or other. We reached out to verify something with him and never heard back. I guess someone who is lazy enough to make it their email address isn’t REALLY trying to get a job.

      4. John Smith*

        My younger brother, at the ripe age of 14, came up with bigtimepimpmofo@. he meant it humourously and soon got a proper one which annoys me because it’s three letters (his initials) on a very popular email provider (so, How he got it I don’t know, but I’m jealous.

      5. pdl*

        I was just looking at an email today – wigglesbutt with some numbers.

        Just hope she’s not applying for jobs with that.

      6. MJ (Aotearoa/New Zealand)*

        A resident medical doctor with a variation on itsjustarash@ remains my personal fave

      7. just passing through*

        Every e-mail address I’ve encountered with “420” has been someone with an April 20th birthday. Every e-mail address I’ve encountered with “69” has been someone born in 1969. The really fun ones are people who set up their accounts during their high school goth phase and just now realized their account still uses an address like or They’re always very embarrassed and eager to change it to something like

      8. Michelle*

        I work in HR (not a recruiter) and one of my favorites was: hotb*tch(some numbers)

        This individual did not add the asterisk. It was incredibly amusing to see that day.

      9. The Wandering Scout*

        Some great ones have come across my desk, including favourites such as idontcheckthis@, thanksmymommadeit@ and icantfindmykeys@

      10. Workfromhome*

        I once worked with someone whose last name was Hiscock and first name was something like Tom. Leading to his email being No joke our work filters kept flagging it as offensive

    1. Former call centre worker*

      I worked in customer service for years and the most nsfw email addresses I’ve seen weren’t in that job, they were in the week-long temp job I had that involved filing other temps’ CVs (resumes). There were several inappropriately sexy ones and one “dr1nk1ng@”.

      1. kittycatcorn*

        I have gotten applications from a BigBlackSnake69 and a Tat2Kitty2Taste. Definitely memorable.

        1. JKateM*

          I remember seeing one that was something like xxxploderboy69@ – I don’t remember if there was more to it or not. It was our humor for the day.

      2. Charlotte Lucas*

        I worked somewhere that had email addresses based on FirstInitialLastName with no spaces.

        We two inappropriate email addresses (that I know of) generated this way. They eventually moved to FirstName.Lastname.

        One last name began with “ex.” No big deal, as long as your first initial isn’t S.

        1. No Sleep Till Hippo*

          I worked at a company that had that same convention!! No space, no dot, nothing. And then we hired a T. Watson.

          I was immature enough to giggle (still am), but mature enough to feel really bad for that person. I don’t think the company ever noticed (or maybe they just never cared).

          1. Forrest*

            I (British) cracked up laughing back in 2000 when I met an American twatson@ and she had no idea why it was funny.

          2. SuperDiva*

            Giggling at T. Watson over here…

            There was a tweet that went viral a while ago from a college student whose name was something like Melanie Fuchs, and because of the school’s email conventions, her email address was

            1. Hierodula*

              My favourite in the viral tweet category was Megan Finger, who ended up with fingerme@… :’D

            2. Violet Rose*

              That reminded me of the most likely fake, but very funny, Helpdesk exchange where “Bill Tchavlovsky” pleaded for the IT department to give him an email address that wasn’t ‘first two letters of first name, first three letters of last name’, and the person at the Helpdesk –“Ajani Erkson” – replied that it was impossible, trust them, they had TRIED.

          3. TootsNYC*

            I worked somewhere like that. Amanda Ryan raised a stink until they agreed to change hers.

        2. Golden*

          I recently read some baby naming advice specifically to check for unfortunate email addresses like this when picking a name! Kind of wild to think about how fast things change and technology’s increasing impact.

        3. Spotted Kitty*

          I knew someone who had the misfortune of being named something like Frank Inance and his email address was finance@ company dot com. It was hilarious to everyone except him.

        4. Seeking Second Childhood*

          A decades-ago Dilbert where pointy haired boss was refusing to customize a new hire’s email address : “Boy that Brenda Utts is a troublemaker.”

        5. De Minimis*

          One of the universities I used to invoice at a former job had a convention for its departments where it used the university initials and then the department, but the initials were UCR and Accounts Payable the email id was UCRAP.

        6. Susan Ivanova*

          In one of the multinational companies I worked at, someone had first initial Y, last name Ou. Our internal chat board alerts were full of “you have a message from you”.

          Any last name that begins with Hart does not go well with first names that start with S, even if the person deserves it.

        7. JB*

          Dilbert did that joke, the Pointy Haired Boss not seeing the point Brenda Utthead was raising

        8. Anon this time*

          I worked somewhere with this convention, and J. Erk’s e-mails always made me smile. Why they didn’t ask for it to be changed I’ll never know. (It was even funnier because this was literally one of the nicest people in the building.)

      3. Still Looking (Maybe)*

        I worked a short time for a staffing service doing data entry from applications and the one I remember was “wefartalotforfun” and I couldn’t believe someone actually wrote that on a job application or if it was fake.

    2. Queer Manager*

      This is why I’m forever thankful I have a unique name! My email address is simply my first and last name (yes I always have to spell them out) @.

      I don’t care as a hiring manager if it’s goofy. Think “monkaypajamas@“, or professional like mine is. I do care if it’s explicit think “goodtimegal69@“. If your email is explicit. CHANGE IT. If your email is goofy and you are applying for anything other than a conservative, high level position, don’t worry.

  2. Mental Lentil*

    Well now I really want to become a landscaper so my email address can be weedman @ lentillandscaping dot com.

    1. bubbleon*

      I don’t need a landscaper, but I’d definitely recommend weedman to everyone if I saw it advertised.

      1. MantisTobaggan, MD*

        Weedman is a popular lawncare company where I live, my parents are loyal clients lol

    2. e271828*

      Weedman for a really good landscaper-plantsman would be the opposite of a liability where I am!

        1. Edwina*

          I once drove past a plumber’s truck whose motto, emblazoned on the side of the truck, was “Shit’s Going Down!”

      1. Sparrow*

        There used to be a landscaper in my parents’ neighborhood whose first name was Jesus, so his truck said: “Jesus Landscaping: We Bring Gardens Back to Life!”

    3. Accounting Otaku*

      I used to work for a lawncare company. Coworker once got a call asking if we were The Weedman. Turns out it is a local company. That call lives in my memory forever.

    4. gsa*

      Go to www dot weedman dot for lawn care services. Seriously, they fertilize our lawn about (7) times a year.

        1. gsa*

          Apparently, the fellow that started that franchise lived/s in RDU, around the corner from another couple that I did a remodel for back in 2004/2005.

          I knew he started franchises, I just didn’t know he’d gone Nation Wide.

          There’s a ZZ Top lyric in there somewhere!

    5. The Prettiest Curse*

      For added amusement, move to the town of Weed, California. And yes, they are known for that type of weed…

    6. penguin*

      We have a local landscape company that goes by the moniker Hippie Landscape, with the note “no one knows grass like a Hippie!”

      1. Very Punny*

        We actually have a WeedMan landscaping in our area and of course that is exactly who my husband picked for our landscaping needs. He is over 40 and laughs everytime he says it.

    7. Meg*

      There’s a guy who legally changed his name to NJweedman and ran for governor of NJ sometime in the early 2000’s

    8. If I had one wish...*

      In the day, a mate of mine ran a one – man landscaping business:
      “Haole Boy Yard Work” on The Big Island of Hawai’i.

      Apparently when he first moved to the Islands, he’d planned to get a “real” job; but it turned out he never had the time.

      An ad twice a month on Craigslist, and the man was booked out for weeks.

  3. Mental Lentil*

    If you are serious about a job search, and can afford it, I highly recommend purchasing a separate email address just for job searching. This also helps to prevent the possibility that you could get a personal and a job search email mixed up. (Which happened once where I work. The boss was greatly amused, but refused to say what was in the email.)

    1. Not a Real Giraffe*

      Most email accounts are free, so there shouldn’t be a financial barrier to this approach.

      Really just here to say thanks for the out-loud chuckle at “dicksgalore,” Allison!

      1. e271828*

        Poor Richard Simon Galore, if only his parents had thought that through when they named him….

          1. Marzipan Shepherdess*

            Yes! But hey, if she applies for a job, she can always call herself “KITTY Galore”…

        1. quill*

          If he still goes by Dick I have very little sympathy for him at this point, that’s been a joke for decades…

        2. HBJ*

          No joke, an official with the Olympics is named Dick Pound. A gymnastics podcast I listen to makes fun of it all the time. And uses his full name a lot.

        1. PollyQ*

          My ISP includes a bunch of emails, which are “paid” in the sense that they only exist as long as I pay my monthly bill for the overall service.

        2. ThatGirl*

          One of my email addresses is through my dad’s domain, but he definitely didn’t buy the domain just to have a custom email address.

          1. Queer Manager*

            Also! I work at a place that has their own domain and we regularly get emails bounced back. So having a unique domain may actually hinder you. Go with a gmail or yahoo or Shaw.

        3. Mental Lentil*

          There are a number of accounts that you can get for free, but which have tiered accounts that offer a lot more features for a fee. I have used and recommend Tutanota (German, good if you want out of the US), Runbox (Norwegian, so good if you want out of the EU) and Protonmail (Swiss, so also out of the US/EU, and also has some of the best encryption I’ve found).

        4. Denver Gutierrez*

          Sometimes even using your name can be problematic. At a previous job, we were purging old client files and ran across a Mr. Dick Ryder.

      2. hecci*

        I’m honestly crying with laughter at dicksgalore. It’s so spectacular. Not just quite a few dicks. Dicks GALORE

    2. Jellyfish*

      Agreed, although a free gmail account is perfectly professional. I created a separate email address when job searching, and it was a great idea.

      It helped with some of the mental load as I could check that one twice a day and then put the job search out of my mind the rest of the time without avoiding my personal email. It also meant I was less likely to miss a job related email or think it was spam since I only got job related stuff on that one.

      Maybe most importantly, it wasn’t connected to any of my other accounts. Since I used Google to host, it came with a YouTube login and document storage. I used those for job info and interview presentations without ever worrying that I might accidentally show or link to something from my personal life.

      1. Mental Lentil*

        although a free gmail account is perfectly professional

        I don’t use it because gmail accounts are easily hacked. And besides the security issues, there are a number of privacy issues as well. But that’s a matter for another blog.

        On the other hand, if I were hiring for IT and they were using a gmail address, I would have to wonder. If they were hiring for a security position, that would probably put them out of the running. And that is relevant to LW’s question.

        1. Database Developer Dude*

          Not if you change your password on a regular basis, and use DoD rules for crafting your passwords…..

        2. Julianna*

          “Easily” in what sense? And what other email platforms do you recommend that would be more difficult to hack?

        3. Fraud Appsec Analyst*

          Very surprised to hear this take about gmail! My email is a pun (firstnameTHElastname@ gmail) and it has been specifically mentioned multiple times as something that caught the attention of the hiring committee in a positive way.

        4. ligirl*

          Gmail accounts are no more easily hacked than any other account. Turn on two-factor authentication and it’s next to impossible

    3. Wry*

      You don’t need to purchase a second email address. You can just make a free one. It doesn’t need to be at a paid domain; you can just make a new Gmail address with whatever version of your name is available:,,,….you get the idea. Granted, I have a fairly unusual name and have also held the email address since I was in middle school, so I can see why this might be more difficult if you have a common name and are only now trying to secure a Gmail account with your name as the handle. But that’s still what I would try to go for: whatever version of your name is available, using initials and punctuation as necessary, but keeping it as simple as possible. I’ve never been in a position of hiring anyone before, but I suspect that at least subconsciously, I would react better to a simple name-based email than an email that’s a random combination of words, even if it’s not inappropriate. Particularly because making a new email address is simple and free. The first couple email addresses I had were more cutesy/random, but I have never and would never use any of those for professional correspondence, even though they aren’t inappropriate or offensive. Using a professional-sounding email address just seems like a simple way to put your best foot forward.

      1. Person from the Resume*

        interesting thing about puncuation.

        firstnamelastname and firstname.lastname @gmail are the same as gmail is concerned. Apparently they strip the period punctuation mark out of their email address.

        1. chai latte*

          That’s not true, or it’s changed at some point in the last 5ish years.

          My email has been first.last@gmail since high school (about 2007 ish). In college, I registered as a backup.

