Ever seen an email address and been able to figure when somebody first set up their online presence from the address? It would certainly be wrong to make many assumptions about them, but the truth is that if you don't stand out these days, then getting ahead will always be more difficult. The fact of the matter is, people do make assumptions about you, and that is unlikely ever to change.
If you are between 16 and 24 and entering the world of work, you will likely find it harder and harder to gain meaningful employment among the hordes of others looking to do the same. Although Linux and Infosec professionals are always in more demand than supply, the companies hiring them aren't going to hire somebody who doesn't make an impression on them. With no experience, we have all been there and know it is tricky to get that foot in the door.
So, how do you stand out? Well, one of my first recommendations, especially for somebody just starting out in the world, is to get a new email address on your domain. This may seem an odd suggestion, but if you are a recruiter staring at applicants all day, this is quite an easy way of sticking out to them as professional.
Using a personal domain also has many other benefits. For example, if you use your domain for your emails, and your provider shuts down, then all you need to do is simply move providers, and no change of contact details are required. While companies such as Google with their Gmail offering might seem like a staple of the internet, keep in mind that your email is the key to your online identity, and is something you should aim to keep for the rest of your life, and who knows if Google will be around in 40 years time?
Buying and setting up a domain is not difficult either. All you need is a domain, some name servers, and an email provider. If you want something straightforward, my recommendation would be to purchase your domain from OVH and use their DNS servers, and then look into Runbox for the email services. I have used this combination for several years now and never had any problems.
I will shortly follow up with a review of Runbox and their services, who would be my recommended provider for email if you don't want the hassle of hosting it entirely yourself!