Thursday 10 February 2022

“I couldn’t get a job in the UK until I removed my native name from my CV” – Nigerian man

 A Nigerian man identified as, Inein Victor Garrick, has narrated how he began getting job offers in UK only after he removed his native name from his CV.

According to him, he struggled to get any job interviews after graduating from South Wales University because people constantly mispronounced his first name.

Inien, who currently works as a Safety Inspector at Transport for Wales, said he began using his middle name Victor after struggling to get any job offers years after graduating. He said;

“I never seemed to get past the first application stages even though on paper, I had all the necessary requirements for at least an interview.

  In addition, the few calls I had, the recruiters had an issue in saying my first name correctly.

“I started using Victor’s as first name due to the barriers I faced whilst applying to jobs after university. With comments like your name is difficult or hard to pronounce. I always felt I was on the backfoot and sent some unconscious bias. The moment I changed to my middle name Victor, on my CV, within a week, I had multiple calls for interviews.”

That was always the start of the conversation, oh your name is difficult and then asking where I’m from. But when I got to the interview stage, I’d answer when they call out my name and I’d be asked again, almost like ‘are you sure that’s you?”

“I think it really hit me. Last year, I almost felt like I hid a part of myself all those years. It wasn’t shameful per se but I wasn’t my true self. People would hear Victor and assume I was British or English and I wasn’t highlighting my true identity. I’m proud of where I’m from and I think I hid behind Victor. This opened that door to talk about Nigeria and my cultural heritage, it’s a fantastic conversation starter.” He added.

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