Resume name change gets more responses

Feb. 8, 2013 at 6:02 PM

UPPSALA, Romania, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A Romanian student in Sweden said he found his resumes received more attention when he used a fake Swedish-sounding name.

The Uppsala student, who spoke to The Local.se using the pseudonym Ovidiu, said he received no responses from the more than 200 resumes he sent out in Sweden so he devised an experiment.

"I'd heard that a guy called Pablo in the U.K. changed his name to Paul on his CV [curriculum vitae] and found that more people responded to his applications -- so I thought I'd try the same gimmick," Ovidiu said.

The student said he sent out 20 resumes using his real name and 20 using a Swedish-sounding alias, with only the names and layouts different.

He said none of the resumes using his real name yielded responses, while the Swedish-sounding name got him 13 interview offers.

"It's clear that they didn't even bother reading the one with my real name," Ovidiu said. "They just saw a foreign name and didn't open it. The jobs ranged from really basic work to jobs within the marketing sector that I was highly qualified for. It doesn't make sense."

The student said he decided not to take any of the interviews.

"I didn't show up to any of the interviews in case what I did was illegal or something," he said. "But the whole thing is really frustrating. Having a job in Sweden is being a member of an exclusive club rather than a work force."

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