Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Be Careful How You Use Your Name(s)!

Be careful how you use your name(s)!  You might miss out on an opportunity for a job!

Most of us have several names.  Our official name for documents.  The name we use for general business every day.  And perhaps a nickname we use with our friends.  Using a name on your resume that is different from the name you use to introduce yourself can cause confusion.  You do not want any confusion when it comes to identifying YOU for a job!

Let's use the following (purely fictional) example:

William Russell Smith is known by everyone as Rusty Smith.  He is more affectionately known as Tin Man by his fellow soldiers.  Rusty's primary email address is

Rusty submits his resume via an online system to HR to apply for a job.  That online system imports (or parses) his resume into the company's database.  Because a resume is a professional document, his resume identifies him as William Smith.  He has also uses a more "professional" email address for his resume.  The database now recognizes William Smith with an email address of

Scenario 1:  Rusty calls HR after several weeks of getting no feedback.  He identifies himself as Rusty Smith and asks about the status of the job.  HR searches the database for Rusty Smith.  You guessed it!  There is no Rusty Smith in the system.  Nor is there a Russell Smith or a Russ Smith or an R Smith.  Rusty just lost an opportunity for someone to pull up his resume for review.

Scenario 2:  A company employee who has worked with Rusty sends an email to the hiring manager/HR to recommend Rusty for the job.  HR tries to call Rusty for an interview.  And, you guessed it!  There is no Rusty Smith in the system.  Nor is there a Russell Smith or a Russ Smith or an R Smith.  HR is busy and doesn't have a way to track down Rusty.  No interview.

Scenario 3:  Rusty sends an email to HR with a well-written career summary and request for consideration for the job.  He mentions that he has completed the online application and looks forward to scheduling an interview.  Impressed, HR searches the database to flag Rusty for an interview.  She searches for Rusty Smith.  No luck.  She searches for an email of  And, you guessed it...

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