Hard-to-Pronounce Name? Give Recruiters a Clue!

Difficult NamesI can’t tell you the times I’ve dialed someone who has a name I can’t readily pronounce, hoping upon hope that they’ll say it before I’m forced to stammer through it, and they simply say:


“Aaargh!” I want to shout. “I was hoping you’d answer with your name so I could repeat it effortlessly!”

Instead, I usually come up with something like: “Hi Bee-nolo-block-dee, it’s Jared Redick calling.”

And then you correct me, I extend my good-natured apologies, and we hopefully pick up traction on the call while I jot a phonetic spelling.

If your name is likely unfamiliar to your intended audience — let’s say recruiters — here are some ways to pave the way to a great conversation.

Make a habit of answering, “Hello this is [Your Name Here].”

I answer the phone this way if I don’t recognize the caller, and my name is Jared.

(Although at Starbucks, between the scrawl at the counter and the shouting of my name by the Barista, I’ve gotten, “Janod?” “Fareed?” “Jerald?” And even, “Jamell?”)

Provide a Phonetic Spelling

Another great idea is to place an asterisk behind your name and a corresponding asterisk in the footer of your resume, where you include a phonetic spelling.

Leave Your Name on Your Outgoing Message

If you’re actively in a job search, you anticipate one, or you hope recruiters will find you on LinkedIn and call you, make sure your name is on your outgoing message.

Here’s my suggestion: “You’ve reached [Your Name Here] at 415-555-1212. Please leave a message and I will call you back.” Two beat wait, then the beep.

If you simply leave your number on the message, your caller won’t be guaranteed to have reached the correct person, and a lot of recruiters and hiring managers are dubious about leaving any details when they may have reached someone else. Say, your spouse? Your assistant? Who may not know you’re conducting a job search? The list goes on as to why they’re careful about confidentiality.

Don’t make them leave a benign message because they’re not sure it’s you; or worse, hang up without trying.

The Takeaway

I’ll admit that I’ve come to the point where I hate even checking voicemail on my cell phone. I’d rather be texted. But communication is still a part of business.

Recruiters and other folks who may represent career opportunity are people who walk into their offices every morning just like you. Don’t give give them a reason to avoid calling just because they were embarrassed to try pronouncing your name.

Until next time!

Jared Redick
Visit: The Resume Studio.com | About Jared
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Like Us: http://www.facebook.com/TheResumeStudio
Connect: LinkedIn.com/in/jaredredick
Call: 415-397-6640

Should I Post My Resume Online?

Who's Looking Over Your Digital Shoulder?

Who’s Looking Over Your Digital Shoulder?

Despite my stance not to do it, a senior technology client several weeks ago posted his new résumé online. 
He got two job offers within a week.  
Now how can I advise against posting your résumé online when you get results like that?
As with so much in life, and certainly job searching and career management, we deal in the murkey world of “it depends.”
Here are a few examples of questions that career practitioners answer every day:
Is LinkedIn a résumé? (I say no, other say yes)
Is the résumé dying? (I say it shouldn’t, others say it’s already gone)
Should I post my résumé online? (I say no!)
Millions of people do it, and to be fair job boards have any number of privacy settings and levels of résumé visibility.  
But I have fundamental problems with posting a résumé online, both for young professionals whose résumés will be archived into forever-ville (think background checks twenty years from now), as well as for professionals in the primes of their lives. 
Online activity and privacy is in a constant state of flux. There are hosts of unknowns. And when there are unknowns,  I am skeptical. 
From the what-you-don’t-know-can-hurt-you files come my top three reasons to think twice before posting your résumé online. 
1. Intention revealed. Transparency in business has its essential merits, but if you’re employed and conducting a stealth job search, it’s your worst enemy. Giving away the fact that you’re looking for greener pastures places your current position in an awkward place if it’s ever found out.   
2. Privacy compromised. Not only do you run the risk of prematurely revealing your intentions, but your good credit is potentially compromised since credit scores are partially constructed by our work histories. Giving full work histories gives identity thieves one more piece of your history. 
This is a reason that I recommend setting your public information in LinkedIn’s settings to “most recent job only.”
3. Competitive details exposed. Search firms and other institutions make their living conducting what some call “corporate espionage,” which is to say cobbling together pieces of data from unrelated sources to assemble information about one thing. In the case of search, it’s about assembling information on a potential candidate you want to approach about a search you’re working on, so that’s a good thing. 
But competitive information is also gathered from people’s résumés because, while we all know that listing proprietary information on a résumé is a no-no, we sometimes list information that could be cobbled with other information competitors could use to make competitive assumptions. 
Perhaps this was acceptable in the good ol’ days because the risks were low, given that résumés were distributed to a relatively narrow group of people (hiring entities) with a discrete purpose (hiring). 
Today, a few key strokes can send search terms racing across your résumé, giving a competitive business researcher more information not only about you, but about the companies for which you’ve worked. 
What’s the takeaway? 
I believe information on LinkedIn should be carefully conceived and written, which is why the profiles I write for clients are vastly different from their finished résumés. 
Have an accurate and truthful résumé so it’s ready when you begin job searching, or when a recruiter calls to learn more about you. 
But it’s really all about control when it comes to you online life, so be sure data is sanitized and curated for online consumption. 
Once your information is online, it’s out there. 
And since it’s digital, it can be archived into perpetuity. I don’t know any executives today who would like the résumé they wrote as twenty-two-years-old surfacing today. Nor do I know executives who want to unwittingly give away trade secrets via their online résumé.

Until next time!

Jared Redick
Visit: The Resume Studio.com | About Jared
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Like Us: http://www.facebook.com/TheResumeStudio
Connect: LinkedIn.com/in/jaredredick
Call: 415-397-6640