‘Cute’ names and using underscores in email addresses are two of the major turn-offs for recruiters according to a new Dutch study.
Researchers in the Department of Social and Organisational Psychology at VU University, Amsterdam created six fictional résumés with a blend of both formal and informal email addresses – from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org
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They wanted to see whether those with a formal email address were more likely to gain employment than those with an informal address.
Seventy-three recruiters aged between 20 and 65 were asked to fill out an online survey assessing the cognitive ability, personality and hireability of the six applicants for the job of a Human Resources Specialist.
Using a mix of sans serif and serif fonts and peppering the text with spelling mistakes, they also altered indicators of how conscientious, intelligent, honest and humble the phantom candidates appeared.
“The results show that recruiters do indeed assess the hireability of an applicant with a résumé featuring a formal email address higher than that of an applicant with a résumé featuring an informal email address,” said the researchers.
This indiscretion was judged to be equally detrimental to bad spelling, with only signs of a conscientious approach or humility salvaging the applicants’ chances.
“In summary, the results showed that when writing a résumé, it is important to use a formal email address,” concluded the researchers – as reported by The Daily Mail.
“The initial screening of an applicant’s résumé can strongly influence first impressions. Even “small” résumé characteristics – such as the email address – can determine a positive or negative impression by recruiters.”
The findings are published in the journal “Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking” and the research was led by Marlies van Toorenburg, Janneke Oostrom and Thomas Pollet from the university.