José Zamora was all about town for the past few months trying to look for work. At one point, he sent out somewhere around 50 to 100 resumes a day. Even with these numerous job applications, he wasn’t getting anything from potential employers.
One day, he decided to drop one letter from his first name, which would completely anglicize it. He dropped the ‘s’ from his name and started applying for jobs as Joe Zamora, and Joe started receiving replies from every opening he applied to.
In his Buzzfeed video, Zamora mentions that he did not change anything else; he kept the rest of his resume exactly the same. However, this small change was enough for employers to take notice.
Zamora’s story sounds like a surprise, but it is not a new one. A study done back in the early 2000’s found out that individuals who had “white-sounding names” had 50% more interview callbacks than those with black-sounding names.
One story in the New York Times also showed that some interviewees admitted to altering their resumes to conceal their race or tone down their level of “blackness.”
Zamora thinks that while most people are not aware or conscious of judging others by their names, they do it all the time.
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