          Sadly, I’m locked out of firstlast@gmail and all the recovery options aren’t possible (changed phone number; lost recovery email, etc).

          But they did function as separate accounts – there was never any overlap or mail coming through to the wrong address.

        2. ThatGirl*

          which means you can also use punctuation in various ways on websites to see who’s selling your email address (if it comes to b.o.b.smith@gmail as opposed to bobsmith@gmail etc.)

        1. Cat Tree*

          I recently had a baby and I’m wondering if I can snag her name for Gmail so it’s available to her later. Fortunately we have an uncommon last name though.

      2. Meghan*

        The Gmail I’ve had forever is initials and last name but one of my initials is L and I clearly did not think this through so on written forms people can barely tell what it is. I did finally create a new one when I got married but it was too long and I can’t get into it anymore. Needless to say a lot of doctor office paperwork has my work email on it (and they’ve never even emailed me come to think of it).

    4. gsa*

      I’ve always used the initial of my first name, full middle name, full last name. I started with hotmail and still have it on gmail.


      If I were the current Vice President: kdeviharris@…

      If I were current President:

      BTW, name screen name are my initials backwards.


  4. Anonariffic*

    The only problem with the jtoadsmore@ format is when other people with similar names can’t spell their own email address. I don’t know if his browser is autofilling it incorrectly or what, but some high schooler out there has signed me up for potential student email lists at four different colleges in the last month.

    1. Llama Llama*

      Someone bought a new cell phone in France and gave them my email address. I can’t even unsubscribe because I can’t read the damn things (actually I have tried google translate and I am pretty sure there is no “unsubscribe”). I hope this person never gets anything important emailed to them because it all goes into my trash.

      1. Not playing your game anymore*

        Two different jobs, same applicant about 3 months apart
        SuziLovesJesus@email – I have to wonder if Suzi got feedback about the first and changed to the second?



      2. Alia*

        If there’s a link anywhere that says Désinscription, click that! Would love to help/get you un-emailed if you want.

      3. Fastest Thumb in the West*

        Someone in India did this to me. Every month I get a “thanks for paying your cell phone bill” email. I’m not paying the bill, I check every month, but I can’t figure out how to get my email off his account.

        1. short'n'stout*

          I got someone’s cell phone bills, so I complained to the cell provider, who said that only the account holder could change the email address. So the account holder wasn’t getting their bills. Or their overdue payment notices.

          It took me threatening to report them to their government’s privacy authority to get them to take my email address of that account. I’d love to have seen the correspondence between the actual account holder and the cell provider once this came to light!

      4. emails are fun*

        I’m getting emails from a foreign government’s tax office, telling me to log into my tax account to read my messages. I sure hope it’s not an important tax message they’ve been ignoring.

      5. Elitist Semicolon*

        Someone with my name has either been using my email or consistently writes their own down on forms imprecisely enough that I get notices that their Ford needs servicing at a particular Texas dealership. I don’t drive a Ford and I don’t live in Texas and I’ve tried emailing and calling the dealership to ask them to double-check their address and delete mine, but the emails keep coming. I finally created a straight-to-trash filter so I wasn’t tempted to cancel their next appointment.

    2. Oxford Common Sense*

      There is someone who consistently mistypes her email as mine. It is quite galling. I hope the HVAC engineer was able to get into her place for the appointment this week.

      Although the most worrying incident was with a different person in Australia, who gave my email to the local police and I was then sent material regarding a restraining order they were taking out on her. Not fun.

      1. Insert Clever Name Here*

        My FIL, Jack C. Smith, has an email address like; he’s a doctor. He occasionally gets emails for Jake C. Smith whose email address is jcsmith. Jake is a lawyer in our same town, and he occasionally gets emails intended for my FIL. They are actually now email friends.

        1. Martha*

          My last boss’ name was Steven Oleson, and there’s another guy in our (quite small) town named Stephen Oleson. They met when Stephen got some business mail for my boss and brought it to the shop. They are now friends IRL!

          1. quill*

            A college roommate had a name equivalent to Katie Smith in popularity. So she (ksmith9@school) got a heck of a lot of things for all the other Katie, Katherine, Kimberly, and Kevin smiths who had ever gone to our school… Including a care package once, no idea how the mail room got the wrong since it had the box number on it, and the other Katie smith didn’t have a similar box number, to my knowledge. We only figured it out after we opened the box!

        2. JSPA*

          I wish my gmail “double” would answer my messages or forward messages meant for me!

        3. Howard Bannister*

          My employer switched from first.last @ department . business to just first.last @ business. It’s simpler, see!

          The other two gentlemen who share my name but worked in different departments didn’t find it simpler. We all found it extremely aggravating.

          I deal with confidential information, too.

          The others all ended up retiring, leaving me the sole holder of this name… for now.

      2. kitryan*

        I had an email doppelganger for years too. Our names are one letter off from each other but for ages I didn’t know what the difference was so I could only reply saying it was the wrong email. I got a shipping confirmation, school emails including notice of fees due, a vacation/honeymoon cabin rental confirmation, and worst of all, a request for professional consultation from a therapist on a child patient, identifying details included.
        Eventually, one of the emails had the person’s name spelled correctly, so I could reach out to her and let her know. After that, it mostly stopped, except once she accidentally sent me several of her own vacation photos .

        1. Elitist Semicolon*

          I got someone else’s GYN test results once. That was…not terrific.

      3. Spotted Kitty*

        My ex managed to get firstinitiallastname@ and would constantly get emails for the wrong person. Once he was invited to a family picnic where he was meant to fill out what he was bringing to eat in a shared doc, so he responded that he was going to bring potato salad but they’d have to keep it away from Grandma because “you know it gives her really bad gas.”

      4. Temperance*

        I have someone who uses my email to sign up for random stuff, and another person who thinks that my email is her email; we have the same first and last name, which is NOT common, and at this point I’ve received her online banking information, a medical bill from her OBGYN that was itemized, and as of yesterday, an overdue notice from a library about a Paw Patrol DVD.

        The rando is the most confusing, because it’s actually important stuff. I’m thinking that this person has a kid with my first name or something.

        1. Sc@rlettNZ*

          I have a similiar problem. I have a common first name but not-so-common surname. Some silly woman thinks that firstname.lastname@gmailcom (my email address) and (the one she uses) are different. They are not – removing the . doesn’t make it a different email address. How can she not figure this out?

      5. quill*

        At least in that case you could reply back and say “I live in another country, I think you have the wrong email.”

      6. TiffIf*

        We used to have 2 “George Mason”s at my company. Drove the George in my department up the wall because people would often select the wrong George Mason and so they would forever be getting the wrong emails or missing emails.

        1. Susan Ivanova*

          There are two people with the same name at my previous company, so one of them disambiguated by putting his team name in his name: “Joe (Cocoa) Smith”. That worked fine until they redid our cafe ordering system – there was no longer a field to put in customization, so people would edit the only thing they could: their default name, like “Katie (vanilla)”. Joe didn’t know that until the cafe people apologized for not having any cocoa…

        2. Cedrus Libani*

          I work with someone who has an extremely common name – she’s #8 with her first.last, and she’s been at the company for awhile. Fortunately one of them was in IT, and repurposed the (original, number-free) first.last address as a mailing list, to which all other first.last emails are automatically subscribed…

    3. Person from the Resume*

      Some elementary school screwed up someone who shockingly has the name first and last name as me. I thought only people with my last name were relatives and didn’t live in Arizona. I have gmail and later I found out that she had an apple account or something. I’m willing to bet the school put her domain provider in wrong and she didn’t give it out wrong.

      But the people who emailed me from the school never did anything when I told them they had the wrong email address.

    4. Metadata minion*

      Yep. My email doppelganger (same first name but the *other* spelling) is apparently a stunt person and I weirdly enjoy watching her career progress :-b

    5. twocents*

      There’s someone in Australia with a similar name to me that has pissed off their neighbor. They’ve also signed me up for multiple distribution lists, so I’m Team Neighbor lol

    6. Donkey Hotey*

      In a similar vein… At university, I learned that I shared the same first and last name of the head of a medical department at that same university, which meant our .edu addresses were very similar. More than once, I had to politely remind someone
      a) wrong
      b) really, you shouldn’t be going into that much detail without first confirming you have the right Donkey.

    7. workswitholdstuff*

      I had a rash of people emailing me re: bookings on a french campsite. I had to point out I was a museum worker in Yorkshire and they might want to check the email again, as there was nowt I could help with….

      1. Katrianah UK*

        Im pretty sure when I got this mobile number it was either a recycled pay as you go or one digit off a dealers line.

        Thankfully 90% of those who called/text just wanted some weed but oyy. Explaining I was somewhere near leeds and not in birmingham as they expected got old fast too.

    8. Second Breakfast*

      My husband managed to snag his super common firstlast@ during the Gmail beta. Think something like bobsmith@. Each year he gets dozens of emails intended for other Bob Smiths. The best/worst was an interview offer for a data entry job. Since the job seeker couldn’t even enter his own email address correctly, we always figured the hospital dodged a bullet.

    9. Nearly Grad*

      I have firstname middleinitial lastname. My first name is easy to mistake, think Helen but people hear Helena, my middle name begins with m, which sounds like n, and my last name sounds like various words, in the way that they’re, their, and there sound the same…
      It seemed great at the time, but having to spell the whole thing out isn’t worth it

    10. Fabulous*

      There is a girl on the other side of my state (ironically she is the friend of a friend of a friend’s daughter) who has done this to me – our names are both A. Warblesworth (me being Angela and her being Alexis) and she somehow she created an email when I’ve been using for 15 years. I only figured out who it was because I started getting a TON of school emails for this girl, doctor notices, plus a lot of Victoria Secret and other advertisements, and I was able to track her down from there. She didn’t respond when I messaged her on Facebook and 5 years later I still occasionally get her emails. I’m guessing she has numbers in hers that she forgets to use or something. Regardless, it’s annoying as heck.

    11. Speaker to Students*

      I own my own domain, and it’s infuriating how many people use addresses they make up in my domain for things.

      I see them because I have things set up so that goes to my inbox – I do that so I can have a separate email address for every site I sign up for and know when a site sells my information. Now I reset their passwords and lock them out when they use my email to sign up for things.

      And then there are the idiots that think the gmail address that I’ve had since literally week one of public gmail (in 2004!) belongs to them.

      The “best” is when they give out my email to creditors – the debt collectors just keep on sending mails and refuse to accept that the address may be incorrect.

    1. Mental Lentil*

      There are lots of paid service, and depending on your needs, well worth it. See my comment above.

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      That email in your comment comes up on my browser as a mailto link. If it does yours, click on it and write them.

  5. Michelle Smith*

    My coworkers teased me endless for my email which was lettersnumbers@ with the letters and numbers being the same ones chosen by my school (so if my school had assigned me a .edu that started hcy124@ that was what I chose for my @gmail). Now I have name.middleinitial.lastname@ and it takes FOREVER to say when I’m sharing it out loud.

    1. Llama Llama*

      my work email is firstname.lastname@org and spelling my unusual and long last name is the biggest pain in the butt.

      1. JillianNicola*

        My boyfriend has a long Polish name, and he just uses the first four letters of his last name for exactly this reason lol

        1. The Rural Juror*

          I had a really hard time finding a Gmail address with my full last name because it’s so common, but I was finally able to get one with my first name, middle initial, and first 4 letters of my first name. Luckily, the first four letters also happen to complete the first syllable, so it worked out well.

          My last name has four syllables and a lot of letters. I hate having to type it into an “email” section from my phone… Ugh! The struggle! At least on a keyboard I’m fast typer. My phone…not so much.

        2. Richard Hershberger*

          My name is only middling long and thoroughly Anglicized German, but that is enough to draw blank stares. I use just the first five letters in my email.

      2. Introverted Type-A Employee*

        When I was the Practice Manager at a medical office our emails were set up as and one of the providers had a FIFTEEN letter complex German last name that was definitely not one I wanted to put on business cards, spell aloud to elderly patients, etc. I quickly informed everyone that his email would be and it was MUCH better!

        We had enough fun when patients called with referrals (he was highly specialized) and would try to ask for an appointment with Dr. vonD…. uuhhhhh ummmm and we just said “He goes by Dr. StandardBoringFirstName” which was much to their relief.

