How to overcome a complicated name



New research confirms what most of us thought: a complex name hurts your chances of getting a job. And, here’s the double whammy: a difficult to pronounce name coupled with being a minority can lower your chances of getting a callback for a job by a whopping 50%!


With the world (thank goodness!) embracing names beyond Jim, Jane, and John, now is the time to translate your unfamiliar name to the familiar. Show and share how easy your name is with these techniques:



  1. Add a visual guide to your name. Actress Saoirse Ronan routinely adds to articles that her name is pronounced “Sur-sha.” Or Emily Weinstein notes her moniker this way: WINE-Steen so that you don’t say “WINE-STINE. Remember: don’t use diacritical marks (the complicated linguistic guides such as ē, in the word ease.)

  2. Break Down the Name – Dividing your name into easy to digest bites also works. The Russian name Artemii can be turned into Art-Team-Me.

  3. Play with Rhyme Time – A dear friend always said his name this way: “Mizhir rhymes with leisure.” Or Iwaniak: rhymes with Pontiac. Another woman writes her name, Frezhenay, this way: rhymes with chardonnay. A woman after my heart…and wine glass!

  4. Teach them how to pronounce it on LinkedIn. The social media platform has an easy guide on how to record your own name. Voila!

  5. Add a Metaphor/Simile – I met a man with the last name Brieuliette. He slyly explains: “have you tried the brie yet?” Or a man from Persia explains his name, Eyetern as in “I torn my jeans.” Of course, my girlfriend Alise always makes me laugh by saying Alise, as in you sign a lease!

  6. Make it Analogous – Unfortunately, I used to get introduced on stage as Liz GoldGood. I solved that problem by explaining that I am a speaker who is as good as gold, Liz Goodgold. Problem solved.



What works for you? I’m all ears.


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