Common Mistake #11 (applicable to those with .edu or .org or .net e-mail accounts only): use a free web e-mail address instead of a more serious one
It often baffles me why an active student, who I’m sure has a good .edu e-mail address, would put a free web-based e-mail address (like Hotmail or Gmail or Yahoo) on his or her resume. Sure, maybe it’s because he or she doesn’t check the school e-mail account as often, but, seriously, how hard can that be, logging into the school account once a day? Besides, don’t they get school e-mails in that account? Like important school or department announcements?
If you have a .edu or .org or .net (like verizon.net or sbcglobal.net or att.net, for your DSL or cable modem account) e-mail address, put that on your resume, not your gmail or hotmail address. Potential employers are more likely to take you seriously. If you put down a free web e-mail address, the employers will have the same question that I asked in the previous paragraph: why on earth would this person not use his or her good school account? Is it because he or she is not really a student at that school? Has he or she been expelled or something? Free e-mail accounts are abused by spammers and other fraudsters; put your best face forward by not using such an address.
This tip applies equally to those who have graduated but still have a forwarding e-mail address that ends in .edu. Receive your job search-related e-mails via that .edu address. When you write a particular employer or headhunter for the first time, briefly explain that the .edu address is a forwarding address, and you’re writing him or her from the actual e-mail account (which could be a Yahoo or Hotmail or Gmail or Mail.com account).
Of course, if you simply have no access to an e-mail address other than the free commerical web-based ones, this tip does not apply to you. Just be aware that services like Gmail are very aggressive in keeping out what their servers think is spam, so you need to add the domains and addresses of potential employers or recruiters to your e-mail’s whitelist.