Should I Hide My Asian Name So Recruiters Will Notice My Resume?

2019-09-02T07:35:04+00:00September 8, 2017|

When you’re an Asian wanting to live the American dream, the first step you need to take is to get a job. Most Asians set the standard of their success in America through a rewarding career. Others, though, can’t even land a decent job, let alone build a career. Sad to say, the main hindrance to their dream is the huge bold letters on top of their resume – their name. Yes, name discrimination in hiring still exists.

“Adam Smith,” for instance, has better odds of getting a call back than “Hiroshi Agato.” “Sarah Wilson’s” resume gets the nod over “Ming Zhiang Xin’s.” Hence, desperate Asians battling to land a job resort to resume whitening and adopt a new Anglo identity just to cope with the game.

Wait, don’t ask yourself, “What do I name my resume?” as of yet. Read on.

Asians Turn to Resume Whitening to Please Biased Recruiters

Resume whitening occurs when you adopt a Western guise to fit into the “white” stereotype in your resume. This means you’re trying to hide details that give clues on your ethnicity to engage more recruiters. Thus, you pick an English name to replace your Asian name, omit non-Anglo credentials, or write vague details so your resume won’t show your unique ethnic traits.

Job hunting in the country is tough since openings aren’t enough. But it’s even harder for Asians and other races because they face bias in a country well known for celebrating freedom and diversity.

“Humored” Racial Bias in the US (Pun Intended)

Fresh off the Boat, an American TV sitcom about a Chinese family living in a mostly white suburb in Orlando, shows the plights of most Asians in America. In their episode “Hi, My Name Is…,” they exposed the sensitive issue of name discrimination through a funny narrative with stimulating punch lines.

Fresh Off the Boat Episode "Hi, My Name Is..."

However, this plight is no laughing matter since it harms non-white job seekers. Hiring bias happens when recruiters ignore applicants because they don’t fit a white person’s profile. One example is when Asians fail to land jobs when they opted to keep their names and not change it with an English-sounding one.

Racial Discrimination vs. Cultural Appropriation

It’s disheartening how few firms express sympathy to other races but don’t walk their talk. They promote causes on racial diversity but fail to practice them in their own firms. A sad truth showing that hiring bias remains among most American employers.

Forbes.com cited that even firms claiming to be “pro-diversity” still favor job seekers with an Anglo name. The situation gets more confusing when you add cultural appropriation to the mix. Americans frown on others who mimic a non-native culture. With so many rules on self-presentation in the country, how does an Asian job seeker create a notable resume without upsetting American standards?

Credibility Comes with Honesty

Your resume is your ticket out of joblessness, and it must stress your professionalism, which makes resume whitening a hurtful scheme. You can’t prove your potential with a watered-down image of your skills and education. A whitened image offsets your traits and experience as the focus of your application. White lies and sugar coating deserve no place in a resume selling your brand. By presenting your true self, you show your integrity and confidence.

Side Effect of Resume Whitening

Whitened resumes draw job offers but, in hindsight, working for these firms hurt members of the minority. You can only imagine what other forms of prejudices they tolerate in the workplace. Since they can’t embrace the true essence of diversity and do not welcome people from different ethnic groups, being an Asian in these firms can cause you future issues.

Now, besides knowing what should you name a resume, you need to ponder on a more important question. Ask yourself, “Will naming my resume bring a good impact not only on my current job search but on my long-term career goal?”

Real Solution to the Problem

Resume whitening is only a short-term solution to inequity. It gives a “cobra effect” and can only make matters worse. Whitening may come with good intentions, but when you look at it well, the gap never closes. We can compare this to beautifying a garden. You uproot weeds that kill the flowers so they won’t grow back.

The US employment sector has an active campaign to fight racial bias. But by tweaking your resume, you waste the progress of this fight. To wipe out this awful pattern, companies that truly advocate against prejudice must work on hiring based on skill set more than ethnicity. The same goes for minorities. If you want to end racial inequality, don’t whiten your resume, so you can uphold diversity in the workplace and lessen harmful judgment toward race.

Now, if you can’t create a resume that highlights your skills and qualifications over your ethnicity, seek help from an expert writer. You might want to consider our resume writing services.

Sources: Forbes.com | TheAtlantic.com | TheGuardian.com | TheStar.com | NYTimes.com
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