Use a Permanent E-Mail Address

For networking purposes, we strongly recommend you get a permanent email address, either your own domain or a forwarding service that you can route to your ISP-based account. Many leading universities (if you are a graduate of that university) will give you one for free, and a variety of low-cost services exist for this. Alternatively, you can register your full name or family name as a domain name (e.g., Teten.com, DonnaFisher.com) and get your own email address based on that domain name (e.g., david@teten.com). We recommend NameBargain.com or GoDaddy.com as inexpensive domain name registrars (e-mail forwarding is available for $0.99 a year with a GoDaddy domain).

Free web-based mail services (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) are another option, but they don’t carry the prestige and distinctiveness of your own domain. Also, if not checked regularly, they can easily fill up, and people attempting to reach you will get a “Mailbox full: unable to deliver message” error – definitely not the image you want to put forth. They’re fine as spam-catchers, but should not be your primary permanent e-mail.

We strongly discourage using an email address from an internet service provider (ISP), such as name@aol.com, or a work email address, such as dteten@MyFormerEmployer.com. Using an ISP email address locks you in to that ISP, and makes you difficult to reach should you switch ISPs. Why give someone an email which may be out of date in a year? And why should you advertise for AOL’s services if AOL is not paying you?

Recently, David wanted to contact a member of the International Executives Resource Group (IERG) with regard to an IERG-related issue. This particular individual was formerly the CTO of a mid-size company. David found the CTO’ s resume on the website and sent a note to the email address on the resume. However, the CTO had a Verizon internet address, and David’s email bounced because the CTO apparently had switched ISPs. Then David tried calling the CTO, but he had switched telephone numbers also!

Imagine if David were a potential employer: would he bother calling directory information to track the person down? Of course not; he would just contact the next résumé in the pile. With a permanent email address, the CTO would have avoided the problem of being out of touch.

Once you set up your permanent e-mail account, be sure to manage it closely. When you change ISP’s, don’t forget to change the routing of your e-mail forwarding right away. Take care of your permanent e-mail address as if it were your good name, and it will keep you connected for life.