Thursday, March 29, 2007

A little experiment

So I've been looking at job websites. It turns out there's not much call for science PhDs in Ireland. Even the Big Pharma companies who have manufacturing sites over here don't need PhDs; they just need someone to sit in front of their gas chromatographs and press the "On" and "Off" buttons when beeped at to do so by the machine. This is interesting, because apparently the Irish government has a goal to double the number of science PhDs produced in the country by 2013. Hmmm...great way to guarantee a steady export of your brightest young people: over-educate them, then have no available jobs to offer them.

But that is another rant. Today I'm going to talk about my little experiment, which will hopefully find me a job, and keep me entertained for a little while.

My name (full name, as well as its individual components) is unpronounceable for most English speakers. Not only that, it just looks really...foreign. When confronted with its full 3-syllable glory, I think most people just blank it out, or go "Wha?" and their eyes just sort of slide past it to something safe and recognizable. It doesn't help that it's really short, and so seems like it should be simple, but the strange combination of letters gets 'em every time. I've always quite liked my name, and it's been relatively simple to learn to spell it every time someone asks for it. However, I get the feeling that, in a very competitive job market, it may make it awkward or difficult for someone reading through a stack of CVs. ("Let's call Mr Smith first, and if he's not there, we can call this...uh...this...person from the second CV here.")

However, now I have another name at my disposal: The Limey's. The Limey has a nice, safe, recognizable, common, easily-pronounced surname. What I'm going to do is write one CV using his surname, and one using my name. Then I distribute them on different websites and with different agencies, and monitor the difference, if any, among the responses to them.

I'm totally excited to see what happens. On the one hand, of course, I kind of hope they don't treat the two CVs any differently. On the other hand, if it gets me a job, or even job interviews, hey, I won't be overly upset.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

definitely a worthy experiment. people claim to be equal opportunity employers, but even my employing company has been known to stack the "diversity candidates" CVs on the top of the pile, which I think actually defeats the meaning of equal opportunity.

not that I should rant tho, since I directly benefit from those questionable practices... but it still seems incorrect at a very base level.