I always thought I had a unique name. “My name is India, just like the country” is what I usually tell people. I always liked my name, until recently when a superior of mine told me it could hinder my chances of landing my dream job.

I thought the idea was completely out of left field until I decided to Google it. To my surprise there have been countless studies done on the subject and the results where surprising too.

With less and less jobs available, and more qualified candidates vying for a particular position, the criteria for choosing a candidate is cutthroat. A hiring manager can come to a conclusion about one’s name solely based on previous stigmas and stereotypes.

According to a post done earlier this month on aoljobs.com, name discrimination is all too real when it comes to career and employment opportunities. Studies have shown that names that are easier to pronounce give off a more positive impression for the bearer of that name than those that are not.

Studies have also shown that African-American and ethnic sounding names are less likely to be called back for a job interview.

There are laws in place that prohibit hiring managers from discriminating because of name, ethnicity and gender but just as music piracy is one of those things that will never fully be controlled, there is no way to fully stop name discrimination from happening.

What can be done about it? Not much unfortunately, but job seekers can try a few different techniques when sending out resumes, if they feel their name could be hindering them from an employment opportunity.

Try using your middle name in place of your first. If you are unsure about using your middle name as well, try using only the initial of your first name. If all else fails, your resume should speak for itself, and if it does, someone will come across it and can’t help but hire you.