First name discrimination

Ok here is my dilema, I am trying to apply for jobs but getting very few call backs (my resume always gets complimented) . I am starting to think that the reason is my first name sounds Middle Eastern and it does not specify what sex I am. I was not born in the Middle East and I have no Middle Eastern blood. Everybody has known me by my first name all my life and I am wondering HR people look at my name and pre-judge me and my resume ends up in the trash. I have a middle name that when it's translated is very English sounding name and it makes it clear what sex I am. I am wondering if I should start using my middle name on my resumes even thou nobody except my family knows it. Any thoughts?

Example(not my names):
Akmal and Michael
«1

Comments

  • dhay13dhay13 Member Posts: 580 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Can't offer advice but I would hope that isn't the case. With that being said, I have a physical disability (that has 0 affect on my ability to do my job) and sometimes it crosses my mind that that may be why I don't get jobs that I feel I interviewed very well on. Same thing here, I really hope that isn't the case (and don't think it is).
  • p@r0tuXus[email protected] Member Posts: 532 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Firstly, personally-I despise that you should have to change anything about yourself like that just to get recognized for an interview. I'm sorry this is the case. So dealing with it can be rough, but I'll throw in some insight I've seen in my role. I've noticed a lot of Indian or Pakistani folks in IT where I work tend to use initials which makes them seem more personable and also keeps people from butchering their names. It might also get you further in the interview/selection process. Perhaps something like that might work?
    Completed: ITIL-F, A+, S+, CCENT, CCNA R|S
    In Progress: Linux+/LPIC-1, Python, Bash
    Upcoming: eJPT, C|EH, CSA+, CCNA-Sec, PA-ACE
  • ivx502ivx502 Member Posts: 61 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have a foreign first name, but was born in the US. It is up to you how to handle it. I don't think my legal name has hindered my ability to interview for jobs, because I am always asked if I go by a different name which typically I give it.
  • amcnowamcnow CISSP, CEH, CHFI, SAFe 4 Practitioner, ITIL v3 Foundation, A+, additional certs for outdated technol Circle CityMember Posts: 215 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Here's my two cents. If discrimination is occurring, you don't want to work for that employer. With that said, I wouldn't be so quick to assume all prospective employers are screening your name. In each case, there could be a myriad of legitimate factors. Just keep tying.
    WGU - Master of Science, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
    Completed: JIT2, TFT2, VLT2, C701, C702, C706, C700, FXT2
    In Progress: C688
    Remaining: LQT2
    Aristotle wrote:
    For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
  • Success101Success101 Member Posts: 132
    You may be right or you may be wrong. There's no way to know, but I completely understand what are you saying. The same applies for individuals of other races as well. All I can say is that if your resume and/or skills are being overlooked because of something you can't control by an employer, you wouldn't want to work for them anyway.

    That's my 2 cents.
  • Hammer80Hammer80 Member Posts: 207
    I understand when people say that if they ignore my resume because of my name it's not a place I would want to work, the problem is reality is a bit different, it's very hard when you can't even get an interview. I started thinking about this when I watched Freakonomics on Netflix, they were interviewing a black professor from Harvard who has done studies on how employers behave and what their perceptions are based on white sounding names and black sounding names, his findings were that people with distinctly black names did face discrimination on a larger scale than someone with a white sounding name. The interesting thing about his research was that he found that even black HR employees were guilty of the same discrimination and rejected applications from candidates that had black sounding names. His research also showed that blacks that had white sounding names were given more opportunities. This made me think if my first name is putting me at a disadvantage and if I should start using a more of American sounding name which clearly states what sex I am.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'd probably give it a shot what do you have to lose?
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Senior Member Member Posts: 2,297 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Why don't you test it out? The legal name is not needed anyway, until you start getting paid.
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Without a doubt; use an "American" name to land the interview.

    Then, let your knowledge/experience get you the job.
  • tmtextmtex Member Posts: 326
    Change it to Steve, then when its time to fill out paper work put your real one.
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    There's no law that says you have to use your given name on a resume. If you want to go by something else then by all means do so.

