Skip to Content

Should You Put Your Middle Initial on a Resume? — Top 3 Tips

Should You Put Your Middle Initial on a Resume? — Top 3 Tips

Sharing is caring!

Your name plays a very important part in any document, especially your resume. 

Your resume is a marketing tool, the name you put on it clarifies who you are and what your brand is. 

The name you choose to go with also lets people know how you want to be referred to at your workplace, in emails, etc. 

Now, you may be wondering if you should add your middle initial to your resume. 

Here’s your answer!


Should you put your middle initial on your resume?

It is not necessary, but it can help differentiate you from the competition. Your middle initial can also make you seem smarter, according to studies done. Using a middle initial can help you surpass certain biases that recruiters may have when reading names. 


1. Your middle initial separates you from a competitor with the same name

If a job is desirable, or if the organization is large and well-known, and you have a very common name for your field, use your middle initial.

Recruiters receive hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes for each new position.

Odds are that there will be another applicant with your name. 

Adding a middle initial to your name, right at the top of your resume, will help the recruiter differentiate between you two.


2. Adding a middle initial can even make you seem smarter

According to research done by psychologists Wijnand A.P. Van Tilburg and Eric R. Igou, middle initials have a powerful effect on how you are perceived.

Putting a middle initial on your resume can make you seem more intelligent because it is something common for professional academics to do. 


3. Middle initials save you from recruiters’ biases. 

Recruiters are very much human and that means that they, unfortunately, could have certain discriminatory biases. 

Although discrimination is illegal, it is hard to know if the hiring official will be biased or not.

If you want to include your middle name but are worried about facing discriminatory biases, it might be best to use a middle initial.

Maybe you are a woman with a gender-neutral first name but with a feminine middle name. A middle initial will help you surpass a possible gender bias.

Perhaps, you have a middle name that is difficult to pronounce. A middle initial might help you out. 

Or maybe, your middle name is just not professional or casual sounding enough, but you still want it on your resume – turn it into an initial.

The best way to understand whether your target company has more of a professional or casual atmosphere is by checking the tone of their website, especially the ‘About Us’ section.

Overall, it would not harm you whatsoever to add a middle initial to your resume.

It can be very advantageous. 

Just remember to be consistent with what name you choose to display.

If you choose to include your middle initial, make sure that it is the same across all documents, including your cover letter and email.