        1. Martha*

          My kids’ doctor has a very Polish last name and does the same. Nonetheless I learned her last name because it somehow feels more respectful to me. I think because she’s a woman I’m extra self-conscious about it.

        2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          Our work emails are first initial, last name, but when I got married I went from a four letter last name to a eight-and-seven-letter hyphenated monstrosity. I asked them if they could do, for example, Red Librarian-Reader as RLReader, which is how I actually sign my name.

          Instead they gave me RLibrarianRea :-P

        3. Kyrielle*

          Sounds like his name had much the same experience as the street I live on. The verifying-your-info conversations are often funny. “Do you still live on…uhhh….” / “Yes!” (I’ll usually also repeat the name, just so they can be sure, too.)

          Hey, except for here, every street I’ve lived on is trivially pronounceable for most folks. If they’re saying ‘uhhh’ that way, and especially if they have no discernable accent to me, it is near certain they have the right street name.

          1. Kate*

            There’s an urban legend in Baltimore that says that a police officer once dragged a dead horse off of Auchentoroly Terrace to avoid having to spell the name in his report…

            1. Esmeralda*

              There’s a similar story in New Orleans, only it’s dragging the horse off the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Melpomene Streets.

    2. Kaitydidd*

      My name has a very unusual spelling, so I was able to snag FirstnameLastname@ gmail. I thought it would make giving my email address over the phone easier, but it didn’t. My name isn’t particularly long, luckily, because I end up spelling it aloud twice now.

      1. CowWhisperer*

        My firstnameMIlastname@gmail is also unique – but part of that is because my name causes two identical vowels next to each other that don’t occur in the English language, IOW, if you type it correctly, the result looks wrong to fluent English speakers because “aa” and “ii” are not found in words, lol.

    3. Jamie Starr*

      That’s what I use. I was in my 20s when Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL emails started to be a thing. I have a very old Yahoo account (high school nickname+number not related to DOB) that I use for “spam” — online shopping, etc. When I went to grad school about 5-6 later the university assigned me an email comprised of my initials + random 4 digit number*. By the time I finished grad school, gmail was just taking off so I signed up with the same letters/numbers to make it less confusing for friends who were already used to the university address. I actually like it because I don’t get spam from people with similar names/emails (although my first name is relatively uncommon) and because the numbers don’t correlate to my DOB it seems a bit more secure.

      *Fortunately the numbers are not offensive, sexual, etc.

    4. Nearly Grad*

      This is exactly what I have, it’s surprisingly a nightmare. And I’ve confused people who have my full name, as I use only one of my middle initials, which are n and m… it’s so easy to mix up!

    5. quill*

      I have an email with no numbers because it is my (rare) legal name but oooh boy, do I get people who need me to spell it out seventeen times.

  6. OrigCassandra*

    For what it’s worth, when I see an email address that’s innocuous but clearly not derived from the person’s name, I assume it was an in-joke, avoiding an email-address doppelganger, or a personal-safety issue and let it go. I don’t need to know the exact reasons; I know that good reasons exist, and that’s enough.

  7. SheLooksFamiliar*

    I’ve seen some real eyebrow-raising emails on resumes through the years but thanks to free email hosts – I’m looking at you, Gmail – people seem to be in the habit of creating accounts specifically for job searching. I know isn’t creative, but you don’t really get points for that kind of creativity in a job search. For family and friends, go nuts.

    Also, I don’t care if you use Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Prodigy, AOL, iCloud, Zoho, Mail, Comcast, ATT, or your own personal domain. As long as I have your preferred email address, you check your email, and I don’t get a virus, I’m happy.

    1. Jake*

      Lots of employers DO care. Hotmail and AOL in particular are a notch against candidates everywhere I’ve worked.

      1. SheLooksFamiliar*

        I don’t think it’s an epidemic, but I agree some employers do care. But I don’t.

        1. Observer*

          I think that whether it would be an issue depends on the job. In most jobs, I don’t care. For some, it would make me look twice.

      2. PurplePeopleEater*

        I’ve definitely seen people care about domains in hiring. I wish it weren’t the case and I don’t, but it is a thing.

        1. Christmas Carol*

          I remember we got a resume once with a email of, or something like that, what ever the e-mail domain was for the US Army, but the resume had no mention at all of any military connection or service. We had questions about that one.

          1. Might Be Spam*

            Some family members of active duty military are allowed email addresses. They were originally intended for access to military benefits and support. They can be used for personal use as well.

      3. DataGirl*

        Working in IT I have definitely seen candidates with a hotmail or AOL email address get a notch against them. In other fields not so much. I recently met a lawyer who has a hotmail address still- he jokes about it but says that he’s been using it for so long and so many people have that address, he can’t change it without risking becoming unreachable by people who may need to get ahold of him years or decades later.

        1. Denver Gutierrez*

          That is why I still keep my aol address I have had forever. However, I do have a gmail account that I use for job searches and other professional type tasks. I also have an email address through my job. It’s complicated, lol.

      4. Raine*

        Which is frankly ridiculous; I know people who have kept email addresses from the late ’90s because it still works for them.

        That said, I don’t see that many people with AOL email addresses anymore.

  8. larval_doctor*

    When I was a trainee, my mentor once rejected a candidate for residency entirely on the basis of the e-mail address. It was not totally unprofessional, but it was very focused on physical attributes, followed by doc. The physical attribute in question was not overtly sexual, but something people often talk about in an objectifying way. Think, like skinnydoc @ or buffdoc @

    At the time, I was scandalized that he’d reject someone just on the basis of their email address. The older I get and the more I realize that not everyone knows how to behave in the work place, the more I understand why he did it. (I took over as program director because I’m an old myself now. My personal approach would be to consider that a significant flag, but not reject out of hand, especially if the applicant were a first-generation MD)

    1. CM*

      I had a job that required extensive use of our personal vehicles, which meant clients recognized our cars and license plates. A candidate’s vanity plate was counted against them in the interview process. It wasn’t obscene or profane but it definitely did not present the right image for the service we provided.

    2. Heidi*

      I can totally see where the mentor was coming from. Residency programs are competitive and there are often more qualified applicants than there are spots. If you have hundreds of qualified applicants who use normal-sounding emails, there doesn’t seem to be much motivation to go out of your way to give the benefit of the doubt.

    3. SuperDiva*

      My husband was hiring one time and an applicant had an innocuous but silly-sounding email address (think, I thought it was unprofessional, and in my industry, it would have been grounds for throwing the application in the “no” pile, but he was hiring for a much more casual industry where colorful personalities are common, and he loved it. He ended up hiring the applicant, and she was great!

    4. CowWhisperer*

      I was on a search committee for a high school math teacher at an alternative education high school where I taught science. We were given six resumes to pick three candidates to call in for interviews.

      After giving the pile a read-through, I had one candidate that I said shouldn’t be interviewed.

      The other staff were confused because the candidate’s resume listed some really impressive achievements.

      That’s when I pointed out that the candidate thought off about including the email “” on a professional resume.

      This was particularly impressive to me since a)Local State provides permanent, non-offensive email addresses to all students past and present regardless of graduation status, b) the candidate graduated from Local State – and their alumni group pushed early and hard for permanent email addresses upon graduation long before it was common, c) the candidate clearly knows how to create a free email with a chosen address and chose not to make

      All of these things made me worry greatly about the suitability of a fairly inexperienced teacher in a very challenging school if the teacher didn’t have some kind of warning bell go off when she typed in “tokergirl etc” into the application materials.

      My principal agreed and we had three other excellent candidates interview.

    1. Beth*

      Hopefully, he goes by “Rick”. In which case his email address will make him highly appealing to hay farmers.

    2. Richard Hershberger*

      I am in my fifties. I don’t know any “Richard” in my generation or younger who goes by “Dick.” I take someone calling me that as being intentionally offensive while hiding behind semi-plausible deniability. Ironically, this behavior is dickish.

      Go back five or six centuries and another nickname for Richard was “Hick.” Oddly enough, it seems not to being filling the “Dick” vacuum.

      1. Sparkles McFadden*

        I once had a horrible neighbor (he got taken away in handcuffs one day but, alas, returned a free man) who went by “Rick.” During one bad interaction (he’d dug up part of my driveway, saying “I’m pretty sure that’s mine”), I kept saying things like this: “You’re wrong, Dick.” “I have my land survey and yours too, Dick.” and, finally “I think we’re done here, Dick.” He said “By the way, my name is Rick.” I said “Yeah. I know that…Dick.”

        Yes, I was being childish but it kept me from yelling at him or cracking him with a hammer.

      2. Quantum Hall Effect*

        Dick went out of favor as a nickname for Richard shortly after the Nixon administration. Yep, there is a connection. :-)

      3. Gentle Tree*

        I previously worked on phones in a call center. A client called in with the name Richard Stoker II. These names were entered into our system directly from clients’ legal IDs in person, so this was his legal name. He insisted that he went by Dick. He was early middle aged, less than 15 years ago.

  9. TechDirector*

    One note: I’d suggest using some “modern” email domain, if you are applying for any position that uses technology. I’m pretty unlikely to look closely at a tech applicant from an AOL address. Not due to guessing the applicant’s age (which would not be legal) but due to the fact that it reflects some issue with adopting new technology. (using “new” verrry loosely here)

    1. Beth*

      I was thinking the same thing! At this point, an AOL email address does send its own message, and it’s not one that says much to support a job applicant.

    2. Goose*

      After I moved to Miami, I encountered more people with a Hotmail address then I ever did in the 90s. I didn’t even realize Hotmail was still out there, but it’s something I would have associated with my grandmother, not the 30 somethings sharing their email

      1. Nanani*

        I’m in my 30s and I still have my hotmail that I signed up for as a teenager.
        I’ve had it so long that it has tons of spam from long-defunct games and such, so I use it mainly as a notification-dump and not for anything important, but it’s a real email.

        Technically it’s all supposed to be outlook but microsoft will still recognize hotmail.

        1. TechDirector*

          Other thoughts:

          @hotmail @Yahoo are also dated, just not as badly as AOL.

 <- don't use shared email addresses for job searches. It's weird. (shared email is kind of weird to me in any case, if I'm honest).

 <- Using your ISP as your email shows that you don't realize you are tied to the ISP and if you want to change providers you are ok losing all your history. Again, for a tech-related job, I would think twice about the person's tech-savviness.

            1. Nanani*

              I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that wasn’t set up in the 90s by someone who didn’t -quite- grasp the difference between an email address and a physical mail address, though.

              1. Seeking Second Childhood*

                I just recommended it to the husband about to become stay-at-home dad. I am thinking of setting one up now, so that email from banks, utilities, schools, and doctors go to a central location my husband and I can both check. Right now, if I got sick, he would have a hard time accessing any of our accounts.
                But for 4the love of dog, don’t use it to apply for jobs.

                1. Nanani*

                  Might be easier to set up your email to auto-forward things to him if they come from those places. Or not! Whatever works for you is what works for you.

                2. Kyrielle*

                  So I have a gmail account – and anything after a + in an email sent to gmail is a tag rather than part of the email. So if my email was ‘’ (it isn’t! Don’t email whoever that poort person is!) then I have shared things sent to ‘’ where n is my husband’s name. I have a filter configured to forward a copy of anything sent to that address to him.

                  Again, these are not real email addresses, don’t pester whoever that is. LOL

                3. Database Developer Dude*

                  You could also set up a Google Group and give THAT email out to banks, utilities, schools, and doctors, and both you and your husband could put your email addresses in that group so you both get anything sent to the group.

                4. General von Klinkerhoffen*

                  We give out a fairly generic school(at)personaldomain for relevant contacts, which actually sends to both our inboxes. Email addresses can be aliases and not just mailboxes and that’s a useful solution when you need multiple copies from someone who’s set up to send only one.

                  So someone who for sentimental or practical reasons can’t give up their kittensandlollipops(at)hotmail address could look into something more bland that points to their existing mailbox. I use fastmail to manage mine, but there are lots of options.

                5. FrankieJane*

                  We have a shared email account for anything school related for the kids and all house/utility uses. And, we each maintain our own personal email for more professional and personal uses like doctors, etc. It’s easy enough to have both feed into our phone apps, so it is not really hard to keep up with.

              2. pleaset aka cheap rolls*

                I’ve seen them for parents of kids who are 8-9 years old at the moment and pretty clearly set up with regards to the child’s schedule/education etc. So set up in the last 9 years.

