So you applied for a position you were perfect for and got no call back, what happened? While it might have been your GPA that turned away the employer, it also might have been something as simple as your name. Today we will examine The Resume Test.
The Resume Test: (in context) The practice of discrimination based on information provided by an applicant's resume implying race/nationality/socio-economic status deeming him or her ineligible for an opportunity.
Believe it or not, discrimination and bias are still alive and well in today's Human Resources offices. With a large influx of candidates, recruiters spend an average of six seconds before they make the initial yes or no pile of candidates' resumes. The first part of your resume recruiters will look at is your name.
For many African American Women, our resumes don't pass the very first part of The Resume Test. The second a recruiter sees the name Shaniqua or Keisha, natural bias reasons that this individual is not a good fit for the company.
If a manager or HR rep does have natural biases against certain groups, he or she will glance at multiple components of your resume.
Which components of your resume is evaluated in The Resume Test?
What is ethically wrong with The Resume Test? The Resume Test is a surviving relative of The grandfather cause and other nuances created to keep black people uncompetitive. The fundamental principle supporting the biases against African American names is based in the belief that African Americans are genetically inferior. Just a few decades ago, black employees were not desired. Literally, business owners did not hire "negroes". Furthermore, labor unions were formed to keep African American men and women from applying for jobs throughout the country.
Who practices the Resume Test? HR has a challenging job of funneling talent into the company. You do not have to necessarily be a racist to discriminate against what you may consider "ghetto names". People who exercise these natural biases (even unconsciously)are the product of a racist society.
Now, the ultimate question is: What will you do?
There's an argument to be made for the black woman who does abbreviate her first name on applications and emails. Many accomplished black business women will tell you to abbreviate your first name if you want to move up.
How many Jewish, Irish, Italian and Eastern European people started their and their descendants' paths to the American Dream by dropping a letter or more from their name so that they would fit in? How many Southerners whose parents named them Jethro include that on their resume? Ya wanna whine or ya wanna eat? - Louis Martin Montgomery · Top Commenter · Georgia Tech
There's also a case to made for those who deem shortening her name as a compromise too great.
"You must remember that slave-names will keep you a slave in the eyes of the civilized world today. You have seen, and recently, that Africa and Asia will not honor you or give you any respect as long as you are called by the white man's name." -Elijah Muhammad
Despite circumstances, black mothers are still naming their children uniquely African American names. And those daughters are still Leaning In.
Whether you choose to shorten your name or not, First lady Michelle Obama encourages you to not shy away from the challenging workplace.
"I want to urge you to actively seek out the most contentious, polarized, gridlocked places you can find,'' Obama said during her commencement address at Ohio liberal-arts school on Monday. "Throughout our history, those have been the places where progress really happens, the places where minds are changed, lives transformed, where our great American story unfolds.'' - First Lady Michelle Obama
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