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Can an Email Address Hurt Your Rep?

Sure, that sounds like a silly question, but can a geek girl (or even potential employer) stay neutral on the topic? A recent opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune asserts that you can be judged by your email address. The author admits to keeping an AOL email address, even though she was slightly embarrassed to give it out or use it too often. She then developed what she calls "email address envy" every time she'd communicate with someone with either a corporate or .edu address. Eventually, the author chose to keep her address, with the hope it would become "retro-chic."

I don't change my personal email address too often, and I'm pretty settled on the Gmail train for the time being, but when I do encounter someone with an old-school email address — usually AOL or Hotmail, maybe even Yahoo — I'll admit to doing a double take. And I admittedly suffer a little bit of email address envy myself when talking to someone with a shiny address. Do you have a preference? And do you think an email address can really hurt your rep?

PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
Some people come up with the most ridiculous names anyway for their email addresses. And sometimes their screen names on websites are a bit stupid as well. Some people just don't think...then they feel embarrassed in the end and want to change it.
dootsie dootsie 7 years
Each number in your e-mail address makes you look five times more ridiculous. Doubly so if the numbers are a year or birthdate.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
I'm pretty sure this was covered when I learned resume/cv writing. Have an email address for business and professional purposes separate from the one you use for friends. Though I wouldn't think the service provider would be so important, unless maybe the job is something internet/computer related. I peak at resumes that come in where I work, and have actually seen email addresses like crazypartychick12398082. I don't interview or hire, so I'm not sure what kind of bearing it has.
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
I agree with everyone else. It's what is before the @ that matters... not what's after.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
I don't think anything after the @ in an e-mail is important (though, I usually give out my school one for school-related things, even though it's just forwarded to my Gmail account anyways), however, everything that comes BEFORE the @ is. I'd rather hire someone with an email like:,, or than, or It just looks more presentable.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 7 years
I agree with everyone else.
gigly_grl gigly_grl 7 years
As a graphic designer, one is expected to have their own domain... so professionally yes, your whole email speaks volumes about you. But personally? I've still got my old hotmail address for friends and family and it only gets awkward when you have an aunt or something emailing from something :P
JenBrett JenBrett 7 years
I judge anyone still using an address
GoingLikeSixty GoingLikeSixty 7 years
GoingLikeSixty GoingLikeSixty 7 years
I love the fact that I can have a dozen or so addresses that all come to one Gail in box. As others have said: it's the name before the @ that can kill your rep. But with Gmail, it's easy to have a variety of names to give you a variety of identities... pseudonyms if you will!
bethinabox bethinabox 7 years
I agree with the other commenters--The domain doesn't really matter, it's the individuals username that does. Which is exactly why I have mine as my! It's pretty much the only account I use for email, aside from my school email, which uses my first initial and last name.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i don't see why hotmail or yahoo is any different than gmail...they're all free providers (and like the other posters said, as long as it's not like sexygurl69@hotmail you're probably okay)... but that said, i do use my work email or my alumni email for a lot of things when i want to seem professional...and my alumni email goes right into my hotmail account anyway so no one would be the wiser
poizenisxkandee poizenisxkandee 7 years
my father still has his aol email; but like the previous posters, i dont think that the domain of an email matters as much as the username. for college apps a few years ago, i know a lot of people got a second email, along the lines of so that their cutesy or embarassing email addresses wouldnt be exposed to admissions advisors or potential employers. where someone chooses to store and send their email is up to them, however i know a lot of school groups require me to use gmail.
dexaholic dexaholic 7 years
I don't think the (whatever it may be, hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc) can hurt your rep, but the individual identifier sure can. Say you are applying for a job and your handle is "", the potential employer would definitely take note and have preconceived idea of your personality. I too am happy with gmail, and I got in really early so I have my name as my handle!
courtneybella courtneybella 7 years
I don't get why the part after the '@' would matter. I mean, if your email is ', wouldn't that be more embarrassing than someone with, say, ''. Maybe they've been using that email so long that everyone knows it.
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