Your email address could be keeping recruiters from reading your resume

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The email address on your resume can impact on the chances of landing a job, according to a study in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking.

Recruiters are said to be able to quickly scan a resume in as little as 10 seconds. In that time frame, when resumes are either kept or discarded, first impressions count.

Marlies van Toorenburg, Janneke Oostrom, and Thomas Pollet, of VU University, Amsterdam, designed a study to determine whether an informal, rather than a more formal, email address when sending an online resume affects how hirable the person is to a professional recruiter.

An informal email address includes slang and cute or made-up names instead of the applicant’s real name.

“We all have unconscious biases, and first impressions, as we know, are often difficult to change,” says Brenda K. Wiederhold of the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, California and Virtual Reality Medical Institute, Brussels, Belgium.

“This study may assist recruiters in becoming more conscious of their biases, as well as aiding job applicants in understanding the importance of their electronic identities.”

The hirability ratings for the resumes with informal email addresses were significantly lower than those which have a formal email address.

The effect of email addresses was as strong as having spelling errors in the resume and stronger than that of the typeface used.

“This study among actual recruiters shows for the first time that the choice of the email address used on a resume might make a real difference,” say the study authors.

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