Non legal name on resume

I so wish this wasn’t a question but I’m wondering what you think.

I was referred a career coaching client today who has a very “ethnic” name.  He said when he got out of grad school he tried for 9 months to get a job and wasn’t getting calls. At the recommendation of a friend in HR, he “Americanized” his name and got a job almost immediately he’s been there 3 years and is now looking to move on. He said he now goes by the nickname at this job and has pretty much adopted it.

His question: Should I leave my nickname on the resume and just let them know when I fill out an application or come in for the interview what my legal name is?

I made an initial recommendation but I would love to know what you all think and would advise in this situation. 

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  • Would you object if Bill wanted to use that name on his resume and his legal name were William? It's not uncommon that people have a first name, but "go by" their middle name. While I may be missing something in this, I am not seeing any problems using the nickname. 

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  • I say it's totally fine to use a nickname on a resume.  A resume, afterall is a "marketing" document.  When it comes to filling out the application (which usually only happens if you get a face to face interview), I recommend using the legal name.

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