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lean 1094 days ago | link | parent

Creative, but including any sort of photograph would instantly bar any applicant from receiving an interview here in The States, in compliance with equal opportunity laws.


falsestprophet 1094 days ago | link

Including a photo is common (really required) in France, which is presumably the target market of this resume. The CEO of my former employer in Paris quipped he didn't understand why people wouldn't include a photo: "What are they trying to hide, we are going to see them eventually?"

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parfe 1094 days ago | link

I'm surprised at that mindset. The only thing a photo could do is disqualify you out of racism or ageism, or bump an unqualified person to the second round through attraction.

What benefit does a company gain by knowing what an applicant looks like prior to determining if the resume makes the skills cutoff?

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leif 1094 days ago | link

It's a different culture. The nice interpretation of this behavior is that companies in France (and many other places outside the US) treat you as a whole person, rather than a skill set, and therefore want to know more about you than just your education, work experience, and awards. They put more emphasis than we do on hobbies and interests outside of your domain of expertise, as well, those things are also nearly required on a resume.

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danielharan 1094 days ago | link

mdr (lol)

It's a racist, ageist, sexist hiring culture. If you didn't go to the right schools, don't have a "piston" or your mailing address is from a ghetto, you're fucked.

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yardie 1094 days ago | link

What they are really saying is we want someone French. And by french they mean of french descent.

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nateberkopec 1094 days ago | link

"We'd like to know about your whole person... ...like whether you're hot or not."

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albemuth 1094 days ago | link

Probably the fear of being discarded before being seen face to face.

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mgkimsal 1094 days ago | link

Not sure that's 100% true. Many places may indeed skip over someone like that, but there's no law I've ever read that says "if someone sends in a picture, you can not consider them for a position". Perhaps if you know of such a law, you could post it here?

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lean 1094 days ago | link

It's in the spirit of compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Any HR dept in the US will have a strict policy on this.

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eli 1094 days ago | link

You are using a very extreme interpretation of the law.

It's illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race and other protected classes. So by extension, it's best practice to avoid asking applicants for their race or asking them for a photo, lest you give the appearance that it's a factor in the hiring decision.

But I've never heard of rejecting someone outright for sending an unsolicited photo. That's just crazy. Would you also reject an applicant who had "President of African-American Student Union" on their resume because it belies their race?

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thingicantsay 1094 days ago | link

Would you also reject an applicant who had "President of African-American Student Union" on their resume because it belies their race?

Well, likely he wouldn't, but we can be sure that he would reject someone outright for having "President of the European-American Student Union", can't we? Charitably, this is because there is essentially no chance anyone would ever file a lawsuit for rejection of the second candidate. I'm sure you can draw the uncharitable version yourself. :)

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eli 1094 days ago | link

I'm not really sure what you're saying, but it sounds mildly offensive.

It's both wrong and illegal to reject a candidate based on their race, regardless of what race that is. And I am pretty sure the OP was not implying otherwise. Further, I assure you that white people file discrimination lawsuits too.

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pbhjpbhj 1094 days ago | link

>I assure you that white people file discrimination lawsuits too.

// Out of interest have you a reference to a white person winning a race discrimination case, preferably with regard to being hired?

Also why should "an applicant who had 'President of African-American Student Union' on their resume because it belies their race?"? Surely a person of any race can be president of the African-American SU, or are they allowed to be racists?

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pbhjpbhj 1092 days ago | link

It tooks some time to find one but here http://www.adversity.net/philly_schools/default.htm is a case of "reverse discrimination" (which is of course just straight up racial discrimination) against school district employees.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1077466/London-Under... is a case of failing to protect a white worker from bullying whilst at the same time being extremely protective of black workers.

Just FWIW.

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mgkimsal 1094 days ago | link

See my point above on phone calls.

I understand the 'spirit', but not everyone interprets that 'spirit' the same way, and some companies still have the guts to not ignore people simply because of what's on their resume - photos included.

If I see someone lists attendance at an historically black college, or has a traditionally feminine name, I can already deduce their race or gender without a photo, and I can do whatever discriminating I want to do using that information.

Company policies that throw out applicants because they've attached included any sort of photo at least as damaging (because of the loss to the company of potential talent) than lawsuits over Title VII violations, but it's much harder to quantify that.

It's going to get harder and harder to even guard against this stuff as email clients merge social media information in while reviewing applicants. Oh, unless you just buy and use crappy web-based application software that requires 14 screens that only works in IE6 - then you'll be 100% safe from any chance of getting interested and qualified applicants (and lawsuits too).

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lean 1094 days ago | link

I'm not arguing the logic of it, simply stating that, to my knowledge, it's a blanket practice. Discussion, and counter-examples are welcome.

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mgkimsal 1094 days ago | link

Counter example: No companies I've worked at had an explicit policy of rejecting a resume with a picture/photo. Whether it was done by some people in practice - unsure.

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lean 1094 days ago | link

All of the companies I've worked for _did_ have such an explicit policy, but both of our examples are anecdotal.

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lotusleaf1987 1094 days ago | link

The company I work at doesn't have that policy and neither has any other I've worked at.

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mgkimsal 1094 days ago | link

But @lotusleaf1987, that's just anecdotal :)

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lotusleaf1987 1094 days ago | link

That's totally my point, it's all anecdotal until someone does actual research and a poll.

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mgkimsal 1093 days ago | link

The :) was meant to indicate a bit of sarcasm ;)

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lotusleaf1987 1093 days ago | link

Sorry sometimes sarcasm on the internet is hard to grasp. I may also be a bit socially under-developed. ;)

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spacemanaki 1094 days ago | link

One (sort of reversed) counter example is American Apparel which actively solicits photos in their application:

http://employment.americanapparel.net/employment/index.asp?c...

Edit: This would lead me to believe the law is somewhat up for interpretation and it's not cut and dried, since AA is a pretty big company and I would assume their legal dept had to sign off on this kind of thing. That being said, they are pretty well known for being sketchy and creepy.

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true_religion 1094 days ago | link

American Apparel claims it hires "models" and not merely people with any skill in particular; that's how they get away with discrimination based on physical characteristics.

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city41 1094 days ago | link

My resume doesn't include a picture, but it does have links to my StackOverflow profile, blog and github account. All three contain a picture of me. I've never had it be an issue while job hunting.

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rhizome 1094 days ago | link

My sense is that it's always a bad idea to ask for a picture and chances are that sending one won't help. The resume is in French, though, so this is likely different in Europe.

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mgkimsal 1094 days ago | link

Answering the phone if a company calls you for an interview can often give a very good idea of their race/nationality and gender too, but somehow we seem to be fine with phone screens for interviewing people. Perhaps because there's typically not a recording of it?

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abeppu 1094 days ago | link

Even before you make the phone call, knowing a candidate's name very frequently gives you a strong idea of their gender and ethnic background.

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mgkimsal 1094 days ago | link

Agreed - so let's stop pretending that if someone sends in a picture with an application it should somehow automatically be scrapped. I understand the 'lawsuit prevention mode' that some companies may adopt, but realistically, the type of people who would sue over this issue will sue whether a violation actually occurs or not. And there's generally ample signals beyond a photo that indicate something 'discrimination worthy' (age, voice, gender, name/ethnicity, geography or lack thereof, etc).

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cookiecaper 1094 days ago | link

In fact, uncommon religious names can often give away the religious background of the candidate. Someone named Mohammed is likely to have a Muslim background, someone named Nephi a Mormon background, someone named Siddhartha a Buddhist background, and so on. While the person so named may no longer practice their birth religion, a person who'd discriminate based on affiliation with a given religion probably doesn't care.

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Killah911 1094 days ago | link

I've googled potential candidates, and that usually tells you a ton about that person. As far as I know, it's pretty common practice. But maybe HR doesn't know much about that yet...

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muratmutlu 1094 days ago | link

That would exclude a high number of designers, photographers and creatives, many treat the resume in the same way as a project and go all out on the visuals, self portraits are common.

Here's some examples

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/05/30-artistic-and-crea...

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gregparadee 1094 days ago | link

Not true. That would defeat the purpose of the new emerging companies that are trying to get potential employees to do webcam recorded answers to pre defined questions instead of the phone interview. You would see their faces and know their ethnic background easily.

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leif 1094 days ago | link

In france, it is customary, nearly mandatory, to include a photo on one's resume.

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yardie 1094 days ago | link

This has been, slowly, changing. Some applicants, rightly so, have felt that they are being discriminated against because of their skin color or family name. A few government agencies have removed names and photos from submitted CVs so the application is entirely merit-based. I haven't included a photo in my CV. I can't think of a reason why it should be necessary and no one has given me a valid reason why any job, except being a model, would need one.

When I have brought this up with my friends they fall back to the "customary" excuse. If the only reason a company won't look at my CV is because they don't know what I look like than it's not a place I would ever consider working for.

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masklinn 1094 days ago | link

Not including a head-shot will be a hit against you in france.

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rprasad 1094 days ago | link

It is not a legal bar, it's simply considered safe corporate HR practice to automatically delete any resumes with picture attachments before they are viewed so that the pictures cannot possibly form the justiifcation for an employment discrimination lawsuit (i.e., choosing not to hire based on race/age/gender).

IOW, you can include a photograph on your resume, but the likely result of sending that resume to a large corporation is that it will be deleted immediately.

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