    Unfortunately discrimination exists. It's easy to say "I wouldn't work there" when you have a job but part of the advice here should be directed to lurkers as well. Using a name it's hard to discriminate against is a valid tactic, I's up to the individual to determine if it's appropriate for them.
  • alias454alias454 Member Posts: 648
    You can try to use just your first initial and not your full first name.
    “I do not seek answers, but rather to understand the question.”
  • GSXR750K2GSXR750K2 Member Posts: 325
    Just to throw a discussionary thought out there, I think "Gregory" from Horrible Bosses touched upon the seriousness of the topic in a humorous way.

    Courtesy of IMDB...

    Dale Arbus: [Talking to man on NavGuide] Hey I always wondered these kinds of things, but is your real name Gregory?
    Atmanand: [in Indian accent] Um, no, sir. Standard NavGuide protocol is to use names American people find easy to pronounce. My real name is Atmanand.
    Kurt Buckman: You know what, buddy, I'm not gonna play by the rules. I'm gonna call you Akmantad.
    Nick Hendricks: Atmonent.
    Atmanand: [slowly pronouncing] At-man-and.
    Kurt Buckman: I'm just gonna call you Gregory cuz that name is a f****n' nightmare, buddy, let me tell you.


    A first name may be the reason that a resume' is put aside from consideration, but maybe not always for the reason people assume. People in America will sue at the drop of a hat, and from the employer's perspective they have to strive to make sure that all employees feel they are in a place that they don't need to worry about what their name is or how to pronounce it. However, some employers may think that when an employee's name, country of origin, or even family member names are pronounced incorrectly or are even flat out wrong (due to a misunderstanding of the nuances of a foreign language), there's a chance the employee would eventually take it personally and file a discrimination suit.

    I'm not saying it's right (it's not) or that I've seen it happen, but it's a plausible scenario to why an employer may not pursue a candidate. If an employer is nervous about a name, they may not have a very diverse culture or have past experiences that keep them limiting their own options. Either way, walking on pins and needles is not the best way to start a new relationship with a company.
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I go by my middle name for the sake of everything.
    I have my middle name, last name on the resume when applying and eventually interviewing.

    It is only when they put through an offer and need your documents, that you will need to use your first name AND middle name.
    The only person who ever needs to know are HR, and your boss. This has never been a problem whatsoever. If they did, then they are flat out discriminating. (they know not to)
    Even during account creation, you will be asked what you want to be called.

    You have nothing to worry about and should be applying with the middle name. Like you hope, when they do sit with you, they will only care about your skills and personality. The battle is getting there.

    I have even seen people in the field use a middle name when they have a perfectly fine first name.
    Also ive worked with many Latin coworkers who would use middle names too. Happens all the time.
    2019 Goals
    CompTIA Linux+
    [ ] Bachelor's Degree
  • YesOffenseYesOffense Member Posts: 83 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Tough to prove from outside the organization. But try out the preferred name thing, only HR really needs the legal name. People do it all time, I know because it's usually a pain to get all systems synced correctly.
  • brewboybrewboy Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Use first middle last. My first name is a typically girls name and my wife makes me put my middle name on my resume. I hate to think it makes a difference but who knows.
  • skswitchskswitch Member Posts: 50 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've know two people who were concerned with this issue.

    One being like yourself with a middle eastern name. (Actually native born American but Egyptian descent). He's thought the same thing to use his middle name as well.

    Another is a girl who had a name that she referred to as ghetto (French origin) and actually did use her middle name. She felt it did get more replies back. But who knows for sure. I would think if it is effecting you give it a try and compare.
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    If my name was Shaquielle... my resume would say Shane.
    If my name was Kobe... my resume would say Kevin.
    Lebron..... Loius.
    Tyronn... Thomas.
    Leeroy.... Lawrence.

