So many job seekers do not consider the importance of their name and how it presented on a resume. Most believe that the name doesn’t really matter. Or at least they hope that it should have no impact on whether they would be considered a viable candidate. Afterall, that would be discriminatory if they were ruled out of contention for a job simply because of their name. Others feel that the name on the resume holds much importance, as it can position you as a formal or informal individual based on how your name is written.
Both camps are right to some extent. The name itself, whether it is a very Americanized name, an ethnic name, or a foreign name, should have little, if any, relevance on the candidate’s ability to do the job well. However, if the candidate is going for a high-level position in law or finance, listing their name as “Joey” instead of “Joseph” is not the best approach. For traditionally conservative positions, I recommend using your formal name. Even for other, less-conservative positions, I would avoid a diminutive form of a name like “Joey” or some nickname.
A substantially more important reason exists that should push candidates toward a formal representation of their name on a resume. Consider the resume screening process from the perspective of the company and the HR person. They have hundreds of resumes to go through and very little time allocated to do so. As a result, after weeding out candidates with employment gaps or a history of job hopping, many HR folks will conduct two online searches before passing on candidates to the hiring manager.
Google and Facebook Searches
The online searches the HR representatives perform are typically on Google and Facebook. Keep in mind, they will search on your name precisely how you have it written on your resume. I suggest searching your name now, before you even send a resume out. You may be thinking, “I don’t blog” or “I don’t have a Facebook account.” That may be true, but it doesn’t mean that no else exists with a name the same as yours. For example, an employer doing a routine Google search for Wilfred Jones is faced with the prospect of the possibility of interviewing a British businessman who founded “The Black Farmer” food products or a 57-year-old individual that was charged with a murder in Houston, Texas.
What Can I Do About It?
Well, if your name is Wilfred Jones, what can you do? Simply listing your full name, including your middle name, is the best approach. Of course, you will also want to include “Sr.,” “Jr.,” and the like to help distinguish you from your name sakes on the Web. Sometimes it is nice to be informal, but the job search is often not the proper setting for it. Consider the details and be careful about what you post online!