              3. TiffIf*

                I’ve seen them used by parents whose children need email address to sign up for things etc but who don’t want their children to use private email addresses.

          1. Coenobita*

            Shared family/household email addresses can be extremely useful for things like getting all the bills for your household’s utilities, making sure the kids’ schedule updates all go to the same place, etc. It’s like an email address for your house. But yeah, kinda weird for personal correspondence and definitely not great for job searching!

          2. Very Punny*

            My spouse and I have a shared email address but we mainly use it for the kids schools and sports and sometimes restaurant signups. Trying to keep track of schedules for 6 kids got pretty daunting when I got some emails and he got others and we were never sure who got what. We do use or individual emails for everything else though, friends, family, shopping, etc.

          3. pleaset aka cheap rolls*

            I know super-big shot in her field (nonprofit fundraising) who uses an AOL address. She’s quite old and a consultant for hire. It didn’t put us off in engaging her. But then, she was a known entity that we reached out to.

          4. Observer*

            @hotmail @Yahoo are also dated, just not as badly as AOL.

            Yahoo is especially bad in any field where you should know something about basic cyber-security. Because their security at one point was worse than Hotmail at it’s worst. They had MULTIPLE breaches, and EVERY. SINGLE. ACCOUNT was breached – most of them multiple times. And when Verizon bought them, they simply didn’t have a rear security infrastructure. Given how easy it’s become to start a new email account, I can’t see any good reason for someone to use that as their primary / professional / job hunting account.

   <- don't use shared email addresses for job searches.


   <- Using your ISP as your email shows that you don't realize you are tied to the ISP and if you want to change providers you are ok losing all your history. Again, for a tech-related job, I would think twice about the person's tech-savviness.

            Good point! For a lot of positions, I would not care. But if you are supposed to know about tech, yes, this is a flag.

          5. quill*

            My old ISP killed their email domain 5 years or so back and I am STILL finding myself denied access to things that I signed up for with it!

        2. Momof1*

          I wear my common first name (top 10 the year I was born, common) single digit number @ hotmail (think Alice4@hotmail) e-mail address as a badge of honor. I don’t use it very much any more because of the span issue, but it still exists and I know the password for it.

    3. irene adler*

      Just curious: does a firstname.lastname @ address imply age as well ?

      1. Case of the Mondays*

        I hope not because that is what I use and I think it sounds quite professional. We all use outlook at work.

      2. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        All that tells me is that you’re comfortable with Micro$oft. In almost all of the business world, that’s going to be an asset, not a hindrance.

    4. mcl*

      My spouse uses a email account that he set up in high school. But with a heavy dose of amusement. He also has a “real” email address with Gmail that is based on his real name, which is for Profesh Reasons. I heavily pushed him to do that when he was applying for jobs a few years ago.

      1. Forrest*

        Someone gave me an email address the other day, and I did a double take. (I think they got bought out in like 2004 or 05?) He looked kind of shamefaced so he must be used to a reaction!

    5. Helenteds*

      I didn’t realize that AOL email addresses were a problem for job applicants. I have an AOL address as my primary email, but I am a young college student. I wonder how much it would matter in the non-tech field I hope to pursue a career in (Museum studies).

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        I don’t think it is, except in the hipper neighborhoods of tech. I wouldn’t expect it to be an issue in law, where I work. Museum studies? I can’t imagine.

      2. T. J. Juckson*

        As someone coming from the arts, honestly, I’d assume you were old and rich.

        Some very, very high-level museum donors and board people– think Leon Black and his ilk all used to have AOL emails (actually, they might all still), and there was a joke going around that all you needed to do was email the various permutations of lblack@aol, leonblack@aol, etc. and be like “Dude, loan me your Munch?”

        1. Jamie Starr*

          ^ This. Case in point: both the Treasurer at the museum where I currently work and the one from my previous job both rock AOL emails. They are both white males between 60 – 80.

          I would not use an AOL address for job applications; as someone upthread mentioned, it makes me think you haven’t kept up with technology since whenever AOL came out.

      3. I'm A Little Teapot*

        Play it safe, go get a gmail or outlook account. You can keep your AOL email for personal stuff.

      4. David*

        Like anything else, it depends on who’s looking at the email address. I’d guess a lot of people probably won’t even notice, and most of the ones who do notice won’t care – especially in a non-tech field.

        I believe the reason people in tech are a little more likely to care about AOL specifically is that AOL’s main product for a long time was dialup internet service, which is way slower and less convenient than cable and DSL internet service. So for quite a while, if you (in the generic sense, not specifically you Helenteds) had an email address, people would infer that you have dialup internet, and in turn that you don’t care about having a fast or always-on internet connection. In tech, that does make people question how interested you are in the field, since it’d be very strange for someone to be passionate about computer technology and still perfectly fine with a dialup internet connection. The same might go for some other specific internet-related fields like social media management. Outside of that, it matters much less, but people might still find it odd that a person would stick with dialup internet in an age when cable internet is so widely available.

        And for the record, there are definitely assumptions in what I said that won’t apply to everyone – like, not everyone necessarily has access to cable/DSL/etc. internet, or can afford it, and having an email address doesn’t necessarily mean you have chosen to pay for dialup internet service. I just wanted to show how people might (rightly or wrongly) come to the conclusion that means you’re non-technical.

        1. Spotted Kitty*

          I work in email marketing and we just don’t send to hotmail or aol emails anymore because so many of them are old and spam traps that it drops our deliverability rates down if we do send to them. So if I saw a resume, it would give me pause.

        2. tamarack and fireweed*

          Yabbut, Google never got email customers en masse from offering any home ISP services. A 30 year old today with an AOL address probably never got AOL dial-up, and if you hav a 55 year old with an AOL address why do you care that they *may* have had dial-up in the 90s? AOL stopped offering mass dial-up well over 10 years ago. How far back are you punishing your candidates for technology decisions – private ones to boot…

          The preference for Gmail / Google smells a lot more like (outdated ideas about) “what the cool kids do” rather than anything based on data.

    6. PollyQ*

      I think it’s ridiculous to do that and probably does function as age discrimination. Someone choosing not to change their email address, which may be used widely with friends, family, and businesses, says nothing about how they “adopt new technology.” They may be using any of up-to-date email programs with that address (e.g., Outlook, Thunderbird, and even Gmail) with full mastery of the current technology.

      1. Lexie*

        I’m with you. I still have a hotmail account, it’s not like I’m still using it on the computer I had ten years ago. I’ve adopted lots of new technology in that time. I keep my email address constant partly so I can still be located by people I may not have heard from in years.

      2. Natalie*

        Yes, I got my AOL account when I was 9 years old, and I still have it. I’ve been using it for so long, it’s on a lot of accounts and things and would be a pain to change it without any particularly good reason.

        However, when I was job searching a few years ago, I did get a gmail account just to avoid this sort of attitude, since I’d hear that some people might be judgey about it.

      3. Mental Lentil*

        True, but if you are job searching, why not get a new, free email account that doesn’t mark you as terribly out of touch with today’s technology?

        1. PollyQ*

          Those are two different questions, though.

          Should a job-searcher get a new email, solely to avoid unfair prejudice? Well, maybe. We live in the world we live in, and people need jobs to earn money to live on.

          Should employers who are hiring be prejudiced against job-hunters simply because they have an “old” email address? Absolutely not, and they shouldn’t justify it by making unsupported assumptions about users being “out of touch” with modern technology.

      4. quill*

        Yes, especially when they’re probably job searching with a long-established personal email and using a more recent one at work. And if the email is a spam trap… well, that says something more about putting your email on 20 job search sites and giving it out to recruiters than it does about the person.

        Bottom line, unless the email indicates a lack of security knowledge, it’s more of a note than a flag.

    7. Forrest*

      Someone gave me an ntlworld email the other day! I did a double take and he looked sheepish, so he must be used to a reaction.

    8. OtterB*

      I still use my AOL email as my primary personal email. I do have a gmail and would use it if I was applying for a job (though I would have to be more consistent about checking it). I like the fact that I’ve had the same email for 25 years; people can find me and it’s my user ID for a bunch of stuff. For me, I don’t think it says anything about willingness to adopt new tech. It does say something about a preference for stability. The fact that I’ve been in my current job 17 years would probably give that away anyway.

    9. Construction Safety*

      OTOH, an AOL email may signify that the user was an early(ish) adopter, and once an early adopter, always an early adopter. Maybe.

      1. Momof1*

        It would not. As an old, I can confirm that those of us who were tech-savvy/early adopters in the 90s looked down on AOL even then. At the time, it was more because it was marketed as the layman’s internet, and it was curated for the end user. You had to use their browser, their “search” function, and it did not access all of the internet.

        Now, I would judge you because there are, and have been for a long time, better e-mail programs you can use to get e-mail. And, at this point, you had to deliberately decide to keep your AOL address. Several years ago, maybe around the time of the Time-Warner merger, they became a pay service for awhile. You had to actively decide to keep them, and then pay for the privilege, and anyone how decided to do that *must* have been a 65+ grandma who was just unwilling to change. I’m a little shocked by all the younger millennials on here claiming to still have and use their AOL e-mails. It’s weird.

        1. Might Be Spam*

          I still get email to my first username@AOL email account. For some reason it comes through my username@sbcglobal account. Maybe one bought out the other. Either way I’m not paying for either one of them.

        2. Susan Ivanova*

          AOL was a pay service from the beginning, back when there was no Internet access unless you were at an .edu or .com that had a reason to use it, so you’d better behave online because email to abuse @ yourco dot com would make it to your management. We didn’t look down on AOL users until after they got Internet access and the Eternal September began.

          My kid brother had his own address as a subaccount on mine, and impressed the financial company he applied to right out of college because very few non-tech people had any kind of email address.

    10. nonegiven*

      My vet uses gmail. When I tried to email pictures of my cat’s problem area for monitoring, they went so deep into her junk folder she practically had to stand on her head to find them. I use an outlook email alias with my real name from my hotmail account that I’ve had since the 90s. My ‘from’ is outlook, my ‘reply’ is outlook. Next time I need to email her, I’m going to have to call and say, “Did you get my email?”

    11. tamarack and fireweed*

      This is veering into an area where I start to become uncomfortable and am reminded of “culture fit” and judging coworkers on the make and model of their car. People have a lot of perfectly fine reasons to select an outdated email host. In times where messaging platforms and social media have taken over a lot of functions that we used email for in the 2000s, it’s also fine not to care too much about changing to a hipper one if the one you have is doing the trick.

      I sigh at AOL much as the next guy, but I know of at least one person who has an account for reasons that have to do with a family member using some assistive technology, and AOL just happens to make it easy to communicate in a way that that works for them (I don’t know the details so I’m hand-wavy here – maybe it *is* about not shaking things up for the family member). The only AOL account I’ve ever had was for testing purposes, when I worked at a software company that does commercial email sending, and frankly it was *fine*. I could see how some would like the interface. They were quite good at handling RTL languages earlier than others for example.

      Other techie friends proudly strut their addresses. Now you may think panix is cool while AOL is cheesie, but old it certainly is!

    12. Sam*

      Gotta confess I do this, too. Gmail/Outlook is good, Hotmail/Yahoo will make me ask some pointed interview questions about your comfort with new technology, and AOL/ISP will probably mean I won’t reach out.

      Working in a fully remote context with complex CRM systems requires a high level of comfort with new technology, the ability to learn on the fly, and an instinct to Google problems and questions before calling IT. Someone who hasn’t yet figured ouf the benefits of web-based email just… likely isn’t there.

      1. tamarack and fireweed*

        People may be using hotmail because in the Microsoft world your account is used to authenticate for all sorts of cloud services. They may be using yahoo privately because their parents set up the account when they were born, and they aren’t bothered enough to change. They may be using their ISP’s address and manage it through the Gmail interface.

        All of the options you mentioned are webmail, and in any event, the most technologically advanced people set up Thunderbird to manage multiple accounts through IMAP. They would turn it around and talk about the advantages of offline clients compared with janky web interfaces.

        There’s a lot more to technical curiosity and skill than what free email provider people use, especially in a world where email is on a decline. There is also really nothing whatsoever someone distinguishes themself by having a Gmail account. I urge you to rethink your attitude and let go of the silly shibboleths.

