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Resume Help/Legal Name vs Name on Resume


Hello Ralph,
I'm an immigrant in Canada.
My real name is: Vo Tran, My Linh - My family name: Vo Tran, and my given name: My Linh.
However, when I moved to Canada, the officer who dealt with my document plugged in my name as: Vo, Tran My Linh - My family name: Vo, and given name: Tran My Linh. This leads to my being called as "Tran", which is first weird, second uncomfortable.
I wonder if I can write on my resume: " Vo, T.M. Linh" or "T.M. Linh Vo" so people will address me as "Linh", not "Tran"?

Dear My Linh,

I'm not sure this falls within the purview of my expertise, but I think the best thing for you to do is to put your name at the top of the resume exactly as you wish it to appear.  If questions come up during interviews, simply tell employers that the immigration office made a mistake (one that immigration officers have been making for centuries, by the way).

But, long term, I would try to get the mistake corrected through your embassy or attaché.  I hope this is helpful, but, as I say, I may be the wrong individual to be providing advice of this kind.

I wish you the best!

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

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B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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