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Is my name putting employers off my applications? watch

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    I'm a grad from a top Russell Group uni with a first in a humanities subject, with relevant and successful past internships, as well as of university volunteering and society committee roles.

    I graduated in 2016, and since then, the work I've been able to get has been in temporary roles, requiring relatively little skill - and even this has been through some networking, rather than through my applications.

    I'm starting to wonder if it's my Greek name that's putting employers off? I've had lots of people read over my CVs and cover letters to make sure that I'm doing it right, and I'm sending applications off constantly. But I never hear back. I never even get to interview stage. I know it's tough competition out there, but I have no idea what I'm doing so differently that my friends are all hearing back, and I'm not.

    I'd like to think it's not my name that employers don't like, but I've heard stories about CVs with foreign-sounding names getting thrown away unread, and I'm starting to wonder.
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    (Original post by fennec94)
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    Employing someone to do a job is a high risk activity for a business. It doesn't make sense to reject candidates on entirely unreasonable items like 'foreign sounding names' as opposed to relevant details like failing to give evidence of relevant skills and badly tailored CVs.

    If you aren't getting to interview, your CV isn't as effective as you believe it is.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Employing someone to do a job is a high risk activity for a business. It doesn't make sense to reject candidates on entirely unreasonable items like 'foreign sounding names' as opposed to relevant details like failing to give evidence of relevant skills and badly tailored CVs.

    If you aren't getting to interview, your CV isn't as effective as you believe it is.
    I mean, we already know that employers DO discriminate based on foreign sounding names, whether it makes sense to or not - it’s been proven that they do through a lot of research. Here, I’m just wondering if that stretches as far as Greek names, because I know it certainly happens to BAME candidates.

    Maybe my CV isn’t all it could be, but I’ve done my best to make sure that it is, hence why I’ve ended up wondering about my name.
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    (Original post by fennec94)
    I mean, we already know that employers DO discriminate based on foreign sounding names, whether it makes sense to or not - it’s been proven that they do through a lot of research. Here, I’m just wondering if that stretches as far as Greek names, because I know it certainly happens to BAME candidates.

    Maybe my CV isn’t all it could be, but I’ve done my best to make sure that it is, hence why I’ve ended up wondering about my name.
    The only bias I've ever met is whether the name is pronounceable to English speakers. It's harder to make a connections with a candidate who has a name that no-one on the selection panel can pronounce, or everyone is pronouncing differently. So if you've got, for example, a very long Greek/Sri Lankan name, it may be worth considering shortening your first name to just one or two syllables, which makes it easier to have a conversation about, and therefore engage with. You don't have to anglicise it per se, but if it can be shortened to something that is easier to use, then it might help. It's quite a superficial thing though, I'd look at the effectiveness of the rest of your CV as well.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    The only bias I've ever met is whether the name is pronounceable to English speakers. It's harder to make a connections with a candidate who has a name that no-one on the selection panel can pronounce, or everyone is pronouncing differently. So if you've got, for example, a very long Greek/Sri Lankan name, it may be worth considering shortening your first name to just one or two syllables, which makes it easier to have a conversation about, and therefore engage with. You don't have to anglicise it per se, but if it can be shortened to something that is easier to use, then it might help. It's quite a superficial thing though, I'd look at the effectiveness of the rest of your CV as well.
    My name might seem difficult to pronounce, but I think the fact that you’re suggesting I change my name at all is pretty emblematic of the problem I’m talking about. How easy or difficult it is to pronounce has nothing to do with how they should be assessing my application.

    And I think it’s a pretty big problem, because research shows it’s not just a matter of whether employers can easily pronounce such a name in discussion, it’s a matter of employers judging (and rejecting) candidates based on their names, and all the connotations that comes with. And supposedly it’s something that happens a lot.
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    (Original post by fennec94)
    My name might seem difficult to pronounce, but I think the fact that you’re suggesting I change my name at all is pretty emblematic of the problem I’m talking about. How easy or difficult it is to pronounce has nothing to do with how they should be assessing my application.

    And I think it’s a pretty big problem, because research shows it’s not just a matter of whether employers can easily pronounce such a name in discussion, it’s a matter of employers judging (and rejecting) candidates based on their names, and all the connotations that comes with. And supposedly it’s something that happens a lot.
    Evidence 'it happens a lot' please. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I am saying it's probably not why you aren't getting a job.

    And shortening your name to something more pronounceable to your location is not emblematic of anything. Many/most people shorten long names whether they are local names or not, Alexanders/dras become Alex/Ali etc, we have all sorts of shortened names ****, Rick, Jim, Bob, Mo, Sal, Lou, Pam etc etc etc

    If you know there is a bias, you can either rail against it and get nowhere or you can change your tactic and bypass it to achieve what you want (while still working out how to make a more substantial change in a different way, from the inside).
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Evidence 'it happens a lot' please. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I am saying it's probably not why you aren't getting a job.

    And shortening your name to something more pronounceable to your location is not emblematic of anything. Many/most people shorten long names whether they are local names or not, Alexanders/dras become Alex/Ali etc, we have all sorts of shortened names ****, Rick, Jim, Bob, Mo, Sal, Lou, Pam etc etc etc

    If you know there is a bias, you can either rail against it and get nowhere or you can change your tactic and bypass it to achieve what you want (while still working out how to make a more substantial change in a different way, from the inside).
    I’m not clear on whether it’s why /I’m/ not getting a job, but we do know that it happens a lot to BAME applicants, so I’m wondering if I should have similar concerns.

    People with names like Alexander/Pamela/Louise aren’t shortening them to Alex/Pam/Lou because they’re afraid they won’t be considered otherwise - it’s not nearly the same thing. Not to mention that having an English-sounding name is actually a proven advantage. And as rule, people tend not to shorten their surnames - why should they have to?

    If there is a bias, I’m going to be angry but I’m not willing to change my name. I genuinely don’t think I should have to. As for my CVs and cover letters - I’ve worked pretty hard on them. Previous employers have looked them over, and told me they were good, and I used their advice. Obviously, I’m not saying that means I’m considering them perfect, but it definitely leaves me wondering about other factors outside of them.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Evidence 'it happens a lot' please. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I am saying it's probably not why you aren't getting a job.

    And shortening your name to something more pronounceable to your location is not emblematic of anything. Many/most people shorten long names whether they are local names or not, Alexanders/dras become Alex/Ali etc, we have all sorts of shortened names ****, Rick, Jim, Bob, Mo, Sal, Lou, Pam etc etc etc

    If you know there is a bias, you can either rail against it and get nowhere or you can change your tactic and bypass it to achieve what you want (while still working out how to make a more substantial change in a different way, from the inside).
    Also, some articles discussing the evidence you wanted:

    https://www.theladders.com/career-ad...calls-back/amp

    https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5...b8000d687f/amp

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/ruchika...get-a-job/amp/

    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/...article555082/

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact...ely-get-respo/

    These mostly concern the rejection of BAME candidates, but given British attitudes to ‘foreigners’ these days, maybe you can imagine why I’ve been thinking about this.
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    (Original post by fennec94)
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    A quick look shows only 2 different research set in there, at least one of which is 15 years old (Emily/Greg v Lakisha/Jamal)

    More prevalent in smaller companies (weaker HR processes, less E&D training)

    Still, if all taken as valid, only gives you less chance, not no chance, so you should still be getting to interview if your CV is effective.

    Or are you just looking for support for a claim that all employers are racist?
 
 
 
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