My fellow friends, an era has ended: Last week, Microsoft announced that all accounts using its Hotmail email service would migrate to by this summer. That “keggergirl00” username you got rid of years ago because it sounded unprofessional? Yeah, say goodbye to that too.

At first, you may be thinking, “Wait–people still use Hotmail?”, as someone who is job hunting, this news made me think about how something seemingly small like an email address could say a lot about a job candidate. Could an outdated email domain make candidates look behind the times to potential employers? Well, that would depend on who you ask.

Recently, I showed my Yahoo! account to a group of younger co-workers. They responded with surprise: “You don’t use Gmail?” I felt old and out of touch, so I related the conversation to some friends my age. One said comfortingly, “Gmail is overrated.” And another added encouragingly, “Don’t try to be something you’re not just to fit in! Stand up for your Yahoo!

However, I was aware that the people obsessed with Gmail could also be my future hiring manager, so would using a Yahoo! or AOL account make my resume seem unprofessional? (I thought peer pressure was something l left behind in high school.)

I asked Jaime Petkanics, a recruiter and founder of The Prepary–a website offering advice to job seekers–for her opinion. “Your email address can be an indicator of how ‘tech-savvy’ you are,” she said, “but unless your email sounds personal–like your dog’s name or your favorite TV show–I don’t think you need to go through the trouble of creating a new one for the job search.” According to her, it’s better to focus on improving your resume and networking.

‘”When I receive an email with a resume, the very first thing I notice isn’t the address–it’s the subject line,” states Petkanics. “The subject should be to the point and inform the reader what the email is about, especially if it’s from someone unknown.”‘

Given that my question had a clear answer, I decided to switch over to Gmail for my job search. Even though it might be seen as an act of defeat, I would rather stay safe than take any risks– even if it does mark the end of my email era.

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