I’d like to think being a part of the Hover team for the last month has turned me into some sort of expert on domains and all things technological. But the truth of the matter is, I’m still very much a rookie on the topic, still fresh and new. Up until a few weeks ago, I couldn’t honestly tell you what a domain was. A domain, unbeknownst to me, was something we integrated into our everyday rituals, yet I was still unable to grasp the connection between utilizing the Internet’s devices and the methods in which we do so.
To my knowledge, a domain was a geographical location; it was ownership; it was my personal space. What I do know for certain, however, is this: how you represent yourself in the domain world is directly linked to how you represent yourself to others. Whether these others are prospective employers, an educational institution, or even your peers, your domain name makes a statement.
If you are in the process of creating your own domain, in particular reference to personal e-mails for this post, what I’m about to say will help you. If you have an e-mail with the domain hotmail.com, yahoo.com or aol.com, I suggest you get on creating a new one and fast. Some domains can present you in a more professional and esteemed manner, and then there are some that do not. It’s important to identify the difference as one’s budding future potentially depends on it.
Before making the switch to becoming a gmail.com enthusiast, I was a Hotmail user. Why it took me so long to switch over I don’t know. Maybe sticking to the e-mail I’ve had for years was comforting, or maybe it was just laziness. Regardless, having a hotmail.com domain comes across as juvenile, dated and lacks technological skill.
The same can be said for aol.com and yahoo.com domains – those using them are likely to fondly remember the days of ICQ and MSN, wishing they could make a thriving comeback. Do you really want to portray yourself to future employers as someone stuck in the past, especially in such a digitally advanced time?
To all those university/college graduates using their school e-mail on resumes and draw on it as a central hub for professional inquiries – I understand. I’m guilty of this method also; using my alumni e-mail was the closest thing to professionalism I thought I could get. Although promoting yourself through a school domain is an improvement over Hotmail and the rest of the 90’s clan, it also projects a certain familiar attitude.
Using school identification as a way for employers to contact you states the obvious – you’re a recent school graduate with the probability of having little-to-no experience in the field in which you are applying. Great, you went to a great school, but the prestige of your school has no relation to the actual job at hand, much less doing it well.
Gmail.com is steadily becoming one of the most requested domains for e-mail and for good reason. A direct descendent from Google, gmail.com offers professionalism, accuracy, and trust, proudly stemming from Google’s exceptional reputation. Not only does using gmail.com as your primary domain show that you are familiar with Google’s mail server, but you are tech-savvy and ahead of the curve, a quality a lot of employers are looking for in this day in age.
For the entrepreneurial individual or the tech-advanced student, I highly recommend getting your own domain name and email address. Having future employers or prospective schools contact you through your domain, firstname.lastname@example.org, for example, demonstrates your flair for innovation and the ability to adapt to it quickly.
Hover offers a great service called “$5 Forwards,” where you can purchase a $5 domain that acts as a forward-only e-mail address. This is a great option for those who want to set themselves apart from the rest without the confusing mess of another e-mail account. Owning your own domain portrays you as an individual who is serious about his or her career with the drive and motivation to work towards it.
Each person’s path to achieving success is miles different from another and the steps towards success continue to be endless. But before I sign off and send you out into the cut throat world of domains, if you can leave here with one piece of information, this is it: an effective domain name is the first step in jump starting the process of finding your own path to success.