Why Lexi Wasn't Hired and How you can avoid this Simple Mistake too
Just last week, one of my all star MyGrads heard that I was looking to fill a job and wanted to put her friend Lexi (not her real name) up for the position. I said, “Sure, have Lexi send me an email with her resume and I’ll include her in my submission.” Two days went by and I didn’t see an email. I even searched my trash, just in case I accidentally deleted it. Because I had strong candidates and I couldn’t find her resume anywhere, I put my submission together for the position, without Lexi’s resume.
As we investigated, it turns out that Lexi’s email address was ABjones1998@gmail.com and because I’ve never received her email before, it went into spam. When I searched for her email, I sorted by name and looked for “L” for Lexi and “J” for Jones and didn’t find anything. Ugh? Why would Lexi have an email address that was ABJones?
There’s a simple reason for that.
Her name is "Alexandra Belle Jones" and my friend knew her in H.S. when she went by “Lexi.” She wants to be more professional now and so she is going by Alexandra. To add further confusion to this story, there was no uniformity across the electronic landscape for her.
Email address was “ABJones1998@gmail.com”
Name on resume was “Alexandra Belle Jones”
LinkedIn was “Lexi B. Jones"
Rarely will a company go to this much effort to track down an entry level candidate, so if you want to avoid this mistake, make sure you are consistent on all platforms starting today!
One of the benefits of becoming an adult, moving to a new town and/or starting your professional career is getting to decide what you want to be called. Some of you go by a nickname (“Elizabeth" can be “Liz," “Lizzie," “Betsy," “Beth" etc….) or maybe you go by your middle name (My uncle is "Brett Thomas Parkinson" and the family calls him “Uncle Tommy” but in college he decided to go by “Brett" and has built his career with that name). Or, you might be an international student who has taken on an American nickname (Shout out to one of my former student from China, “Po Li.” His nickname was “Elvis” and when I asked why he chose that, he joyfully responded, “because Elvis is the King”- I love that confidence!!).
Here’s something else to think about.
What if you have a gender neutral name? Today, there is tremendous pressure for companies to hire women and diverse candidates, so think about putting your preferred pronouns on your resume either directly after your name, or indirectly as part of the content.
People only know what you tell them, so be consistent. The name that appears on your resume should be the same name on your email address, LinkedIn Profile and your professional website (if you have one). You want to cut down on any confusion that might lead to you not getting hired. When it is time to fill out paperwork, use your legal name as it appears on your driver’s license and/or passport.
I don’t want anyone to have a reason not to find you. You are smart, talented and ready to be hired, so make it easy for people to find you and be consistent in your name.