Did you know your first name could play a part in determining your future salary? Successful names might not be something you pay attention to, after all, what can a name really tell us – or a future employer? Well, it may still have an influence. It is the first thing that a hiring manager will see at the top of your resume, after all.
Is yours a successful name? Do you really think that it matters? Well, here is some research into successful names, that you might find of interest.
A first name can influence how we are perceived - both in terms of intellectual ability and physical attributes, according to social scientists. So, it stands to reason that successful names can shape our career too.
To find out how much it shapes our pay packet, Resume.io set out to discover the value afforded to the nation’s most popular baby names (according to the latest baby names in England and Wales statistical release by ONS.)
To achieve their findings, Resume.io analysed first names and salary data from multiple sources, providing the company with an average salary pool of over 1,000 given names. The results are certainly interesting:
The most and least valuable baby boy names
It’s likely that the Leos of the world will not have to rely on interview skills that will get you hired! For the boys, those named Leo will scoop the largest salary, at £41,722. Swiftly followed by the successful names of Arthur (£40,644) and Oscar (£37,786.) Those with the UK’s number one boys name: Oliver, land middle of the table, at an average value of £35,536.
Unfortunately, those less successful names of Harry (£31,996), Muhammad (£31,760) and Jack (£29,738) will face a pay cut in comparison – yet still fair better than 100% of the names featured in the girls list. There is much work still to do in terms of addressing the gender pay gap.
The most and least valuable baby girl names
When it comes to the girls, the successful name Isabella will pocket the biggest pay packet, at (£28,935.) Followed by those named Ella (£28,623) and Sophia (£27,856.). Unfortunately, prosperity might escape the less successful name of Olivia, currently the UK’s number one girls name, as this lands last in the list – at just £26,011. Just above are Olivia and Grace (£26,400) with Mia at (£26,981.) However, with many other factors being considered above and above whether you have a successful name, this research is far from conclusive. One day you will be in prime position to negotiate your salary.
Factors like middle initials and abbreviations count too!
Research suggests it isn’t just a first name that can boost success, but a middle initial too. In fact, psychologists note people perceive strangers with a middle initial as smarter, more eloquent and more qualified than those without. This is perhaps because “middle-name initials often appear in formal contexts, especially when people refer to intellectual achievements.”
While if you’re a woman, you’re less likely to abbreviate your name in a bid to project a more “professional” image. Unlike men, who typically abbreviate to appear open, friendly and approachable.
Is it worth changing my name if I feel that it is genuinely harming my career? Well, there are certainly some names out there that would make most people feel uncomfortable (and are far worse than the names in this article), and if you are going into a job that requires any element of external communication with others, your employer might consider a terrible name a liability. Given that it is possible to legally change your name, this is always a consideration. While your name does not define you, it can certainly alter the perception of others.
What can 2021 graduates expect to earn?
To find out more, Resume.io also looked into the employability of this years’ graduates. Taking the most popular baby names of the year 2000 from ONS, and repeating the same process as above, it was found:
- Male graduates named David will hit the jackpot and can expect to rake in £41,617 a year in their chosen field
- Charles, Alex and Robert among favoured male candidate names
- However, employers are less likely to heap praise (and pennies) on male employees with less successful names of Adam, Callum and Connor
- Graduates named Lily take the ladies top spot and can expect to earn £30,821 a year in their chosen field
- Anna, Elizabeth and Sarah among female candidates with more successful names.
- However, employers are less likely to cash-in on female employees named Chloe, Bethany and Chelsea
- 2020 female graduates named Paige stand to earn the least in their chosen field, at £20,190; £10,631 less than colleagues with the successful name of Lily.
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