Recently, the team at Beyond Recruitment has been talking about the topic of getting names right in a job search and the positive impression it can make on someone, whether they are a recruiter, a hiring manager, or even a company you’re enquiring with. I know from personal experience that this can be a tricky thing to accomplish, especially when the individual’s name is particularly hard to enunciate. So, how should you approach a situation like this?
As with anything you’re a little unsure on these days, Google is a great place to start when faced with a tricky name – in addition to the many language resources available online, you can even get Google Translate to pronounce words out loud for you. Do a bit of research prior to your phone call or meeting – your effort will definitely stand out and make a fantastic impression on the person on the other end. I’ve found that people applying for relationship management roles are particularly good at this and will almost always make an effort to get it right from the start.
Although there are going to be some names that research won’t shed light on, it’s not a conversation to shy away from. If in doubt, ask. All it takes is a quick question at the beginning of your meeting with the individual, explaining that you want to make sure you get their name right. This can be a great conversation starter too. Is it a foreign name? Ask about the meaning behind it, or where it comes from. Not only will it show a genuine interest in the person you’re speaking to, but you’ll be less likely to forget the pronunciation in future conversations (no one wants to have their name mispronounced over and over again).
In all likelihood, you’ll probably find that people with unusual names will make an effort to help you out – after all, it’s something they have dealt with throughout their entire life. For example, when speaking to people I’ve just met, I often explain that there’s an easy way to remember my name: Bill Gates!
In the job search, first impressions mean a lot, and the way you treat people’s names plays a big role in ensuring a successful introduction. Whilst no one expects you to get it right from the start, a bit of extra effort and attention will go a long way! Have you got a similar situation you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you.