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Using pseudonyms on resumes

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MarkJones

Member
My question involves labor and employment law for the state of Texas. I have three questions specific to resumes and not applications:

1. Is it legal in the USA to use a pseudonym instead of a real name on a resume?

2. Can listing earned/legitimate degrees under the birth name associated with a pseudonym on a resume be considered resume fraud?

3. Can prospective employers conduct a background check from resumes without consent?

Thanks.
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
My question involves labor and employment law for the state of Texas. I have three questions specific to resumes and not applications:

1. Is it legal in the USA to use a pseudonym instead of a real name on a resume?

2. Can listing earned/legitimate degrees under the birth name associated with a pseudonym on a resume be considered resume fraud?

3. Can prospective employers conduct a background check from resumes without consent?

Thanks.
Do you have a specific legal matter that you are involved in, are is this purely hypothetical?
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
1. It is legal in the sense that there is no law that makes that specific act a crime. However, depending on the exact facts, it is possible that using a pseudonym might work a fraud on the employer, and fraud of course can be a crime.

2. That depends on all the facts involved.

3. Depends on the type of background check. The employer may undertake to verify a lot of things itself directly without the consent of the applicant. But a third party background check does require the consent of the applicant under federal law.

The most glaring problem in doing this is that if the applicant gets hired he or she is going to have to disclose his/her real name, and may need to do that at some earlier point depending on exactly what the employer does in its hiring process. A lot of employers would regard the use of the pseudonym to be dishonest, and that could well result in the applicant losing the job.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
If Robert Smith submits a resume under the name "Bob Smith" because that's what he always calls himself, then it's not likely to be a problem. But, if William Jones submits a resume under the name "Eric Cresson" in order to avoid the discovery of criminal convictions, that would be a problem.
 

MarkJones

Member
If Robert Smith submits a resume under the name "Bob Smith" because that's what he always calls himself, then it's not likely to be a problem. But, if William Jones submits a resume under the name "Eric Cresson" in order to avoid the discovery of criminal convictions, that would be a problem.
How would one know the motive?
 

MarkJones

Member
Thank you all for your responses. I have two additional questions:

1. Can a prospective employer run a background check on just a name or do they need additional information?

2. Can a prospective employer verify degrees earned even though the colleges confirmed that they do not volunteer any information without written consent?
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Thank you all for your responses. I have two additional questions:

1. Can a prospective employer run a background check on just a name or do they need additional information?

2. Can a prospective employer verify degrees earned even though the colleges confirmed that they do not volunteer any information without written consent?
Neither of these are legal questions, but the answer is "yes".
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
1.) That depends. It would be difficult to run a check on John Smith without additional information. The employer would probably have little difficulty running one on Hermione Hepplefigs all on its own.

2.) Yes. There is no law preventing them from trying, and in certain instances, they might even succeed.
 

cbg

I'm a Northern Girl
I've already told him on another site that (1) I don't believe him when he says it's hypothetical and (2) since there can be exceptions to many answers he'd likely get better information if he told us the real situation instead of just random questions in a vacuum.
 

MarkJones

Member
Apparently Mark really wants his hypothetical questions answered - possibly before he uses "Eric Cresson" on his resume. ;)
I'm not sure what the issue is here. I posted these questions on a few forums. My experiences with forums is that I often do not get responses from some. Posting on more than one usually gets results.
 

MarkJones

Member
I've already told him on another site that (1) I don't believe him when he says it's hypothetical and (2) since there can be exceptions to many answers he'd likely get better information if he told us the real situation instead of just random questions in a vacuum.
I feel that I am being judged for my questions. I posted these questions for information only, not to be judged.
 
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