      2. JB*

        Ehhh? I have email addresses on all of the mentioned platforms except through my ISP. They’re all web-based, and there’s nothing more ‘advanced’ about sending an email through Gmail or Outlook than there is through AOL. You log in on the website, you type an email. It’s not like they send a personal assistant to your home to hold your hand and guide you to the ‘send’ button when you use AOL.

        Although AOL does, I believe, still have the lowest max file attachment size.

    13. Denver Gutierrez*

      I confess to still having my aol account but do not use it for anything professional. It is more my junk account and used for things like social media accounts. I also have a Yahoo address but haven’t logged on for years.

    14. CherryJam*

      Set up my hotmail maybe 15 years ago, and I was able to secure firstname.lastname@hotmail…..

      The best Gmail I could get is a combo of initials, numbers and names (common name problems). It looks worse and is more awkward to say over the phone, so I’ll stick with my hotmail thanks!

    1. Zephy*

      They may not have had a choice, if it’s a .edu, but I do agree that any reasonable institution would have either changed it or agreed to do so at the person’s request, if their name was like Willie Ward Ackoff or something along those lines. It calls to mind the post by Megan Finger that went quasi viral a while back – her university formatted email addresses as [last name]+[first two letters of first name], rendering her student email as “”

      1. Observer*

        but I do agree that any reasonable institution would have either changed it or agreed to do so at the person’s request

        That’s really where you run into some problems. We know that there are a LOT of institutions where this stuff can be ridiculously rigid. Schools are some of the worst offenders.

      2. Denver Gutierrez*

        The school a friend of mine attended had a kind of strange format where they used the first three letters of your first name and the first two letters of your middle name. Unfortunately for friend, it meant her address was a pretty well known swear word in a foreign language.

        1. Dezzi*

          My college did the very common [first letter of first name] [first seven letters of last name]. Which was fine for most people, except a friend of mine whose username/email address ended up being

          I felt so bad for him….and then I met someone whose institution used [first six letters of last name] [first two letters of first name]. The way that truncated her last name was…not great.

          Her email address was

    2. Greyscale*

      My alma mater chose my .edu email address for me and it actually caused some problems. They gave me [first name][last initial]@. The problem was that a lot of people would mistake the second half of my first name for the beginning of my last name. So if I was jamesonr@ people would think my name was James O. rather than Jameson R. I had to stop using my .edu for job searching because of it.

  10. RMNPgirl*

    Letters and numbers need to be clearly defined. I made the mistake years ago of putting a lower case l next to a 1. Luckily it’s gmail so all uppercase works too, so many times I’ll write it out with L and 1, but that l gets missed a lot!

    I would recommend hand-writing it and typing it (in multiple fonts) to make sure that nothing gets mixed up or easily left out.

    1. Llellayena*

      As evidenced by my user name, writing out my personal email address can be tricky. In the email it’s all lowercase (no that’s not the whole thing), but if I’m writing it out for someone I will capitalize all of the L’s so they don’t get mistaken for 1’s.

    2. PollyQ*

      Oy, the NYT crossword showed a clue recently that looked like this “|||” in the app’s font. I read it as the Roman numeral “III”, but it was actually the word “Ill.”

  11. knitcrazybooknut*

    I would also suggest not using words like “dash” or “dot” in the first part of the email. I thought it would be clever to create a barbaradotsmith@gmail address, and it was tough to communicate the email address in conversation.

    1. Governmint Condition*

      Try figuring out the e-mail of an employee at a Department of Transportation. “dot” is usually somewhere in the address.

    2. NM not NN nor MM oh here just look at my drivers license*

      My ‘avoid’ is letters that have soundalikes unless it’s really really easy words. M/N. A/H. V/B/P. People have made some truly mind-boggling alterations to my address…

        1. NM not NN nor MM oh here just look at my drivers license*

          I have more than one of those combinations, and my alternate address has an underscore. I don’t recommend that either.

      1. quill*

        Between this and the fact that EVERYONE assume my first name is a nickname, (It’s not) I feel your pain.

    3. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      I’d probably just say “Barbara dee oh tee smith at”… I had to walk people through command-line troubleshooting over the phone in a past job…

  12. Mostly Managing*

    It is possible to set up an alias, so you have one account but several email addresses that go to it.
    My daughter does this.
    Her account was originally childhood.hobbies@ and she still uses that with friends and family. For job applications or other more formal things, she has name123@ but both land in the same inbox.

    She only has one place to check for emails, and she has a “grown up” option for when she needs it.

    1. Tin Cormorant*

      Yep! This is what I do. I have three gmail addresses: one main that isn’t connected to my real name for everything I do online and with friends, but then I’ve got professional ones for my current name and my maiden name that both forward all their email to the main. I can send email from any of the three while logged in to the main.

      1. Tabihabibi*

        I did that after college but learned some email clients will make your email show up like its from, “childhood.hobbies@email on behalf of firstname.last@email and showed the fake alias associated with childhood.hobbies as the sender name. It may be an issue of how I connected the two accounts, but worth checking how it shows up in Outlook, etc.

  13. Nanani*

    Probably too obvious to say but don’t use your current employer provided email address! Not only is there too high a chance someone will see something before you want them to, you will also lose access to it when you’re longer employed there which could mean losing records of things like what time your interview starts or contact info for things that need to be done before you start at the new job.

    1. TechDirector*

      YES! Never apply to one job from an obvious work account. Bad form, and I would be less likely to pursue someone who is clearly mixing work and job search !

    2. Antilles*

      Along these same lines, anything that’s long-term professional related should use your personal email as well – LinkedIn, email addresses for state/federal certifications, etc.

    3. AndreaC*

      I worked in academia for a few years, and I was really puzzled by the fact that several faculty candidates wrote their cover letters on their current institution’s letterhead. I was appalled the first time I saw it, then more came in and I figured it must not be a giant red flag.

      1. Metadata minion*

        Coming from academia staff, I have never hired for faculty positions and yet that is completely unsurprising and I’m struggling to put my finger on *why*.

        1. David*

          Just a guess: because a lot of non-tenured academic jobs (I’m thinking e.g. postdoc positions) are fixed-term, it’s much less of a surprise that people will be job searching toward the end, so they might not feel the need to be so secretive about it.

        2. tamarack and fireweed*

          Um, I had the opposite problem – I applied for a position *without* being currently employed by a university, and the job advice guide said it’s a red flag if you don’t have a home institution whose letterhead you can use.

          On the other hand, I am too new to using my institution’s letterhead for anything that even now I don’t want to use it for my cover letters – and I don’t think that’s what’s holding me back right now. I should ask someone on a hiring committee how many cover letters they get on the candidate’s current institution’s letterhead vs. not.

          (The reason being of course that moving to new jobs, especially early in the career, is seen as the normal thing academics do. When I got to a 2-day on-campus interview at my own institution (applying as a postdoc for a tenure-track faculty position) I asked my PI if I should take the days off. I mean, I *was* giving public talks. The answer was no! This was considered supporting me in my career development.) (I came in second, sigh.)

      2. mal.abrigo*

        In academia it’s a red flag if faculty candidates *do not* write their cover letters on their institution’s letterhead. Graduate students, postdocs, and contingent faculty are expected to be trying to move on from short-term employment, so their current institutions expect they will leave and (ideally) support them in their search. Faculty candidates who are already on the tenure track, or tenured, often *want* their current departments to know they’re looking, because it’s leverage for counter-offers and once their chairs find out about it, they will often put together a retention package. I know in other industries that’s really frowned on, but in the academy it’s totally normal, expected, and even encouraged practice. I have at least two friends on the tenure-track who are applying to faculty positions elsewhere as a way to pressure their current institutions to hire their spouses, for instance.

        1. mal.abrigo*

          (As for why it’s a red flag not to use letterhead: Faculty members serving on the search committee that sees a cover letter with no letterhead will assume that person has no current institutional affiliation, and is therefore not an attractive or desirable candidate because they are currently unemployed. Very unfair in this climate, but a reality of the industry.)

  14. Wellywell*

    Also if you are including numbers in your email address don’t put your birthdate(!) It’s not that it’s unprofessional, it’s just risky re: privacy.

    1. Cease and D6*

      Using your birthdate also reveals your age, which may open you up to the unconscious biases of a potential employer.
      And I don’t doubt that it has been the unconscious downfall of lots of otherwise lovely job candidates that just so happened to be born in ’69 or ’88.

      1. Tin Cormorant*

        But some people interpret any 2-digit number in an email address as being a reference to a birthdate even when it isn’t meant to be.

        I was using an email address ending with a number for ten years before someone pointed out that it might cause someone to think I’m in my 60s. (I’m in my 30s)

        1. TiffIf*

          I have an email address that has “2002” in it and I wonder if people assume it is my birth year. It isn’t–its the year I graduated high school and when I was setting up one particular email account my standard username was already taken so I added 2002 on because I had just graduated. But especially no that 2002 is long enough ago for people born then to be coming into adulthood people probably do.

          I don’t actually use that email for anything important any more. My email that I put on my resume is my gmail that is First Middle Initial Last. However my middle name and last name start with the same letter so I put a period between them to differentiate and it comes through with or without the period on gmail.
          So on my resume it appears like TiffanyI.If even though on the back end its tiffanyiif.

      2. Salad Daisy*

        I graduated from HS in 1969 and am still snickering. Class pin, sweater, etc. all had 69 on them.

    2. Beth*

      I remember a guy I bought something from on eBay, years ago — by the time we were done with the transaction, I knew his full name, his full date of birth, where he lived, where he had gone to school, and that he was living with his parents. I actually told him this at the end of our correspondence, but I don’t think he understood my point.

    3. Detective Amy Santiago*

      My email address has my birthdate – but just the month and day.

      1. Amy Farrah Fowler*

        Ditto. Since I am not **actually** Amy Farrah Fowler, the equivalent of my email address would be amyff0701@ if my birthday were today.

        1. Nanani*

          Those are still a privacy risk. How many services use date of birth as a security question? Too many.

          1. Metadata minion*

            Just use a fake one for security questions. I hate the trend towards advising people to try to hide completely normal topics of conversation that in many cases are actually public record just because security companies insist on thinking that your mothers’ maiden name (hi, assumptions about family structure and naming conventions!) is an appropriately confidential piece of informatino.

            1. Denver Gutierrez*

              I have made up answers to security questions. Good luck guessing the name of my non-existent dog! The only catch is remembering your fake answer.

            2. quill*

              Between that and the number of job applications that have your social security number, identity theft is less of a heist than a jigsaw puzzle for the people who commit it.

          2. Annie J*

            The worst are the Muppets who put their door number in their email address, I mean seriously, Who thinks that is a good idea.

      2. Seeking Second Childhood*

        Not a good option for people born on June 9 (US) or September 6 (UK), I’d think. Which reminds me– zeroes and letters ‘O’ are another lookalike.

  15. Sami*

    The bonus of being the only person in the world with my name is having my Gmail being just mylastname@ Gmail. com Like Alison being able to have green@
    Though on more than one occasion, when asked for it, I’ve said it’s just my last name. And the person wrote down “mylastname” instead of my actual name. :)

    1. Elle Woods*

      Yikes. My friend has a similar story. She was at a specialist’s office for her initial medical appointment. The receptionist asked her for her email address and friend said, “its my first name dot my last name at [provider] dot com.” The receptionist entered in, “myfirstname.mylastname@[provider].com.”

        1. quill*

          Quick, how do you spell the agricultural instrument for turning furrows with a draft animal?

  16. email name agnostic*

    Hmmm….interesting. We were just discussing this the other day. A colleague has an email and matching LinkedIn URL, something on the order of (This is NOT the actual.)
    It’s not inappropriate and I get it that this person is trying to differentiate from all the other John Smiths out there, but I wonder if this kind of thing is useful.

    1. Shad*

      “Studentoflife” specifically gives me a fairly flighty vibe that I think would probably be a subconscious negative (it’s not bad enough that I’d intentionally ding for it, but there’s no way to not know it).
      But something like or even john.smith.knitter wouldn’t have that same slight issue and would still differentiate.

  17. Now In the Job*

    So an interesting thing I’ve discovered while studying Japanese is that a LOT of the Japanese natives I have emailed with have some variation of letters representing their names, and 2 to 4 numbers. So something like yktnk43 for Yuko Tanaka, for example. Just a heads up for anyone who might have a problem with seemingly random letters and number combinations…it could be cultural!

