I am a person who starting gender transition which includes looking for a job where I will be able to interview and work as my correct gender. I have not yet legally changed my name; I won't be able to do that for at least two years.

In order to make first contact with a large, global company whose positions interest me I need to fill out an application form.

The form includes the following name fields:

  • name
  • prefered name
  • surname

How should I proceed with these fields? Should I fill in all with my new name and adjust my CV accordingly? or should I use my current legal name for the basic fields (and my CV) and enter my new name in the prefered field, leaving them to deduce what they will?

I'd like hopefully to see answers from HR professionals at large companies to see how they would prefer a person in my situation to approach this.

  • You might also try to reach out to the employer's LGBT group, some of which have a public presence (e.g., on Facebook). That could even garner you an employee referral to a sensitive recruiter. Commented Aug 7, 2015 at 0:53

3 Answers 3


This is actually a pretty difficult issue that I know a lot of people have struggled with. In general, the consensus I've been familiar with is that as soon as you enter transition, your new name goes on everything new. And I think that would work here as well, as presumably your name will change legally relatively soon (two years doesn't seem unreasonable to me) and I'm sure if you explain your situation to your employer they'll understand why you choose to provide that name.

So, to directly access your question, new name in all fields. Update CV.

Note that I'm not an HR professional, but I am involved with a few advocacy and employee resource groups at work (as well as experience at University), so I feel fairly comfortable offering this advice from my position.


I have not yet legally changed my name

In that case my recommendation would be to enter your current legal forename in the name field, your current legal surname in the surname field and the name you wish to be/are known by into the preferred name field.

From your previous questions I'm assuming you're based in the UK, as a minimum employers within the UK have a legal responsibility to ensure that all workers have the right to work within the UK.

The GOV.UK website has a comprehensive list of documents that you can provide to evidence your right to work. All of these e.g. passport, birth certificate, UK photocard driving license etc. will all currently show your 'legal name' until it is changed and you can apply to have it changed on all of those.

Many employers will also complete more than the minimum checks e.g. identity checks which will likely also require proof of address e.g. recent utility bill or bank statement.

The name and surname you provide on the application form will be the ones they use to complete these checks. Therefore ensure you enter into those fields the name that is on your documentation.

The preferred name field will indicate that you use a different name for day-to-day purposes and wish to be referred to by this name. The use of a preferred name field is becoming increasingly common across the UK for a number of reasons, supporting gender transition being one of them.

I'm not a HR professional, however the above comes from having developed and delivered a national job portal for a part of the civil service so having had current and stringent employment legislation details and requirements drilled into me for the last 6 months.


How should I proceed with these fields? Should I fill in all with my new name and adjust my CV accordingly?

You should fill in the "Name" field with your current legal name.

You should fill in the "Preferred Name" field with the name you want people to use (I assume that is your "new name"?)

You should fill in the "Surname" field with your current legal family name (in the US, it's the "last name").

You don't need to adjust your CV accordingly, although it might cause a bit of confusion if these differ.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .