Is Your Name Important? - page 6

For starters, I will reveal that I am an African-American female with a very common anglicized first and last name. I am also friendly with a small handful of nurse managers, staff development... Read More

  1. Visit  PalmHarborMom} profile page
    0
    I have an somewhat uncommon but normal name. Before my journey into nursing school, I was in the Navy as an Aviation Electrician. The hopes and dreams of a 23 year old were alive and well. Now this was in 1994 so times have changed somewhat. BUT I wanted to work in the civilian world as an electrician. I applied to every type of electrical company and aircraft maintenance company that I could find. Over a hundred resume's sent out and there was a definite need at the time. Aircraft companies were in desperate for qualified applicants. THEN I took my first name off my resume and replaced it with my first and middle name initials... ex. A.B. Smith

    I sent out more resumes, even to the same places. I received about 40 calls for interviews from 50 resumes. Then the sad truth was revealed as I walked into the interviews. There were times that I was told the position was filled as soon as the interviewer came out and saw a 100lb, 5'8 female in a skirt standing there. Some let me interview and gave me the we will call you if anything comes up. In the end, I was never given a chance until many years later to work as an electrician.

    The point that I am trying to make is that if you feel that your name may hinder your employment prospects, then leave it off. If the job market in your area is robust and you meet all the qualifications, then I would look at reworking your resume. Leaving the first name off is an option.
  2. Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  3. Visit  Nscorpiored} profile page
    0
    Yes names will hurt you when you are a good worker and are willing to do the work that someone with a less ethnic sounding name may or may not do. In my case, I wanted to go by middle name (which was listed as an 80s name) because my first name, to be honest, is too Black sounding. Terribe I know, but I cannot control the image and stereotypes that pop into people's head. On the other hand, names that lead to certain cultures or groups of people can be helpful for those that are foreign. As a Black American, we are not seen in the best light compared to other non Black American groups, so it works out better for them than for me

    Even though I have my worries, the newly graduated nurses (many of whom will be White) filled out 100s of applications, went for several interviews, and spent almost a year or more without work in the field. Maybe things will be different for me but I can see my first name being a hinderance instead of viewing my actual skills and education, which is par for the course

    Now let me take it a step further. The studies have proven that resumes with ethnic sounding names, once changed with more Eurocentric names and pictures, got more call backs for interviews and job opportunities. Besides my name, racism, sexism, stereotypes, and whatever else I cannot think of, will work against and I have already experienced it.
  4. Visit  Nscorpiored} profile page
    0
    The sad thing is due to stereotyping and racism we are being taught to have neutral names and more White sounding/less ethnic sounding names. I just feel that this is another way to conform because lets face it those of us who fit the description that is hindering us are not in charge in the hiring process or coporate world
  5. Visit  LadyFree28} profile page
    1
    I am named after a from the original Star Trek show...I have been in healthcare for over 10 years, and never had a hard time getting a job...I always got the job on the strength of my experience. My name has a significant meaning...it means freedom, and once someone, whether it be corporate, management or peers and patients understand the meaning, my personality and how it impacts my nursing practice positively, it is not an issue...every job I wanted, I have gotten. If I didn't get it, I always chalked it up that it wasn't meant to be. *Shrugs* I just think if your name has a significant meaning, and it matches your personality, perseverance, or you can sell resiliency attached to it, you should be able to get a job..or maybe most people who have interviewed me LOVED Star Trek and either had a crush on her or wanted to be like her...either way people call me Free for short...I've even been called Lieutenant by my manager, even my peers! So...My uniqueness had stood out positively, not negatively...and I don't have a criminal record, began reading at he age of 3-reading newspapers was a childhood past time with my father, and reading and knowledge was a staple in my household...and yes, I'm AA and proud!

    Just to attach my two cents..sometimes "euro-acceptable" names may pose a challenge as well, ESPECIALLY when the bias enters the persons mind. My fiancée has a unisex name that can also be misconstrued as a female, so when they first hear him, or see him at a interview, they are not accepting a 6-ft football-looking AA gentleman...he is a project manager, and he is looking for a job...and they have passed over him, to the point that contract firms are calling him for a SECOND time because the position is still open...we've had this conversation recently, and he used to playfully tease me about my name, told him I guess the shoe is on the other foot..
    Nscorpiored likes this.
  6. Visit  LadyFree28} profile page
    0
    I also wonder if it is more bias than anything...kind of how in nursing textbooks what they tell you about what "cultural norms" are...totally random and a different topic, but I think it goes hand in hand...are you not going to hire me because you think I'm not going to pass the Pre Employment screening because I ingest a diet that is heavily saturated in lard, or rice, or my hygiene may be in question because of whatever "cultural norm" (which IMO is inaccurate-wildy inaccurate-at times) that you read in a book or heard of from a "study"??? Mind you, I don't eat lard, not overweight, exercise and do wash myself when I'm hospitalized, thank you very much!!! (*rant*)...ok am off my soapbox!!!
  7. Visit  OrionQuiltsRN} profile page
    0
    Excellent topic! I think some nicknames can backfire in adulthood.

    A friend I know was named Danny at birth. It was fine when he was young, but as a 6'4" police officer he wishes he had been named Daniel. So he goes by Dan which defeated his parents purpose of using the nickname to begin with.

    Another friend was named Michael at birth. All through school he was called Mike. When he got out into the work world he was known as Mike, until a few co-workers began calling him Mikey which he hated and thought was very juvenile. A very wise person in Mike's office said that he should go back to Michael in his professional life because the shortened version of Michael is Mike, while the shortened version of Mike is Mikey. And we all know how people like to simply shorten formal names. So now he goes by Michael, but I call him George because that is how I first met him.

    And so challenging honoring our children with their names.

    A mom in my community named her daughter "Abcde". Oh, I think HR people will stand on their heads trying to figure that one out. I will cut through the suspense, it's pronounced Ab-ce-dee.
  8. Visit  Spidey's mom} profile page
    0
    Very interesting thread idea Commuter.

    So far my name hasn't come up and I was named in the 50's.

    We gave our daughter her great-grandmother's first name as a middle name - it is very old-fashioned (Leona) but this lady was a sweet and gentle soul who prayed for a redheaded great-granddaughter and got one - our daughter! My daughter's first name is one I read in a book and had never heard of before but for some reason became wildly popular and so she shortened it to a nickname.

    Because we don't know the exact name one poster wants to use for her child, I don't think it is fair to just say no. I do agree that some of the more cutsy names like "Candie" are hard to live down (a good friend's name).

    Regarding ethnic names - a white rural hardworking family locally named their daughter Tashina. She gets a lot of comments. A biracial young man was given the name "Shidon" which sounds like a cuss word when you say it so he get a lot of teasing about that as school. I don't understand doing that to a kid.

    I'm not a fan of uniquely spelled names. There are a lot of Nevaeh's around here.
  9. Visit  Spidey's mom} profile page
    0
    Quote from OrionQuiltsRN
    Excellent topic! I think some nicknames can backfire in adulthood.

    A friend I know was named Danny at birth. It was fine when he was young, but as a 6'4" police officer he wishes he had been named Daniel. So he goes by Dan which defeated his parents purpose of using the nickname to begin with.

    Another friend was named Michael at birth. All through school he was called Mike. When he got out into the work world he was known as Mike, until a few co-workers began calling him Mikey which he hated and thought was very juvenile. A very wise person in Mike's office said that he should go back to Michael in his professional life because the shortened version of Michael is Mike, while the shortened version of Mike is Mikey. And we all know how people like to simply shorten formal names. So now he goes by Michael, but I call him George because that is how I first met him.

    And so challenging honoring our children with their names.

    A mom in my community named her daughter "Abcde". Oh, I think HR people will stand on their heads trying to figure that one out. I will cut through the suspense, it's pronounced Ab-ce-dee.
    My husband's middle name is Scott and that's what his parents decided to call him since he has red hair. He grew up as Scotty and the whole community knows him as that and still calls him that. He doesn't mind.

    Our son is Daniel and we call him Danny after my husband's best friend, who is called Danny by everyone except his wife, who hates the name Danny. But her husband is fine with it and that's what we call him.

    You are damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
  10. Visit  SionainnRN} profile page
    0
    I've got a very Irish first middle and last name, pasty white with red hair and green eyes. Sometimes you do fit the stereotypes!!!
  11. Visit  Trilldayz,RN BSN} profile page
    0
    I have a VERY ethnic first and last name, it's actually Nigerian. Although the way myfirst name looks and is pronounced, people always ask if it's french haha. But I have never gotten the impression that my name has stopped me from getting any job. But I wouldn't be surprised if someone passed me over because they didn't like African foreigners. (But I have heard that I speak very articulate and clear with no accent...me and my name can confuse people)
  12. Visit  GrnTea} profile page
    0
    There were always lots of Wendys in the fifties, around the time Peter Pan opened on Broadway. I have a boomer name, but it's spelled weirdly and has been no end of trouble for me all my life.

    My initials (first, middle) are the same as my parents' first name initials Stupid young parents, thought it was romantic no doubt. All my younger siblings are named after somebody in the family, wish I was.

    On the bright side, it's really easy to change your name. If there's no fraud involved, you can just fill out a notarized form and file it with the county courthouse. Then you spend a year notifying your credit card companies, your mortgage, the voter registration, the library card, your licenses, the banks... but when it's done, you are your own self. I have a dear friend who did that and I am envious.
  13. Visit  NS Bubbly26} profile page
    0
    This is a very interesting topic. I also have a very ethnic first name but a very common last name. I don't think it has stopped me from getting a job. At least, I hope not.
  14. Visit  swinaz} profile page
    0
    I agree! I had been looking for a job for one month to the day after I NCLEX. I had previous healthcare experiencel nearly fiteen years worth and still; no calls. My husband and my father suggested that my name on the top of my resume was causing the problem. I am an African American female named Sharnette. It is pronounced just like it looks (Shar-net). I ended up going to a job fair to inquire about a position that I had pereviously applied to online and got a job offer on the spot. So I do think that race, and your name can help or hurt you. I kept thinking that if I could just get in front of someone; I could at least get a second interview. The online systems ask for your gender as well as race. Usually the race is optional. I don't even think that most people will get past the recruiter if they go off names alone. If they can't pronounce it or it is isn't gender specific. (Like perviously stated)


Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

Top