Friday, February 5, 2016 - 15:05
Job offered after man changed name from Mohamed to Matthijs
After receiving a number of nearly identical rejections to job applications, recently graduated Maastricht University student Mohamed El Alili (24) decided to try a little experiment. He changed the name on one of his applications from Mohamed to Matthijs and resubmitted it to Utrecht company Cure 4, only to be invited to an interview, AD reports. El Alili's left his application letter for a job as a consultant at Cure 4 unchanged, only signing it as Matthijs de Wever instead of Mohamed El Alili. On his CV he made a few minor changes, like changing the name of his high school. He resubmitted his application and was completely shocked when he received an invitation for an interview. After his anger and disbelief subsided somewhat, El Alili decided to put his story on Facebook. His post was massively shared and caused quite an uproar. "I mostly wanted to raise the issue. I used to think that this would never happen to me, but apparently companies in the Netherlands prefer to hire a Matthijs over a Mohamed", he said to the newspaper. A spokesperson for Cure 4 told the newspaper that this is a misunderstanding. "On 10 January we received a CV and letter from Mohamed. Our recruiters rejected Mohamed. On 15 January we received a CV and letter from Matthijs. Matthijs was also initially rejected by the same recruiters. Internally we discussed why we are not getting these candidates in. We then reassessed a limited portion of the received letters and CV's, including Matthijs' CV. It would have been more precise if we involved more or all of the CV's, but it is certainly not discrimination." the spokesperson said. Mohamed has his doubts about that explanation. "I rejected the invitation for an interview. I do not want to work for such a company." he said to AD.