I regularly receive CVs where it’s not clear which is the first and which is the family name of the job applicant. This may seem like a minor detail to you, but believe me, it’s very annoying to a recruiter.
A recruiter must decide whether a candidate fits an available job or not.
When looking at a CV, this usually has to be done quickly and with a limited amount of information. So if they don’t know which of your names is which, you will loose points. Recruiters hate ambiguity.
A little test
You never know who will read your CV and what background this person has. I quickly googled some CVs and created two names myself. Are you 100% sure which one is the first and which one is the last name?
- Animashree Anandkumar
- Auli Niemi
- David Pierre
- Peter Lukas
So what is the solution?
You can add descriptions to your names like “Last name: Anderson / First name: Thomas. But to be consistent, you would have to add descriptions to all the elements in the Personal Info section of your CV including Address, Phone number, Email, etc. Personally, I don’t think that this is very elegant.
Or you could write your family name in capital letters. I think this is a reasonable and very practical solution.
But what is the “right” solution?
There’s none. CVs are of course based on a few rules, but at the end of the day you need to decide a lot of things for yourself. This is both the beauty and the curse of creating a CV 😉
What you can do right now:
- If you’re 100% sure that 99.9% of all recruiters will immediately know which is your first and which is your last name, then you’re good.
- Otherwise: decide how you want to make it perfectly clear in your CV. And update your CV with these changes right now.
Bonus: if you have a “unisex” name like Casey, you might want to add Mr. or Mrs. in front of your name.