    1. Zephy*

      Oh, interesting! I’d expect email addresses like that in countries that speak languages like Hebrew or Arabic, too, since you don’t usually write the vowels.

    2. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      I ran in middle and high school and played college in hockey, and was lucky enough to have the same two-digit number the whole time. So my email address is just my surname and number at gmail. The number makes other frequent appearances.

      What’s funny is that I ended up with that number because it was one of the ones no one else cared about; everyone else wanted low numbers like a favorite baseball player or NFL running or defensive back. In the past 15 years though, some NHL players started wearing it and now I get asked if I’m a fan. They usually pick the player I am a fan of, so it’s easy to smile and say I’m proud of him for representing our number so well at the professional level.

      I never knew that about Japanese culture, though; thank you for teaching me something today!

  18. infopubs*

    My CPA retired a couple years ago and I needed to find a new one. A friend recommended someone she had gone to school with decades ago. When I visited his website and saw that his email address was along the lines of dude69lolz@aol, I rejected him out of hand. This guy is in his 50s and if he can’t see that his email address is inappropriate, I certainly wasn’t going to trust him with my financial information. I also told my friend why I wasn’t going to contact him, and she was appalled, too. I think she read him the riot act after that!

    1. Beth*

      Ooo, yes. That raises another point: when you’re a business owner, or a public-facing person in a small business or professional group, you really, really need to have a fully professional email. I am not going to feel confident about hiring a lawyer whose contact email is, or a vet who uses

      I would probably cut some slack for professionals who are more blue-collar (since I’m going to expect that they’ll be spending more of their time wrangling non-tech concerns), but if the owner of a company with a website at is using as his email address, I will at the very least be quirking an eyebrow.

      1. Shad*

        Even would be better for that plumber example.
        But really, once you’re buying a domain name rather than using a free one, you need to be getting emails with @yourdomain. (I’d definitely allow slack for small/new businesses that are still at etsy or level as long as all the names match up; but that’s also because I assume most such businesses are still basically a side hustle).

        1. tamarack and fireweed*

          Yeah, would be, but I find a lot of the good handymen in my area have email addresses like “pipeguy@…” or “haulerdude@…”. It’s probably the first time they created a professional email for their 1-person side hustle and, well, I’m not gonna be picky here!

      2. Emily*

        My job involves being in contact with a lot of funeral directors and I once had to email some with as their email.
        Hilarious to me but I can imagine it could be less amusing to a grieving family member!

    2. Iota*

      I once sent an enquiry to a psychologist through a register website, and was put off when his reply appeared to come from something like phoenix72@hotmail. I think he must have a professional email address but for whatever reason used a personal one when registering with the wire and didn’t realise that replies he sent through the site’s automated platform would show up as coming from his personal email address? It was weird. I chose not to take the appointment he offered me.

  19. A Genuine Scientician*

    I’d also consider your capitalization. or are going to read as way more professional than You probably also don’t want non-standard spellings of anything other than a proper name; luv, boi, gurl, etc are not the best choices as part of an email address from which you’re applying for a job.

    (I have worked with students, and needed to explain this more times than I would have anticipated.)

    1. Nanani*

      Not sure if this applies globally, but at least gmail does not distinguish between cases. All of those examples are identical to the machine if they are @ gmail, at least.
      The capitalization will look weird but it won’t cause you to miss emails if someone doesn’t bother to CaMeLCapS their way through it.

      1. David*

        Technically, according to the standard, email providers are allowed to distinguish between cases (in the part before the @), but it’s very very common not to. If an email provider did try to make different cases go to separate accounts, I bet they’d have so many misdelivered emails that almost nobody would use them.

  20. Moniker*

    I would like to register a strong vote for an e-mail address that makes it easy to identify who you are. I run a program the requires a lot of interaction with applicants and participants. When I get an e-mail from an address that does not tell me who the person is (i.e. and then the person signs the e-mail “Sheila” it can be maddening. I might have 6 Sheila’s in the applicant pool. Two common issues are women who changed their name on marriage and keep an e-mail with their previous name and non-identifying e-mail addresses. Also, it is easy enough to create a signature line that give relevant information (full name, contact info) and tailor it to the specific e-mail conversation you are having. Otherwise, I don’t care who your email service is from or what other things you want to tell the world about yourself in your e-mail address, just tell me who you are.

    1. Nom*

      Yes this is maddening. I recently hired someone who’s legal name was something like Antonia Brown. Her email address was like annie.aguilar@email and her display name was Annie Aguilar (maiden name). I called HR in a panic thinking they had made a job offer to the wrong person :(

      1. pleaset aka cheap rolls*

        How dare she not have her legal name on everything? Very inconsiderate!

        1. quill*

          Last I checked changing your name after marriage was enough of a mess that I can understand why you’d just not bother with the email! In case it took a year or two for someone to get back to you that ACTUALLY you had a bill still in your maiden name and now you can’t be issued a new insurance card… (True story, my mom has been married 34 years and had trouble signing up for new insurance because she didn’t have a copy of her and my dad’s marriage certificate on hand… and her birth certificate and SSN were, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, registered to her maiden name.

    2. Julianna*

      Most—email clients show you a display name associated with the email though (which should be first name + last name). It’s fairly rare to have to look at the email address itself for the name.

  21. Elena*

    I had an email that was, not unprofessional per se, but cutsey (like, I actually got a couple of jobs with that before bothering to make a boring “professional” type email- wondering if you guys think that would have hurt my chances?

    1. tamarack and fireweed*

      I wouldn’t (and in fact, a former co-worker had something like and a student we hired used, again changed-but-similar, But it’s the kind of thing people clearly make new rules of professionalism up for, even if there’s no basis for them. (That is, if you were to investigate the pool of candidates with cute-but-harmless emails compared to those with boring-as-hell addresses, you wouldn’t find the first statistically less desirable than the second.)

      I’d change it.

  22. bored lawyer*

    I’ve changed names and the actual email convention to protect the innocent, but this is the general gist:

    My school provided automatically generated email addresses to all students. The naming convention was first four letters of your last name, your first initial, your middle initial, your class year @ So, William F. Smith, class of ’21, would be Complicated, but innocuous.

    Unless, like one of my classmates with an ethnically Mediterranean/Eastern European last name, your last name is something like “Mydieros.” And your first name is Charles. And your middle name is Kenneth. Then, your email address is “” He did get it changed, but the conversation with the elderly dean was awkward.

    1. Dezzi*

      I met someone whose school had given her the email address “”. She wasn’t pleased. Neither was “”.

  23. Lucy P*

    I’m looking at some of our previous applicants’ email addresses. They would be questionable but not rejectable based on email address alone: loveablelindsay1004@—-; misspinkdiamond@—-; rosebud***@—; prettyeyes***@—
    (Of course these are not exact. I’ve modified names or spellings slightly.)

  24. Sapphire (they)*

    I used to work in a healthcare related field, and we would see email addresses for midwives and OB-GYNs. One of my favorite email addresses was a midwife whose email was “”, and it was cute and memorable.

    On the flip side, if you’re using “naughtynurse69” as an email address… you might want to change it.

  25. EnfysNest*

    Does the domain matter? I think I remember seeing on here before that Yahoo or other “old fashioned” domains should be avoided, but while I have my FirstLast@ for my Yahoo account, that’s not available on other domains that I tried. I had to experiment for a long time with extra symbols, numbers, and my middle initial before I got an address that worked on Gmail and it ended up a bit convoluted. Given that I’m in construction engineering, not IT, does the domain really make any difference in perception?

    1. Beth*

      It can make a difference. I ended up with a comment in moderation, probably due to too many invented email addresses, but I would say that the more white-collar you are, the more likely people are to make judgements about your professionalism based on your choice of email address, especially if you are a business owner.

    2. Nom*

      My two cents is that for a job like construction engineering a yahoo email address is fine. I do a lot of hiring internationally and yahoo is still a popular email address for people outside of the US – I view yahoo as an acceptable domain (AOL not so much).

  26. opaque_chatterbug*

    I would only add to avoid using a username/handle in your email address that you post casually under normally.

    1. Phony Genius*

      Even if you’re not, you might be able to use it. Dave Letterman on his show once featured a Canadian gas station owner whose real name was Dick Assman.

      1. Paralegal Part Deux*

        My cousin dated a girl whose uncle was unfortunately named Richard Weed and everyone called him Dick. That poor man’s name was Dick Weed.

        1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          I worked in a call center once and got a call from Dusty Beaver.

          1. Paralegal Part Deux*

            My aunt, who’s a nurse, had a patient named Nosmoking once (pronounced Noz-Moh-King). It took her a while to figure out it was No Smoking run together.

      2. HBJ*

        I mentioned this in a different thread, but there’s a very high-up Olympics staff member who’s name is Dick Pound.

  27. Sue D. O'Nym*

    Gmail has a useful feature where you can add +something at the end of your email address (before the @) and it will work.

    So you could have firstname.lastname for your regular email address, and firstname.lastname+jobs for job searching, and firstname.lastname+spam for mailing list subscriptions (or you can use this, with different endings to determine which companies are selling your email address when you sign up for their mailing list)

    Unfortunately, some websites don’t recognize + as a valid character when validating email address entries, so it doesn’t always work.

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      Worse, validation rules can be different for different functions. Like a site that let me create an account with a plus sign in the address but not log into the account.
      Good thing that wasn’t medical or anything important …oh wait, it was.

      1. TiffIf*

        Worse, validation rules can be different for different functions. Like a site that let me create an account with a plus sign in the address but not log into the account.

        Ugh that’s just terrible code practice.

        I had something similar happen but on a password. I have a password for an account that includes a space in it. The service does allow spaces in the password; I was able to create and log in to the account on my laptop. The mobile application for the service does NOT allow spaces so I can literally never log in to the account on mobile.

  28. Case Managed to Death*

    I used to work in expungement/record clearing and someone emailed me FURIOUS her criminal record must show up because she had applied to hundreds of jobs and not gotten one response. Her email address was professional enough but the name she had chosen (that showed up as her name to recipients) was *pImP JuIcE* and when I pointed that out she oddly enough was still furious.

    1. Paralegal Part Deux*

      That made me lol for real. I’m so glad I’m alone in the office at the moment!

  29. CatPerson*

    I read somewhere that my AOL email address would be used against me. It made me sad that people are so shallow.

    1. Beth*

      It’s not shallow, at least not as I regard it.

      Part of the problem is that AOL is an internet antique; it sends the message that you have been using that email address for decades. This will make the person on the hiring end wonder if the rest of your technical skills are equally out of date.

      Another element is that the AOL domain is notoriously picky about inbound content. Emails sent to AOL addresses often arrive missing attachments, formatting, or important information. This raises a communications barrier at a time when you want to be easy to reach.

      Consider the impact you might make if you sent in a resume typed on a manual typewriter — with the added element that you have your choice of half a dozen free word processors that you could have used instead.

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        I can’t speak to the attachment issue, but what is wrong with using the same email address for decades? To put it the opposite way, what is the virtue in changing your email address every few years to the latest latest thing? There is outright ageism, of course. An aol domain suggests that the user has been on the internet for at least twenty years or so.

        1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

          agreed. At this point I’m keeping my AOL (I also have a gmail) just for the lols. I have a vendor with a JUNO email address. JUNO! I love him (platonically) for it. I didn’t even know that was still possible.

            1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

              If bellbottoms or ripped jeans, big hair, hairspray, crop tops, etc. can come back in fashion every 20 years or so, one day AOL will be a status symbol of hipsters everywhere! And I will be a GOD! ;-)

        2. Paris Geller*

          Agree. It seems really arbitrary too– a lot of people seem to view gmail as a more modern/updated email service, but I’ve had my gmail account since 2006, when it was still invite-only. I was in high school and my family still had dial-up. Definitely old school for today, but no one ever thinks about it that way.

      2. CatPerson*

        I have never had a problem with inbound content. And I get very little spam even after all of these years. What you’re saying is that age discrimination is acceptable–because that’s all you’re learning about me if I have an aol email. Having a longtime internet address says nothing about whether I have kept up with my technical skills. Why would it? It’s not like a modern email system is so hard to learn that I couldn’t adapt.

        1. Nom*

          I don’t think the commenter is saying ageism is acceptable, what they’re saying is that you’re unnecessarily opening yourself up to ageism by using an email address that indicates your age.

