Of gender-neutral names and job hunting

How to tweak your resume to get past awkwardness, confusion

Fill out any standard form these days and you're likely to have to check a box indicating your gender. If you scoff at the inclusion of such, you're not named Dylan, Riley, Taylor, etc.

If you have a gender-neutral name and are job-hunting, Jada Graves at U.S. News & World Report offers some points to ponder.

"Job seekers want to stand out, but not feel ostracized, and if your name is what stands out, because it's unusual and/or because your gender is ambiguous, then you too might feel it's impacting your search," she says.

Specifically, if you name is gender neutral, Graves recommends putting subtle clues in your resume - short of "I'm a man!" - to point the hiring manager in the right direction.

"Your greatest struggle is constantly having to correct potential employers and clients about your gender," she notes.

That's not to say a manager would be basing a hire on gender, but rather wants to avoid potential embarrassment or misunderstanding. To steer clear of that, Graves recommends including links to your Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. One click and the hiring manager could see your face and get the answer they need.

Also, if you've joined any gender-based professional organizations, such as the Society of Women Engineers, add that. It's yet another way to answer the question no manager wants to ask.

What if you've got a name that's difficult to pronounce? Click below for Graves' suggestions.

via U.S. News & World Report

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