Social scientists believe a name can influence personality, how we are perceived, and even our physical appearance. But, what about our salary?
Have you ever wondered how employable you would be if you were judged solely on your name? Or, once employed, how much you could earn, depending on your moniker? Well, this concept inspired education and training specialists, theknowledgeacademy.com
to investigate the value afforded to the Nation’s most popular baby names, by utilising Adzuna’s ‘ValueMyName’ tool.
To create the tool, Adzuna took data from over 500,000 CVs uploaded to ‘ValueMyCV’ and extracted their first name and salary, allowing the company to provide an average (mean) salary for 1,200 first names.
Per ONS, the names used are the nation’s most popular and, although data for Isla, Ava and Noah could not be found using the Adzuna system, theknowledgeacademy found interesting results.
For the boys, those named Oscar will scoop the largest salary, at £37,786. Swiftly followed by those named, George (£37,342) and those with the UK’s number one boys name: Oliver, at £35,536. Unfortunately, those named Jack (£29,738), Jacob (£30,233) and Muhammad (£31,760) will face a considerable pay cut in comparison – yet still fair better than 90% of those featured in the girls list!
For the girls, those named Lily will pocket the most money, at £30,821. Followed by the Isabella’s (28,935) and Ella’s (£28,623.) Unfortunately, those with the UK’s number one girls name: Olivia, will be earning the least in the list – at just £26,011. And only just above Olivia are Jessica (£26,342) and Mia (£26, 981.)
Continually, per research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it isn’t simply a first name that can boost your career success, but a middle initial too. The psychologists Wijnand AP Van Tilburg and Eric R Igou found that participants judged strangers with a middle initial as smarter, more eloquent and more qualified
than those without.
The study also revealed that those who have more than one initial in their name were perceived to be more accomplished.
Explaining why this was the case, the psychologists claimed: “middle-name initials often appear in formal contexts, especially when people refer to intellectual achievements”, so in turn we associate these with success.
However, if you’re a woman, don’t make the mistake of abbreviating. A recent study by LinkedIn found that while men who use nicknames – such as Dave or Rob – tend to increase their employability prospects
, it hinders a woman’s chance of getting employed.
The onomastics specialist Dr Frank Nuessel suggests that men use colloquial abbreviations to appear open, friendly and approachable. Whereas female CEO’s rely on their full name to “project a more professional image.”
Names aside, The Knowledge Academy has put together some realistic ‘personal branding tips’, taking inspiration from powerhouse PwC, to help boost your job prospects. After all, we can’t help the name we’re born with but we can be proactive in our search for work and the salary we deserve.
Personal Branding Tips
Build Your Network
Never wait until you need a network to build one. Take time to think about the people you would like to meet and talk to, whether for advice, or about specific job opportunities, and make a list.
Be proactive. Attend a workshop, presentation or networking event and try to talk to the speaker and fellow attendees – you never know who you might meet. Plus, it’s a great confidence builder.
Think about the value of having a strong presence on social media – particularly LinkedIn, and ask if you can professionally connect with the people you meet who are of interest.
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Consider Your Written Communication
Even today, written communication remains a vital skill. Always use proper grammar, capitalisation and spelling and take time to consider what the best form of communication is. Most often it’s an email, but sometimes a phone call or face-to-face meet is more appropriate and effective.
Be concise and to the point. Professional people are busy people, so put the purpose of your email in the subject line and first paragraph. And remember, long sentences and long paragraphs are hard to read – try to break your text up into small and digestible sections.
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Give Your Online Image a Makeover
In this digital age, an online presence is incredibly important and your web-based networking activities could help you land a dream role. So, give your online image a makeover and make it work for you. Why not make a start with these three easy, social media tips?
- Twitter: follow companies and people you admire.
- LinkedIn: create a strong profile headline and collect at least two recommendations.
- Facebook: add current work information to your profile and ‘like’ the pages of any employers you are interested in.
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Perfect Your Pitch
You’ll rarely have time to list all your achievements to a person of professional interest. That’s where the term ‘elevator pitch’ comes in. A popular term for constructing a quick summary of who you are and what you’re looking for. It also should last as long as taking an elevator (lift).
If it’s good, it will convey enough information and passion to convince the other person they want to carry on talking to you. Plus, you can use the pitch everywhere from networking events and career fairs, to cover letters and formal interviews. Just make sure to tailor the pitch to your intended audience, to give a personal and informed approach.
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Make First Impressions Count
You never get a second chance for a first impression. Other than a professional, personal appearance (always make sure to check the dress code), a firm handshake, good eye contact and a smile will help to make a confident start.
Always research the organisation whose event or interview you’re attending and decipher exactly why you’re a good fit. Then prepare at least three questions to show you have done your homework and are genuinely invested in the company and an opportunity to learn more.
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