      3. Mental Lentil*

        This will make the person on the hiring end wonder if the rest of your technical skills are equally out of date.

        This is it, exactly. Some may scream that it’s not fair (and that point is debatable), but most jobs expect you to have fairly up-t0-date technical skills. The optics this gives on your skills are not good. This is not about being shallow or ageist.

        1. pleaset aka cheap rolls*

          Someone being online for 20 or 30 years gives optics of poor tech skills? Seems to me like a cloak for ageism rolled up into a tech excuse. “They’re old and haven’t changed just for the heck of it, so, sniff, they probably aren’t up to date in other things.”

        2. Julianna*

          Your choice of email address shows absolutely nothing about your “skills” though? There is no skill to having an email address.

      4. Donkey Hotey*

        100% agreed, Beth.
        One of our sales team uses an AOL address and it’s embarrassing as all get out.
        I mean yes, a Model T will get you the same place as a Tesla, but really there are a few other steps in between.

        1. allathian*

          I sure hope you don’t expect your sales team to use their private email addresses for work purposes, that could open them up to all sorts of harassment from disgruntled customers and you should be ashamed of yourselves if that’s the case. What they use in private is their business. Why do you even need to know their private email address?

          1. Donkey Hotey*

            Wow, totally random person. Do you stretch much before jumping to so many conclusions? Because that’s a stretch.

    2. FD*

      Eh, I think people who will refuse to hire you for an AOL email address are fairly rare. It does sometimes imply a person who hasn’t kept up with the trendiest tech, so I think it might not be ideal if you were going to apply for a job that was very into the coolest new tech. Don’t think it’ll matter otherwise though.

      1. Beth*

        It might not make a potential employer reject you all on its own, but if the job is at all competitive, it doesn’t make much sense to use an email address that might make a weakening impression. It’s an easy issue to avoid, after all. I started out on yahoo, and created a gmail account when I knew I was going to be job-searching again.

    3. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      I think this is one of the those “professional norms” that deserves to be pushed back on firmly; to me it falls into the category of calling braids, tattoos, non-natural hair colors, bargain-brand clothing, makeup or lack of, and other non-work-related things unprofessional or sending a “message” about the person’s intelligence or ability. There really isn’t anything wrong with AOL/Yahoo, and nothing better/more skilled about gmail.

      1. CatPerson*

        Yeah, gee *somehow* I manage to navigate the Outlook email software that I use at work. I can even do pivot tables and vlookups!

        1. Jamie Starr*

          Right, but I bet you’re using Excel 2019 or something more up-to-date, not the 2003 version.

          1. quill*

            Hey, I used word 20013 until the license ran out, and with the rent-a-program mentality microsoft has these days, old programs are probably going to see a resurgence.

      2. Tinker*

        I agree. It’s kind of funny, but at this point being really attached to judgments about AOL users reads to me as being more dated than being an AOL user itself — and then also there’s the more serious thing where, okay sorry not sorry but “oh no it’s not about the age of the PERSON it’s about the age of the EMAIL ADDRESS (that they were around to create)” is an awfully small fig leaf.

      3. Observer*

        to me it falls into the category of calling braids, tattoos, non-natural hair colors, bargain-brand clothing, makeup or lack of, and other non-work-related things unprofessional

        No. I can’t see any situation where most of these things can be really called unprofessional. But, in many jobs these emails addresses actually do matter.

        If you are in tech and are still using a yahoo or hotmail address? That’s a big flag.

        Yahoo and AOL tend to have weird and random filtering problems, leading to emails getting blocked on what seems like a random basis, as well as fairly small attachment limits, which can present some progmatic problems.

        If you are running a business that has multiple employees, then anything other than your own domain name (I don’t much care what it is) is going to raise my eyebrows.

        In short, this is not just about someone’s esthetic preferences.

        1. quill*

          You are the only person so far in this thread who has offered a concrete reason other than “it’s old, lol” so thank you.

          (Personally I still have a Yahoo for spam but that’s why it was for signing up for forums in the first place!)

    4. Observer*

      I read somewhere that my AOL email address would be used against me. It made me sad that people are so shallow

      It’s not necessarily shallow. It depends on the field, but for some situations it actually provides relevant information. Like, if that’s your email for your business, I’m side-eying you. If you are in a technology field, I’m definitely raising an eye brow. If you’re applying for a landscaping job, I don’t care.

    5. Grey Panther*

      For work, I have both aol and gmail addresses. My clients send me large, complex files to work on, and aol receives and sends them just fine.
      If people want to judge me on that rather than on my work, well, that’s their privilege.
      Of course, being a freelancer helps in this area … and now it’s gotten to the point that the aol address just makes people think I’m quirky (rather than technologically deficient or in my official geezerhood). They’re mostly correct.

    6. JB*

      The only thing it tells me is that you’re probably using a single email address both for personal and professional/job-hunting correspondance, which is odd.

  30. Paralegal Part Deux*

    Luckily, when I was in college, I asked my professor about job searching and email addresses almost 15 years ago. She suggested using my first two initials and last name, so I have mine set up with my first name initial, middle name initial, and last name spelled out @ Comcast dot net and the same for iCloud, so I use either one for job searches and bills. I also still have my edu email address from my most recent foray into returning to school.

    I do have a gmail account for spam stuff that’s so old I got it when you had to get an invite code and is based on LotR.

  31. UnemployedTooLong*

    I would caution against using a name that indicates that you have children or a medical condition. I ran across these often in my last job. Momto2boys@ cathysdad@ cancersucks@

    1. drpuma*

      KidsnameMom@ always made me sad when I was hiring. It *never* factored in to any hiring decisions, to be clear. But I would see it and think…. what about all the other things that make you a wonderful YOU, just as yourself?

      1. Sue D. O'Nym*

        KidsnameMom@ could be useful if you’re only using that account to communicate with your child’s teachers.

      2. nonegiven*

        I had that for a user name, I don’t remember where, when everything else I tried came up already taken.

  32. Former Retail Lifer*

    I have a hard to spell first name and last name. My email is and unless someone cuts and pastes, there’s almost a 100% guarantee they’ll get it wrong. Nothing else seemed professional enough for job searching, though.

  33. Forrest Gumption*

    Professional landscaper isn’t the profession that would first come to mind if I saw “” Budtender maybe? Or something a little less, uh, reputable.

  34. Elle Woods*

    My favorite story comes from a recruiter I know. He’s a *HUGE* fan of his alma mater. He was recruiting for a position, had had a couple of phone conversations with the candidate, and was going to recommend them to the hiring manager. Recruiter asked the candidate to send over his resume. Turns out it was “recruiter’s alma mater sucks” at The recruiter suggested a more professional sounding email address but was rebuffed by the candidate.

      1. Database Developer Dude*

        Was it Alabama vs Auburn? One of my favorite humorist/comedians is Jeanne Robertson, and she talks about the Alabama – Auburn rivalry a lot.

  35. TeacherTeacher*

    Since the dawn of gmail, I’ve always advised people who share their resumes and cover letters with me for review/copy editing to get name/initials@gmail.

    This follows the experience of reviewing a very strong cover letter only to notice that the email at the top was (changing slightly, keeping the general feel):


  36. Observer*

    Alison’s advice is great.

    I would strongly suggest that you don’t use a random string of letters and numbers though. It’s not unprofessional. But, especially when you are job hunting, you want something that is reasonably easy to remember and type. is highly likely to get mistranslated somewhere along the line.

    The other thing that Alison did not directly mention is words or names that sound childish. Like

    1. CmdrShepard*

      I agree, but avoiding random string of numbers does not always work for people with common names.

      My email does not have random numbers, but rather the zipcode from where I lived when I made it. For example for Joe Smith it would be JSmith90201 (at) gmail (dot) com.

      The actual zipcode I use is not generally recognizable unless you are familiar with that specific area, smallish city on a costal state. So it might appear like random numbers, but if you google the numbers it pops up easy enough. The zipcode/area is tied to where I graduated and got my first job.

      I no longer live in the same zipcode/region, I have wondered if I should change my email, to current zipcode or just avoid zipcode all together, for any future job searches.

  37. dorothy zbornak*

    I went the super boring route: firstname/lastname/bday (w/o the year of course) @ gmail

    1. Mental Lentil*

      I wouldn’t recommend using your birthday or any other personal identifying information in your email address, other than your name. Why make it easy for identity thieves?

  38. GoodEmailAdvocate*

    Just don’t use anything that’s offensive, you’ll be fine. Nobody cares otherwise.

    Maybe not use stuff like “sugarmomma69”. That’s a relatively harmless compared to some things I’ve seen people use. Some people just don’t have any common sense.

    1. Mental Lentil*

      FYI, the gender neutral term for “sugar daddy” or “sugar momma” is officially “glucose guardian”.

  39. LolaBugg*

    I may have told this story before but a coworker once had to send me something from his personal email to my work email. His personal email was related to the side business he was doing at the time, photography. He said “it will be coming from single shot at”. But it kept not coming through. Until we realized “single shot” was being rejected by our filters because they thought it was “singles hot” like one of those “local singles waiting to meet you” type ads. So in addition to Alison’s great advice, I’d make sure whatever email you use couldn’t be misconstrued, even if it’s just your name or a couple random words strung together.

  40. Susan Matchett*

    I would be careful using your name followed 88 because of the negative connotations. Unless you are applying for a job where that would be helpful.

    1. Salad Daisy*

      Watch the old SNL segment where they are doing an episode of Jeopardy with an actor playing Sean Connery and one of the categories is Let It Snow.

    2. Donkey Hotey*

      Could swear, there was a HUGE discussion thread on that on AAM not so long ago.

    3. restingbutchface*

      88 is iffy. 1488 is inexcusable. Maybe the takeaway here is – if there is anything in your email address apart from your name… a quick google would be a great idea.

      1. Mourning reader*

        I don’t know what this means and now I’m afraid to google. 88 keys on the piano? That can’t be it.

        1. JB*

          They are references to Hitler and white pride/nazi ideals that neo-nazis use to signal to each other that they’re ‘in the club’.

    4. Anna*

      This is such a culturally specific thing. In China, 8 is a lucky number (‘8’ sounds like ‘getting rich’). People used to pay extra (perhaps still do) for phone numbers with 8’s in them, and putting 88 at the end of your email address is free. Plus there are people who are simply born in 1988 and don’t know about the connotations. Not everyone spends too much time on the internet.

      1. CatLadyInTraining*

        The “so and so loves The Backstreet Boys/One Direction or Future Mrs Ben Affleck” seems like an email you set up as a teenager.

    1. Thunderstorm*

      Oh, and avoid the couple-email! Persephone& Noooo. Email is free, get your own account!

  41. Felix*

    I’m just going to go ahead and say that there is, in fact, a lawn care company called “Weed Man”. And they are a pretty big company, too. Website says they have 250 locations in the US and Canada.

  42. Mid*

    Re: not easily misspelled, my last name is a variant on a common last name (think Johnston vs Johnson) and it’s constantly misspelled, no matter how many times I emphasize the added letter. It’s annoying to say the least. I’ve missed many emails because of this.

    I have no solutions, other than hoping people pay attention to my own name when typing my email. (I have also tried to get the owner of the other email with not-my-name to contact me, but while the email is reserved, it’s not regularly checked.)

  43. HungryLawyer*

    Oh, there’s a great scene about this in Broad City. One of the main characters works at a start-up and only uses her personal email at work. Problem is her email is ilanawexler@mindmyvag***.com (only asterisking here b/c I’m typing this on my work laptop and don’t want to get flag by our IT!)

    1. restingbutchface*

      Noooooooo. Unless you’re applying for the job of Mom and if you have that email, you probably already got the job.

      The most egregious, personally is ryansmommy@. That’s going to be a nightmare to remember when the interviewer wants to follow up via email but I also don’t love the idea that anyone’s child is their key personality trait. I’ve never seen a ryansdaddy@* or similar, so it seems like a really low-key way for a woman to self sabotage before she even gets an interview.

      *not strictly true but those emails are DEFINITELY not for work purposes

    2. Observer*

      The last one is a BIG. FAT. NOPE. Your job search should not be going to the email that your kids are also using. And that’s what that address looks like. And that’s on top of the issue that all of these have, which it that you are identifying yourself purely in relation to your family – not as a person, nor in relation to your professional role.

