What's the best way to handle a name change professionally? When you legally change your name, it's important to inform your employer, colleagues, clients, vendors, and professional connections that your contact information has changed.
If you're job searching, you'll also need to update your resume. In that case, you may want to include both your former and current names to make reference and background checks easier.
Tips for Announcing a Name Change
Here is the best plan for how to alert others to your name change, as well as examples of email messages announcing the change.
Change your resume. Be sure to update your resume with your new name and contact information (physical or email address). Consider including both your old/maiden name and the new name to make sure your resume matches your employment history.
Name Change on Resume Examples
- Jane Doe Smith rather than Jane Smith
- Mariah (Canelli) Ahmad rather than Mariah Canelli
- Catherine McKensey (formerly Catherine Hancock)
Update any other professional materials. Update any other professional materials at the same time as you send out your email and update your resume. These might include any professional websites, business cards, or even your voicemail. Update any networking sites, including LinkedIn.
Update social media. Be sure to update your name on any social media platforms you use, including Facebook and Twitter. Because you might use these for networking (both social and professional), it is important that they match your professional name change.
Change your email signature. Before sending out an announcement, change your email signature, if you have one. Make sure the email signature reflects the name change. This will help begin the process of changing your name.
Send an email. The easiest and quickest way to alert others to your name change is a mass email. Send it to everyone in your professional network: this includes your employer, colleagues, LinkedIn connections, and any other professional contacts. Use the blind carbon copy (Bcc) feature, so you don't end up with an unwieldy and annoying group conversation. Here's how to send the message in Gmail:
- In the top left, click Compose.
- In the "To" field, add recipients. You can send it to yourself, then Bcc the other recipients.
- Add recipients in the "Cc" and "Bcc" fields.
Set up an email forward. If you do change your email address, make sure to forward any emails from your old address to your new one. This will help you avoid missing any email messages. However, even if you set up a forwarding system, you should still let your contacts know that you will no longer be using the old address. This will help them get used to using your new address.
Send a LinkedIn message. For connections you don't have email addresses for, you can send a message on LinkedIn instead. As with email, send individual messages.
Keep it short. It is always a good idea to keep emails as concise as possible. Many people skim email messages, so keep yours brief and focused.
Your announcement message doesn't need to be long. A brief introduction and explanation is useful, but try to get to the point as quickly as possible.
Avoid getting too personal. Not only do you want to keep the email short for the sake of the reader, but you also want to avoid getting too personal. This is a time when you don't want (or need) to share too much information. You do not need to explain why you are changing your name, especially if the circumstances prompting the name change are very private.
If you want, you can briefly mention the reason for the new name, especially if it is celebratory—for example, if you got married. However, avoid getting into too much detail. Remember that this is a professional email.
Mention any email address change. Most email addresses include some form of your last name. Therefore, you will most likely be changing your email address as well as your last name. Mention this new email address in your message, and be sure to send the email from the new email address. You should also let your contacts know if there is a certain date by which you will no longer be checking the old address.
Name Change Announcement Email Example
Subject: Name and Email Address Change
I hope you are all well. I am writing because I have updated my contact information to reflect my recent name change from Bonnie Smith to Bonnie Green.
I would like to make sure that we remain in touch, so please take a few minutes to update my information, as I will no longer be using this account after December 1st.
Bonnie (Smith) Green
Name Change Due to Marriage Example
Subject: Name and Email Address Change
As you may know, I recently got married and have decided to adopt my husband’s name. I felt that this would be a good opportunity to update my contact information. My new business email address is below.
My personal email address will remain the same.
Denise (Jones) Smith