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It’s What’s in the Middle That Counts: How to format your name on a Resume

August 19, 2022

Middle Name

Why you should include your Middle Initial or Name in your Resume

The best-selling cookie in the world is the Oreo. In fact, if all the Oreo’s ever made were stacked, they could reach the moon and back five times and more than 450,000,000,000 have been sold since their debut in 1912.

I’m one of those people who break apart the cookie (in private of course) shamelessly lick the gooey white stuff from the chocolate biscuit and then nibble the reassembled wafers as slowly as possible to make the experience last as long as possible.

But when if the Oreo was simply the chocolate biscuit without the confectionery ‘white stuff?’ It would simply be a biscuit. It’s the middle that makes the cookie unique and distinguishable.

Want to know more about Oreos? 15 Interesting Facts about Oreos

If I asked you if you knew Mike Fox or James Jones who’d probably pause for a moment and say “hmmmmm…sounds familiar.”  If I asked you if you were familiar with Michael J. Fox, you’d know immediately that I was referring to the Canadian actor and if I added the middle name Earl to James Jones, you’d think of a deep baritone voice saying “This….. Is CNN…..”

As of today’s date (August, 2022), I have over 450,500 resumes of amazing medical device professionals in my database. And wouldn’t you know, there are about 13,450 people with the same names. There are several dozen people working for the SAME company with the same name – which is terribly confusing, unless there is a middle name or initial.

People with common family names like Li, Rodriquez, Kumar, Smith, and Lewis who work for large companies like Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Novartis and Medtronic could risk having their information mis-parsed with their “twin” with the same name. If your middle name is one you don’t like or one even your spouse doesn’t know, an initial will suffice.

How should your name appear on your resumé if…

You use your middle name as your preferred first name.
David Richard Smith = David Richard Smith or (David) Richard Smith

You prefer not to use your first name.
David Richard Smith = D. Richard Smith

You use two initials as your preferred first name
David Richard Smith=David Richard (D.R.) Smith or David Richard Smith (D.R.)

You have a hyphenated first name
David-Richard Smith

You have a hyphenated last name
David Richard-Smith

Women and men who change their surnames due to a marriage or divorce need to be especially cognizant of not losing their professional presence. Candidates who upload their resumés to a potential employer’s career site should be aware of how names are captured and stored. If you can, try to maintain an Excel sheet of which companies you have applied to, so you can go back and make appropriate changes.

You are changing your name due a change in marital status and dropping your maiden middle name in favor of using your married name as your last name.
Donna Marie Smith (maiden name) = Donna Smith Jones or Donna Marie (Smith) Jones.

You are changing your professional name due a divorce and dropping your prior married name in favor of using your maiden name or another last name.
Donna Marie Smith = Donna Smith Jones or Donna Marie (Smith) Jones.

In the example above, Donna’s prior married name was Smith, but she is choosing to change to her new husband’s name, Jones. But she has been known professionally as Donna Smith and doesn’t want to lose the strong reputation she has built as Donna Smith.

People who have a name that is less common in English-speaking countries sometimes choose to use a nickname in addition to – or in place of – the one they were born with. This is particularly important if the candidate’s educational degrees or Visa, green card, or work status, was obtained with their birth names.

Example: Sunjakumar Aranastharan Rathauram = Sunjakumar A. “Sam” Rathauram

So, a rose by any other name might still smell as sweet. But if you have a very common name, paying attention to correctly and intelligently using your middle name, may make your life even sweeter.

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Written by: Paula Rutledge

Legacy MedSearch has more than 35 years of combined experience recruiting in the medical device industry. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and ability to communicate quickly and honestly with all parties in the hiring process. Our clients include both blue-chip companies and innovative startups within the MedTech space. Over the past 17 years, we have built one of the strongest networks of device professionals ranging from sales, marketing, research & , quality & regulatory, project management, field service, and clinical affairs.

We offer a variety of different solutions for hiring managers depending on the scope and scale of each individual search. We craft a personalized solution for each client and position with a focus on attracting the best possible talent in the shortest possible time frame.

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