What’s In a Name? For a Resume, Maybe a Lot

Do people have a difficult time pronouncing your name? Does it feel like they’re trying to pronounce the name of Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and musician Grimes’ child, X Æ A-XII (pronounced: ex-ash-A-12)? Pronouncing names correctly conveys respect and thoughtfulness, but people don’t always take the time to ask. Additionally, the ease with which someone else can pronounce your name can impact your candidacy for a job. Below are two reasons why you may want to consider including the pronunciation of your name on your resume with a how-to example.

Set the Stage for a Positive Introduction

For most candidates, the resume serves as the initial introduction to recruiters. Providing the pronunciation of your name can pave the way for a positive introduction and can impact future interactions during interviews or phone calls. Even if it’s unintentional, mispronouncing someone’s name can feel inconsiderate and rude. Providing clear guidance from the beginning will decrease the likelihood that you feel disrespected and ease the recruiter’s fear of incorrectly pronouncing your name. Additionally, sharing the pronunciation of your name demonstrates your ability to communicate effectively. This attention to detail can suggest a thoughtful and proactive approach to daily work tasks.

Reduce Hiring Bias

Can having a difficult name to pronounce really be a barrier to finding a job? Researchers at Vasser College and Hamilton College suggests it does, calling it a name pronunciation penalty. While controversial and a deeply personal decision to make, another option to consider is using a “nickname” or alias. Providing the phonetic pronunciation on your resume can be a way to combat hiring bias in the candidate selection process. While the onus of bias reduction in candidate screening should lie with the employer, give them the opportunity to pronounce your name correctly and include (not exclude) you from the job or internship selection process.

Add the Phonetic Spelling

Just under your name, in a 10-point font size, consider listing the pronunciation. To do this, break your name into syllables and letter sounds. Here’s an example using my name:


(Loo-cuss GORE-uhm)

Want to chat more about this topic or need general resume support? Schedule an appointment with our Career Studio staff or stop by our drop-in hours listed at the bottom of this website.

Dr. Lucas Gorham is the Interim Director for the Office of Career & Professional Development at the University of Redlands. Connect with him on LinkedIn!
By Lucas Gorham
Lucas Gorham