I had my very first job interview today. I don’t think it went too badly, it’s hard to tell.
I have only applied for 4 jobs so far. One had ignored me, one sent me a letter telling me they didn’t want me, one phoned me to tell me they’d just hired someone and the other gave me an interview. My boyfriend has now applied for between 20-30 jobs and he has had 2 replies, both telling him the job he applied for isn’t in the same city he lives in. (He knows this or he wouldn’t have applied!!!)
His CV is in perfect English; I have checked it many times and also asked my family to check it too. I think it looks quite good, so there is no obvious reason to ignore it. We also changed his CV to include my home address (we are applying to jobs near where I live and his home address is the other side of the country) in the hope that there will be no more issues with location, though location shouldn’t really be that much of a problem anyway. Surely when you finish University, you’re going to consider relocating? He has applied to a variety of jobs, but nothing seems to make a difference.
So why is he not getting any replies? Is it a coincidence? Is he applying for really popular jobs? Do they not want to risk an interview with someone who lives so far away? Is he actually under qualified and they can’t be bothered to reply to tell him he doesn’t have an interview? Or is it because he has an Asian surname?
Are names effecting job applications?
I don’t want to come out and say he is a victim of racial discrimination, but I find it so strange that he is being ignored like this. I thought companies would actively want to hire people of a Chinese ethnicity, with the stereotype that they are hard working and intelligent. However, a report from Parliament.uk states that between July 2011 and June 2012, the percentage of unemployment was 7% for whites and 12% for Asians. It seems like it really is harder for Asian’s to get a job.
There is evidence behind the idea that his name could be the problem. Earlier this year, an African man applied for a job under his real name and was rejected. He then simplified his CV, re-submitted it under an English name and got an interview (You can read the full story here).
I’m sure many places would have no issue with hiring foreign people, especially places like London, but where I am from there are few Asian’s, just a lot of eastern Europeans, so it might seem like more of a risk to some companies to hire them. It’s also possible that any discrimination isn’t intentional. Employers flick through CVs so quickly that they could subconsciously dismiss someone with a foreign name.
With mixed race couples these days, there must be so many women married to foreign men, and many adults who have a British mother and a foreign father, giving them a foreign sounding name. A name shouldn’t make any difference. Britain is becoming a multi-cultural country and just because you name sounds foreign, it doesn’t mean you are. Are people going to have to start writing that they are British citizens to stop being ignored, or even go as far as to change their names by deed poll?
It would be pretty drastic for my boyfriend to change his name legally just to get a job, so we’ll just have to see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed that we both manage to get jobs! I’ll keep you updated on what happens.
Has anyone had any experience of possible race discrimination at work?