It’s 2012 and I’m still amazed at how many people still don’t understand the importance of having an email address that is suitable for the job search. Below are some samples (slightly altered) of email addresses that I have seen on resumes lately:
email@example.com – Not only is this one a little creepy, it also screams “Please don’t take me seriously!” Sure, most everybody loves puppies, but making this the online moniker that every potential employer will see is not a wise idea. Use your name – only your name – in your email address! If your name is John Smith, chances are that firstname.lastname@example.org is probably not available, but do your best to keep your name the central part of the address. Add a number, a middle initial, or some other simple alteration as needed.
email@example.com – So you really share your email account with your husband or wife? I can understand a married couple having a shared email just for use with their kids and grandkids, but not for a job search. Two people on one email account is a bad idea for many reasons, but it may be telling potential employers that you’re not savvy enough to handle an email account on your own, or even worse, that you can’t be trusted by your own spouse!
firstname.lastname@example.org – Netzero was a free online email service that came out in the mid 1990s, which was when it signed up the vast majority of its users. They were actually one of the first services to offer free dial-up Internet, which shows you have ancient this company is in the online world. Most people have replaced their Netzero email addresses with a Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail account as time went on. Those that are still using a Netzero account (or one of its brethren – Juno, AOL, etc.) may be signaling that they’re a bit behind the curve. See this article of an extreme take on this concept.
The bottom line – your email address is an extension of you, and you need to be aware of how it effects your personal brand. Recruiters and hiring managers are paid to be judgmental (in a completely legal way, of course), so don’t let something silly like a ridiculously outdated or inappropriate email address overshadow what could otherwise be an exceptional resume or cover letter.