    This country has a deep (and questionable) history of changing immigrants' names.
    In that regard, I see nothing wrong with playing the system to your own advantage :]


    and If you want to be even more devious.... adopt a name from the Bible
    (King James edition, of course!)
  • dhay13dhay13 Member Posts: 580 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Like was said above, if you have to go to these lengths to get hired do you really want to work for a company like that? I don't care what your name is or what color your skin is, if you are a better candidate than the next then you get the job. Too bad it isn't like that everywhere.
  • RemedympRemedymp Member Posts: 834
    60 Minutes and PBS actually did a investigation about this and found that this in fact still a problem in 2016. They changed the name on the resume from an ethnic sounding name, to a "White" name and found that they got double the response without changing the skill and education criteria at all.

    They're now using zip codes as a means to discriminate as well when the name can't be sourced.

    Companies that are caught doing this suffer heavy penalties from the government.
  • uncleantuncleant Member Posts: 4 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sounds like you just need to get used to it. This is how things are now. My advice is stop being a snowflake.
  • RemedympRemedymp Member Posts: 834
    uncleant wrote: »
    Sounds like you just need to get used to it. This is how things are now. My advice is stop being a snowflake.

    Richard Spencer, is that you?icon_confused.gif:
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    uncleant wrote: »
    Sounds like you just need to get used to it. This is how things are now. My advice is stop being a snowflake.

    Why should he just "get used to it"... when he can simply use his middle-name to negate any subconscious bias?

    Also the OP is looking for a way to "blend in"'; NOT "stand out".

    That would make him the Opposite of a Snowflake..
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,746 Mod
    That'd be against the law. I will never forget, one place I had applied for. A family business, the position I applied for was to replace a woman who had been there forever. I was asked to come in for a 2nd interview meet 'the family'. The mom asked me 'how long I planned to work' I said until the day I died (that is an illegal question). The dad asked why I 'job-hopped' (the economy at the time, not illegal-), but the younger son asked how old I was, I replied 'old enough to know better' (another illegal question) The room was dead silent and even the dad said that was an illegal question. So, if you have proof of your first name being the reason you are not being called. You really have to proof it.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    volfkhat wrote: »
    Also the OP is looking for a way to "blend in"'; NOT "stand out".

    That would make him the Opposite of a Snowflake..

    You know know what he meant by snowflake... icon_razz.gif You know like Generation Snowflake
  • mbarrettmbarrett Member Posts: 397 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my own experience, some Asians (Koreans, in particular) use a more Western-sounding name in place of their legal first name when conducting business, etc in the US. I never heard anybody complain about it, that's just the way it is. Everybody has their own reason - you just do what you gotta do and move on.
  • RemedympRemedymp Member Posts: 834
    mbarrett wrote: »
    In my own experience, some Asians (Koreans, in particular) use a more Western-sounding name in place of their legal first name when conducting business, etc in the US. I never heard anybody complain about it, that's just the way it is. Everybody has their own reason - you just do what you gotta do and move on.

    It's really against the law, but it seems on this forum, constitution and law goes out of the window.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Remedymp wrote: »
    but it seems on this forum, constitution and law goes out of the window.

    Unlike the real world where everyone follows those to a T
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youMod Posts: 2,746 Mod
    Remedymp wrote: »
    It's really against the law, but it seems on this forum, constitution and law goes out of the window.
    Say what?
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • amcnowamcnow CISSP, CEH, CHFI, SAFe 4 Practitioner, ITIL v3 Foundation, A+, additional certs for outdated technol Circle CityMember Posts: 215 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Just to clarify for the context of this thread, a resume is considered a legal document only when directly tied to a signed application (i.e., a statement is made on the application to see attached resume). In this scenario, you should use your legal name.

    Outside of that, a resume is a marketing document (hence not a legal document). Therefore, you can list a nickname name on your resume without legal consequence.
    WGU - Master of Science, Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
    Completed: JIT2, TFT2, VLT2, C701, C702, C706, C700, FXT2
    In Progress: C688
    Remaining: LQT2
    Aristotle wrote:
    For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
Sign In or Register to comment.