      If I’m looking for an IT person, I don’t care if your a Dad or a Grandma or someone’s cousin. So, unless you go with something random, your email should either identify YOU (eg myName or mName) or your ROLE (eg ITgenius or bestLawns). Your family status has no bearing and really should not be the very first thing you present with.

      RyansMommy is ABSOLUTELY NOT. On top the the issue of identifying as a parent rather than a (potential) employee, you’re getting juvenile. “Mommy” is generally seen as childish.

      *You in the general sense, not as in CatLadyInTraining

      1. CatLadyInTraining*

        Yes, Mommy is definitely childish and doesn’t belong in an email address you area using for a professional job.

  44. Nom*

    I totally agree with Alison’s advice.

    I would give the caveat that if you are a freelancer, you should have an email address that’s related either to your name or your business. So if your name is John Dick and you work at We Love Weed Landscaping, your email could be Jdick, weloveweed, etc., but I’d stay away from bluepost12 or puns on your name (unless it’s part of your brand/business name) as it does look unprofessional in the freelancer context.

  45. EmmaPoet*

    My personal email references a natural phenomena in my home state, and I’ve never had a problem with it when I applied for jobs. I did eventually get one with my name only when I started working as a freelance consultant, simply so I didn’t mix up work and personal emails.

  46. Oh So Anonymous*

    The hosting service has long since folded, so I feel fine in sharing the entire address:
    I knew a woman with the address
    She applied to a seminary education program with that address.
    It did not go over well.

    1. The Prettiest Curse*

      That’s one of those email addresses that’s amusing unless you take your religion seriously. Talk about not reading the room…

  47. 4CeeleenLV*

    I want to double down on what Allison says about avoiding confusing letters and numbers. It’s very risky to use i’s, L’s, and 1’s in your email because they all look the same handwritten and can very easily be confused. Like how I used the lowercase i and uppercase L so you can see the difference – I and l look very similar in many fonts. Also be careful of repeated letters, for instance lastnamefirstinitial when the first initial is the same as the last letter of the last name – hard to distinguish between Smithh@email and Smith@email. If an email gets typed wrong once, it may autopopulate the wrong email continuously.

    The other thing I notice is shared email addresses. It’s not going to cause me to reject someone, but if the email is DavidAndFransSharedMarriageEmail@email, I find it unprofessional so it takes of a few minor first-impression points. I also don’t like MomOfThreeElementarySchoolers@email because you really shouldn’t be giving me all that info in your email – it’s not stuff I can or would reject you for, but it’s also stuff I’m not supposed to even know in the hiring stage.

  48. Phil*

    I’m philcycles@&%* because before unrelated medical problems meant I could not longer ride bicycles and motorcycles, I rode them both. One problem is that I have to spell it ALL the time.
    But then again, my last name is a common color-think Black or Green-and I have to spell it ALL the time too so go figure.

  49. Remotie*

    One item to note, if you are applying for a job through an applicant tracking system (most career sites dump into one) , we might also be able to see your password. I’ve seen some pretty off-color email and password combos. Its fun when the person calls because they get locked out and need their info…..

    1. allathian*

      Yikes, that password thing should be illegal. Nobody should be able to see it, ideally not even IT folks with super admin access. Thanks to GDPR, it probably is illegal in the EU, but the US is the wild west when it comes to personal data protection issues.

    2. Observer*

      Really? How would that even work?

      I do know that at some point there was an issue of employers supposedly asking applicants for the passwords to social media etc. I don’t know if that was an urban legend or a real thing, but several states did pass legislation making that illegal. But that’s a different thing.

      1. Nanani*

        Even if no employee ever does anything sketchy, the company can have that information stolen. Data breaches with people’s account names and password happen all the time – and are a great reason to change your passwords frequently. And don’t reuse them – you might not care if a nefarious troll can hack your job application to someplace that didn’t hire you, but if you also use that password for amazon then they can buy themselves treats on your credit card.

        1. Observer*

          None of this is relevant. The system you are using to apply for a job doesn’t store the password of your email, so even if it gets breached the hackers can’t see it. Neither can any employee of the company you are applying to (nor of the ATS the company is using, if they are using one.)

  50. Amanda*

    My husband did HAM radio for a while as hobby so his email address is his call sign. I’m sure it looks like just random letters and numbers to anyone who wouldn’t recognize it as a call sign, but it seems to have served him fine in the professional world whenever he needs to use his personal email

  51. restingbutchface*

    The only other situation I can imagine an email address raising eyebrows is if you’re applying for a role in technology, especially once with a strong cybersec focus. If you chose a provider that has regular security issues, I’d probably raise an eyebrow. Perhaps slightly pretentious, but choosing an encrypted mail provider as a cybersec/tech person suggests that you genuinely *believe* in the importance of what you do, it isn’t just numbers on a screen, 9-5.

  52. Blinded By the Gaslight*

    For partnered people who are job searching, please use your own dang email address, not SuzieandJohnnySmith@ or MrandMrsJones@. We’re only hiring you, not your spouse! I wouldn’t exclude someone because of it, but . . . eeeugh, it’s creepy, and it raises privacy issues.

    1. Delta Delta*

      Mr. Delta and I both access an email address we use for a business/hobby. But you’d never know we both use it – it’s something like birdwatchersmonthly@ and we both use/reply from it for those purposes only. His email hygiene drives me nuts (so many unopened emails…) so there’s no way I’d share a real email address with him.

    2. EmmaPoet*

      My parents had a shared account, but I don’t know many people past their generation who do.

    3. Doc in a Box*

      I work with a mostly geriatric population, and I’d say about 75% of my patients share an email address with their spouse. I think for them, email’s about the equivalent of a landline phone or regular mail — something that belongs to the family unit rather than an individual. Made it really challenging when we tried to send out surveys about care partner burden!

  53. Canadian Valkyrie*

    Tbh I kind of judge people for using outdated emails like @hotmail and @yahoo. It seems outdated and like you made an email 15+ years ago and haven’t changed it. It would make me question your technological savviness and I’m in a field where being “fluent”, competent, and up to date on internet trends, especially security features, is Very Important. *** this might be a regional thing ***

    1. Julianna*

      I am genuinely baffled by people acting like which email provider you are using indicates any level of “technological savviness”. What savvy is needed to create a gmail account, exactly?

      1. allathian*

        Yeah, this.

        I switched from hotmail to gmail when I got married and changed my name 12 years ago and felt like it was easier to switch my email provider rather than start fiddling with aliases. I have an ancient yahoo address with another internet nick that I’ve used for more than 25 years, but I haven’t used it for years. I don’t even know if it works anymore…

      2. Tinker*

        Back in the day when I used to moderate a forum with a lot of insecure men on it, the subject of changing tires on a car would come up oddly often as a unique and necessary function of men, and they’d get very in their feelings at any suggestion that the female population of the world was not necessarily stuck by the side of the road waiting helplessly for a good man to twist their nuts. The thing that was weird about it was that it’s not all that hard to change a tire. The instructions are in the owner’s manual, the equipment typically comes with the car, and even fairly small people can generally apply the amount of force required.

        What I eventually figured out was that this was one of several tasks puffed up as essential and difficult male tasks that shared the characteristics of being a thing at least sometimes encountered by the general population, having significant masculine coding, and being relatively easy to actually accomplish. That latter point is actually critically important, because if the task were not relatively easy then there would be a significant population of men who would struggle with doing it, and it would therefore not be easy for them to assure themselves that they had the Right Stuff to be uniquely useful and needed.

        Thus also, maybe, with this business of email addresses. Creating a gmail account is easy — even creating a custom domain is basically about filling out a web form and hitting the “checkout” button — but once you have created it you can leverage stereotypes created in the late 90s or so to assure yourself that you are a Real Tech Person not like those AOL folks who used their free CDs for getting AOL rather than shingling the house.

        It’s merely a coincidence that tech also has a lot of insecure men in it, I’m sure.

    2. Observer*

      like you made an email 15+ years ago and haven’t changed it.

      And why is that a problem?

      A lot of people made the gmail account 8- 10 years ago and haven’t changed it either. Why should they?

      1. Malika*

        I created my Gmail account more than 15 years ago and i am technologically middling. I also know people in their 30’s that refuse to part with their Hotmail adresses made during their teens, as if it is a core part of their identity. It can say very little about the user. I would not flag it if it appeared in my stack of cv’s.

  54. Anomalous*

    I’ve used my “” email address for job searching, mostly to show that I went to Fancyschool before prospective employers got to the education section of my resume. No idea if it helped, hurt, or even had an effect. Some online forms do balk at the two periods in the domain name, but I figured it was worth it.

  55. Carly*

    One time had an applicant for a delivery job whose address was livefastdieyounggggg69@

  56. Beboots*

    I once had an applicant use an email that was something like “” and (combined with a bunch of, uh, other red flags in their 6 page cover letter) led me to really doubt their sound judgement.

    1. Canadian Valkyrie*

      A 6 PAGE COVER LETTER?! My god who on earth would think that that’s ok?! I still cringe in my younger days about sending cover letters that were 1.5 to 2 pages long.

  57. EW*

    I once was pressured to make a new email for job searching because a friend who was connecting me with a person at my desired employer insisted that Hotmail is not a suitable email domain. I was assured that Gmail is far more acceptable. … I got the job, so I guess they were right?!?

  58. ggg*

    I was a tech manager and I would not balk at AOL, Hotmail, Outlook, Roadrunner, whatever, assuming the username is at all normal. I just figure the person is experienced and has been using it for a long time.

    I myself am kind of mad that I can’t recover access to my ancient firstname@hotmail account.

  59. The yellow dog of workplace happiness*

    I’ve always been partial to the perfectly legit emails that due to ambiguous word breaks, look highly suspect.

    Donald Glover donglover@ is the one I’ve heard of and remember most fondly. There are plenty of domain names that suffer the same. The one for Experts Exchange or Power Gen Italia are probably the most famous two…

    1. londonedit*

      I’d also caution against choosing therapist@…

      And of course there was the famous Susan Boyle Twitter hashtag when her new album was launched – #susanalbumparty

  60. hillia*

    Speaking of inappropriate acronyms, a few years ago Motel 6 had a radio ad with longtime spokesman Tom Bodett, in which he touted the updated furnishings. The ad used a lot of current slang (I think something was described as being “on fleek”) and included the assertion that the new room decor was cool “af”. I like to think that some ad writer’s teen kid told him that was the cool new jargon, and they took the kid’s word for it without consulting Urban Dictionary. I giggled madly when I heard it, and only heard it the one time – I’d love to have heard the meeting where someone explained exactly what “af” means.

  61. Sun Tzu*

    Seriously people, open an email address . It’s free and it takes 5 minutes. Don’t be lazy and use your personal funny one which you opened 20 years ago.
    I have seen a CV with squirrel4567@something. Not offending or anything, but it might tick off some recruiter, and you want to put all your chances on your side.
    I’ve also heard of a guy which was using his email megaparty@something for his job search. (And no, he was not a party organizer.)

    1. Bob Loblaw*

      I agree (recognizing that I’m lucky to have an uncommon name, so I don’t have to worry about using numbers).

      Maybe Allison is right that no “reasonable” hiring manager will care about cutesy, funny, or irrelevant email addresses, but at least in the legal industry where I work, it will almost certainly read as unprofessional, not just to hiring managers but to other lawyers who have input in hiring decisions. Fair or not, having a personal email address based on your name is a professional norm in my industry (which has lots of unspoken norms), and not having one suggests that you don’t understand, or refuse to comply with, that norm. And then what other norms will you fail to follow? You probably won’t get rejected solely on that basis but it makes a poor initial impression.

  62. Old Cynic*

    I might be preaching to the choir, but one thing I really like about gmail is you can use periods before the @ and gmail will ignore them. (John.q.public is the same as johnqpublic) I can’t tell you the number of times I didn’t receive mail because the sender omitted my middle initial.

    Not sure but hope this would work on other services!

  63. Natalie*

    My forever favorite was BigSexyBlackMan@
    I was speaking to this man on the phone and per my company requirements, I had to verbally confirm his email. I ended up spelling it out because to avoid the awkwardness.

  64. Teacher*

    I also want to add to this: Parents, if you’re going to email your teachers, please please please use a professional email. I can’t tell you how many times as a teacher I’ve had to email phatass420 or dicksgalore or cumslut69 or something about what Little Johnny did that day.

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