Tag Archives: resume

Name Discrimination… Really?

DSC_0104Good resume but no interview? Could it be your name?

Name discrimination is a discouraging fact, but hardly a surprise.  It’s just one of the many biases that can affect the hiring process.  If you were a job seeker facing possible name discrimination, would you switch to a more commonly known middle name or a nickname that sounds mainstream Anglo?  Maybe use only your initials, or otherwise change the name on your resume?  Or, would you stick with your real name, regardless?

Like it or not, your name can impact your career.  Your name can make a difference in how seriously you are taken at work and whether you even get your foot in the door for the interview.  Indeed, it’s what people don’t know or understand that is sometimes at the heart of prejudice; catering to such ignorance is no excuse for work place discrimination.

Like it or not: Hiring managers sometimes read a name that is obviously ethnic and perceive that person as unable to get the job done, as having low education, or as coming from a lower socioeconomic class.

Bruce Lansky, author of “100,000 Plus Baby Names” is convinced a name could potentially make or break a child’s future career.  One study conducted by researchers at MIT and the University of Chicago found job applicants with names inferring an African-American heritage received limited positive feedback when it came to the hiring process.

Here’s how far the name-game has come: Larry Whitten, owner of the Whitten Hotel in Taos, N.M., ordered a group of Hispanic employees to change their names to sound more Anglo Saxon.  For example, a name like Marco was to be changed to Mark.

Studies surmised managers tended to seek out applicants they felt perceived as “familiar” or “mainstream.”

Going back to the original title and name discrimination, how does one mitigate?  No doubt tolerance begins by teaching people in charge of hiring about the subconscious biases they may have. Until acceptance, there will be no way to change these patterns.

CC Connection: Sometimes name discrimination isn’t about race or ethnicity or xenophobia at all.  It’s just laziness or fear of embarrassment.  If the name on your resume looks hard to pronounce and/or isn’t gender-specific, it’s quite plausible that a hiring manager might (consciously or not) reject it for that reason alone.

If you want to mitigate potential name discrimination, try the strategies that follow to get your resume noticed:

  • If you feel comfortable going by a western nickname on your resume, make the switch. The idea isn’t to permanently change it but to increase the chances that a prospective employer will read your resume.
  • Consider using your first and middle initial in place of your first name.
  • Conduct an experiment of sorts. Send two resumes out to the same companies, one with your name as is and the other with your name westernized.

If an employer intentionally discriminates, you’ll be rejected during the interview.  On the other hand, some employer’s only subconsciously eliminate an applicant based on an “ethnic” name.  Once you appear in person, the employer might be more moved by your knowledge, skills, and abilities than by ethnicity.

Presented by:
Elsa De Jesus
Your CC Connection

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Your Career: Recharged and Relevant

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to make you feel irrelevant.

Sometimes it takes a life-changing event.

DSC_0004Maybe you’ve lost your job recently, and you don’t know how likely it may be for someone else to hire you at this point in your life. Maybe a new-hire at your current job seems to threaten your career status.

Maybe you feel you’ve been performing on a lower level than you know you can, and you just feel like you’re in a bit of a rut.

Or maybe, and even better, you just want more: To know more, to learn more, to achieve more. This is an exciting place to be, though it can be uncomfortable if you don’t have the appropriate challenges in front of you.

Then again, maybe, you’re simply…bored.

If any of the above describes you, there are some great tools out there that will keep you recharged and relevant.

Refresh Your Network

When’s the last time you updated your LinkedIn account? Even if you’re not in desperate need of professional connections right now, it can only help to look at your network and your profile with new eyes, expand wherever possible. Hey, I know the hassles and how professional networks can be a total time drain but a nudge may be all you need. With this in mind, find one new person to professional connect with and you’ve introduced change into your life.

Learn Something New

Continuing education may initially sound like a no-brainer. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go back to school. There are many prestigious colleges that offer free courses (sans credit, sadly) online, ranging from film and music to history and economics. Whenever you feel you may be getting stagnant, be it mentally or professionally, go to http://www.openculture.com and add something to your current education.

Recharge Your Resume

Even if you haven’t been swept back into the job market just yet, pull your resume out and have a fresh look at it. Remind yourself of your experience, education, and skills. Rebuild your view of the asset you are, not only to your company, but to any team at any company. Go ahead and practice interviewing with someone you know and introduce a few affirmations or dedicated plans for the short term. Make the mock interview fun, but use it as a valuable reminder of your professional worth. This can give you a fresh confidence that can improve your overall demeanor and free up creative, productive thought processes.

We all go through peaks and valleys, so don’t think for a second you are alone. Good news is, you’d be amazed by what can be accomplished when you take small steps like these few mentioned above. Even if you are fully content with your life and your career, you stand more to gain by being proactive about staying content than by reacting to a sudden and desperate need.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get stagnant in anything. As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like a bicycle. To stay balanced, you must keep moving.”

Personally inviting you to share your career stories, send questions and professional stories my way.

For those interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters, visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Bloge: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com