Do You Have To Use Your Legal Name On A Job Application? The Shocking Truth!

The Prepared Resume - Do you have to use your legal name on a job application

Do you have to use your legal name on a job application? Yes, your legal name is vital in any job application you present. Because a resume is more like a marketing document and not a legal document, you can use a name you prefer or like. However, if the employer performs a background check, it can land you in trouble for being dishonest.

Likewise, some companies mention in their job descriptions that job seekers or applying candidates must use their legal name. Otherwise, they won’t consider you for an interview after performing a background check. Thus, always use your legal name.

You can choose to not use your name on a job application

You can choose your preferred name and use it through your job search. However, it is essential to use your legal name if the employer wants to perform a background check. Some employers accept nicknames on job applications, but they may not consider your application or resume if you use a fake name.

For example, if your name is Michael Slater, you can use your nickname “Mike” instead of using your full name. There is nothing wrong with using a nickname. However, most companies disregard using your alias name during application. Performing a background check while preparing for a job application is important.

It also helps the employer perform a background check and contact your references easily. Moreover, It shows your professionalism and seriousness about the position.

Should you use your fake name?

Fake Names

Using a fake name on your resume is not a good idea. Your employer will consider it a fraud against his/her company. You should use a legal name always. All professional and official documents require individuals to use their legal names.

Otherwise, your potential employer may not consider your application and select those who have provided a legal name. It does not matter if you have excellent skills or relevant work experience; using a fake name reduces your hiring chances.

Likewise, if they call you for an interview and find out that you have faked your name on the resume, they may reject your application and end the interview immediately. I always advise candidates to use their real name on their resume and cover letter. Faking your name seems unprofessional and morally illegal.

The practice of using a fake name is common among foreigners who have moved to the U.S for job-seeking purposes. The ongoing racism and prejudice in the job industry force people to use fake names on their resumes. However, you should not fear about using your real name. If you have skills and experience, you can use your real name.

On the other hand, if you find out that the employer has not called you for the interview because of caste, race, ethnicity, or religion after performing a background check, in that case, you should take legal action against the company.

Can employers find out your real name?

Yes, employers can find out your real name by performing a thorough background check. Companies look at your social media accounts, explore your profile on LinkedIn, contact the references you have provided on your resume, and use other means to justify your integrity.

Employers can even request the state authorities to give them information from the national database. Performing a background check has become very common in the job industry since employers don’t want to hire a deceptive person.

Once employers know your name, they can find out other information about you. For example, they can investigate whether you have committed a crime in the past or had a court eviction.


Do you have to use your legal name on a job application? It is not mandatory to use your legal name on your resume and cover letter. However, using your legal name showcases your professionalism and allows the employers to perform a complete background check. If you don’t fear your work history, experience, and skills, there is no point in using your nickname or fake name.

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