On Oct. 1, I wrote a column on how names play out on resumes. In a nutshell, my advice was to not let an unusual name get in the way of getting an interview or a job. All Digitocracy founder Tracie Powell sent me this interesting article from Forbes that asked an interesting question: “Hiding your race or gender on a job application: Is it ever worth it?”
The story talks about how those interviewed handled resume items like gender- and race-based organizations, or making names sound more Anglo. I’m a firm believer in not lying on your resume, because with the Internet out there, everything can be checked easily.
The real answer is more complicated. Early in my career, I used my initials on my resume as opposed to my full name. I didn’t belong to many professional organizations (which was wrong on my part), so that wasn’t an issue.
But as I got further into my career, especially when I became an aviation journalist, I joined more professional organizations and felt comfortable listing them because of my reputation in the industry. As a black woman in a still-overwhelmingly white, but amazingly small industry, I stand out no matter what I do, so I don’t have the option of hiding. So you will see groups like Women in Aviation (which accepts men as members) and the National Association of Black Journalists on my resume.
In the end, only you can decide what works best for you. But no matter what you decide, make sure it’s the truth.
Got a question about your career or the wonderful world of work? Please send them to me at auntbenet AT gmail DOT com.