Re: Resume ideas

Subject: Re: Resume ideas
From: Tim Altom <taltom -at- IQUEST -dot- NET>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 09:01:40 -0500

At 08:19 AM 5/19/97 +0000, you wrote:
>> >That's what I was talking about, too. But if I were an employer who
>> >was interviewing so many people that I couldn't remember who was who,
>> >I like the idea of asking them to bring a photo to the interview. Or
>> >even taking a Polaroid of them at the interview.
>> Sounds rational and reasonable in theory, but as an employer, I probably
>> wound't take the risk. There's too much chance that somebody would yell
>> "discrimination" if they didn't get the job.
>But once you've interviewed them, you already know what they look
>like, so how could anyone claim discrimination based on a photo taken
>at or after the interview? How is it any different from taking notes
>so you'll remember what they said? Although somebody's probably been
>sued over that, too. :-/
Ah, but remember how organizations really work. The interviewer is rarely
the sole decision maker. In most cases the first interview is just a first
stage to gather data and impressions. Then the packet circulates through two
or more other offices, to people who haven't met the interviewee. It's at
that these stages that prejudice can be inferred to leak into the process,
if only because the vetoing party imagines that it will never be recorded
anywhere to come back to them later. Of course, names and other information
can be dead giveaways to a candidate's race, color, or sex, but I'd feel a
lot safer if there wasn't a photo to put before the king. A particularly
goofy expression, or a resemblance to an ex, or a heavy-set body type, or
something else equally strange can be a hiring factor when the packet with
photo drops onto the executive's desk. Without the photo, there's much more
reliance on the cold information in the file, and on the interviewer's
opinions. And since interviewers are almost universally aware nowadays how
much they have to be Caesar's wife, they're usually very, very cautious
about venturing discriminatory opinions. Between data and scared-witless
interviewers, there's a lot less chance of having a superficially valid case
to take to EEOC. "How could I turn her down because she has three arms!?! I
never saw her!" It's just a small margin of safety for the company.

Tim Altom
Vice President, Simply Written, Inc.
317.899.5882 (voice) 317.899.5987 (fax)
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