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Hey all. I am wondering when calling a potential employer, do I use my legal or my preferred name? And if use my legal name, should I tell them what name I would like to go by? I would love to hear comments.  Thanks all and hugs!!!! Susan

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Hi Susan, I think this is entirely up to you.  If you intend to be Susan, then use that in conversation, your legal name is important for banks/insurance etc but can always be discussed if you get to the interview stage. Not quite the same but I have a cis friend who is legally called Michael but prefers using his middle name so he always introduces himself as James, his payslip doesn't match but if anything it gives him a conversation starter! X Good luck job hunting!

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I would use your legal name  whatever it might be on your resume, and applying for jobs and when it comes to getting an interview, then you advise them about your preferred name.  This is just cause that for jobs where they run background checks and payroll they go off your name that is on your SS card and if you start lieing right away with applying, you may not even get to the interview stage.


My suggestion is to use your legal name and then in the interview tell them your preferred name and let them know you are working on legally changing your name in the coming months.



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I might want to add that when I was a supervisor and I gave interviews, I tend to go off the name on the Resume which should be the legal name and that was also the name I went off of when I did phone interviews as well.  Then I actually had a few individuals that when I brought in for an interview, they have asked me to call them by another name and it is there preferred name and the name on their resume is the legal name that is used for payroll and HR and everything.  It was nice to hear that they have said to myself that they want to be called a different name but have their legal name for all the legal information and I have actually hired them and when I gave them a tour on their first day with introductions, I have introduce them to people as their preferred name


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I have an IRL friend who is the current Executive Director of an organization here in So. California called Trans Can Work that I was talking to last night. The organization is both a non-profit employment service and a community education source for both Trans people and potential employers.  I am trying to get my friend to become a member here just to answer questions like this one, but happily,   @Amy LeBlanc  has come up with the best answer here that fits what TCW tells its clients.  Provide your Legal Name (Social Security Account Name), and give them a Preferred Name for use in the employment zone.  If a work history needs to be checked, give the name you used in that list for each of the employers to be called for reference.  


I am a retired State Administrator who did hiring and am still eligible to be called back to sit on special hiring panels which has happened a couple of times since I retired.  Even before Trans folks (including me since I did not transition until after retirement) became a thing in the workforce we had the practice of asking for a preferred name during our interviews and found it better on both sides of the table.

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