recruiter speaking with caption 'the first is using some sort of like vintage old school account like AOL' (l) hand holding phone checking email in front of laptop (c) recruiter speaking with caption 'but get a Gmail for applying to jobs' (r)

NicoElNino/Shutterstock @bonniedilber/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Sounds like age discrimination’: Recruiter shares how your email address may be holding you back from getting a job interview

'They'll pry my Yahoo email from my cold, dead hands.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on May 12, 2023

Even as the economy improves, many applicants are having trouble finding work. Job seekers have shared stories of applying to 76, 80, 100, or 250 open offers — only to receive few, if any, callbacks.

Due to these difficulties, many users have taken to TikTok to share their tips for applicants to improve their prospects. TikTokers have offered insight on everything from positively reframing your job history to the right and wrong things to lie about during a job interview.

Now, another user has sparked a discussion after sharing career advice on the platform. In a video with over 48,000 views, TikTok user Bonnie Dilber (@bonniedilber) offers insight into unexpected things that may disqualify someone from getting a job interview.

“I want to reiterate that I don’t think recruiters SHOULD hold these things against candidates but it happens and I’d rather you know,” she writes in the caption.

@bonniedilber Here are some of the things that could surface flags for recruiters – and what you should do about it! I want to reiterate that i don't think recruiters SHOULD hold these things against candidates but it happens and I'd rather you know! #jobsearch #landthejob #recruitertok #careertok #breakintotech ♬ original sound – Bonnie Dilber

The first thing concerns a candidate’s email domain. According to Dilber, some hiring managers will write off applicants using “dated” email providers like Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, or other email providers. Instead, she recommends using an email provider like Gmail.

“I have heard recruiters talk about how it signals that someone isn’t using modern, up-to-date technology, and therefore, it just raises a flag for them,” she says of these “dated” email providers.

The second piece of advice regards your actual email address. For this tip, Dilber advises having an email address that is your actual name and not something inappropriate. Even appropriate email addresses that aren’t your name are a no-go, she says, as they can cause difficulties when a recruiter wants to reach back out to you and cannot find your email.

Her third piece of advice regards location. Rather than your specific area, Dilber suggests listing your metropolitan area. According to Dilber, some employers will see the distance between their place of work and where an applicant lives—if the distance is too great, they may write off the applicant.

Dilber’s final piece of advice regards previous experience — both in and outside the workplace. 

“I would be ready for my social media and anything that’s happened in the workplace in the past to be fair game for a future employer,” she explains. Because of this, Dilber suggests locking down your social media accounts and keeping posts on such accounts “neutral.”

In the comments section, many users took issue with Dilber’s first tip.

“The first one sounds like age discrimination,” one user wrote. Yahoo and AOL email users tend to be older, a study in 2011 found.

“On the flip side, an old email address like hotmail or yahoo could indicate this person is loyal and organized,” another added.

“What cutting edge email technology does gmail have that’s so impressive??” asked a third. “Yahoo FOR LIFE.”

Others simply complained about the number of hoops recruiters make applicants jump through when applying for a job.

“Ngl seems like ways to just pick ppl out without actually considering their skill,” a commenter said. “Sounds like discrimination to me.”

“Y’all straight up discriminate for people using a yahoo mail? Like cmon grow up,” shared a second.

We’ve reached out to Dilber via their website contact form.

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*First Published: May 12, 2023, 7:35 am CDT