If you're not getting any nibbles on your resume, it might be time to take a hard look at your email address.
Recruiters tend to rank people with informal email addresses on their resumes -- such as teen-speak like "luv" or "XOXO" or even underscores -- as less desirable than those with formal email addresses, according to a study in the journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.
Researchers asked 73 recruiters to rank resumes sent from a variety of formal and informal email addresses. While it may be no surprise that the goofy email addresses gave the recruiters pause, the impact was even worse than what the researchers from Amsterdam's VU University had expected: they had hypothesized that an informal email address wouldn't be quite as severe a handicap as spelling errors.
"The effect of using an informal email address turned out to be as detrimental as the effect of spelling errors" on a resume, the paper noted. "The choice of the email address one uses on a resume might make a real difference."
Spelling errors on a resume are, of course, a big no-no, and the study noted previous research found that highly qualified candidates with spelling mistakes on their resumes were viewed more negatively than less qualified candidates with fewer errors.
To extrapolate that to dueling email address, a candidate with the address of email@example.com, no matter how highly qualified, could end up getting dinged more than the less qualified but more professional-sounding firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, there are a host of snobbery about email addresses, and not only about what comes before the "@" sign. As the humor site Oatmeal noted, someone with their domain name is seen as tech literate and potentially a programmer, while an @aol.com address signals the owner "prints out emails and brings them over to your house."
The study didn't note how recruiters viewed the domains of email addresses, but it's clear that email address with underscores, cutesy phrases and funny names won't help your resume get to the top of the pile.