What’s in a name?

hello my name is dog“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” does not apply to your job search.  Unfortunately your name does matter.  I have said this before and I will say it again; do not lie on your resume.  That being said, you get to choose the name on your resume.  When I first graduated from college I put my FULL name on my resume.  Never mind that it in no way resembles the name I go by.

There have been studies done that show your name actually does matter when looking for a job.  This may be a conscious decision or an unconscious bias on the part of the recruiter but as a candidate you need to keep this in mind.

I encourage people to use the name they go by in everyday professional settings.  But if you go by “Dog” do not put that on your resume.  Yes, I have seen it. Remember, the resume is not some legal document.  So if your name is Elanor April Downing but you go by Eady (for the initials E.A.D.) then I would say put Eady Downing on your resume.  It is also less confusing when I call and get your voicemail when the outgoing message says “Eady” and I was calling Elanor.

This also goes for email addresses, Twitter handles, etc…  Fartboy420 might be funny when you are a freshman but when you apply to a company the laughing stops.  Up to 93% of recruiters use social media in their search for candidates and guess what, yep, it matters.  Companies are more conscious of their corporate brand than ever!  Just ask Carly McKinney, the people involved in the PyCon public shaming or Mike Bacsik.  All of them lost their jobs because of social media.  Sometimes it was just one Tweet!  That sucks!

All I am saying is that branding is VERY important and you need to worry about your personal brand, starting with your name.


A professional headshot in front of a bookshelf says you’re an intellectual. A professional headshot peeking though a bookshelf says you’re probably under a restraining order.
Ryan Lilly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *