Saturday, January 29, 2011

And they think me dumb...?

I went to a career workshop put on by some lovely ladies who head the employment committee at church. I have been corresponding with one of them throughout this adventure, asking her questions about my resume, how to strengthen it, etc. During the year, I also got feedback on my resume from professors, educators, government employees etc. I thought my resume was good to go, incorporating a couple extra tidbits on how to get an employer interested in having me in for an interview just by the looks of my resume.

According to some of my sources, HR reps in government have suggested that people put pictures on their resumes. It was suggested that I add mine to that pile even though I didn't think it was appropriate for my industry. At first, this suggestion was absolutely something I would not consider. My arguments were:

  1. I know that organizations cannot hire based on any kind of discrimination i.e. age, gender, race, etc.
  2. I didn't want someone having me or not having me into an interview because of how I looked.
  3. I am a woman, and including a picture could set me apart as someone who is seeking to 'look good' rather than think I will be hired based on my skills.
  4. Most guys don't understand c, but the way a woman is perceived in any job is very different than the way a man is perceived. One might argue that because I have this bias, it will prevent me from getting those higher level jobs. However, it is not my attitude I am concerned with, it is the research behind the attitudes of others that concerns me. The way women and men interact, and how they are perceived in the workforce is something I have studied for a while, and is very real!
  1. Having a picture will get my resume to stand out from the rest....because I am sure these people haven't included their pictures.
  2. It allows the interviewer to personalize my resume, along with all my skills.
  3. My dad and other executives said it was OK.
So, today when I showed my resume to a current HR rep in government, a lobbyist and another career counselor at this workshop, I felt like an idiot. They all stared at my resume, open mouthed like...really, she has been sending this out. All of them were astounded that I even thought this was PC. Apparently, HR persons frown upon pictures for reason 1 listed above. Their reaction is not what gets me. My fear is that I have been sending out a resume with my head shot a.k.a. "glamor pic" to organizations and companies I REALLY want to work for/with.

I should have listened to my gut. I now fear that putting my picture on my resume was a huge mistake. So, now that my resume is being floated all over DC (hopeful this is the case), what can I do? I can change my resume here on out, for sure. But, how do I replace those others? I feel so stupid.


Cole said...

I bet you could just resend a picture-less version if the jobs you want are still available. There's SO MANY people applying for jobs these days your chances are probably pretty good that they won't even remember the name on the "picture resume" if the pic did, in fact, reflect negatively.

Jana and Brett said...

haha Oh Linds! You are so very funny. Since we (Brett and myself) were in the same boat only 3 short months ago...we know how you feel! Brett has about 10 different versions of his resume floating around the United States! Brett told me that he finally felt he was making some good impressions at Career Fairs where he could personally give his resumes to correspondents of the company. And finally its all in who you know! Brett finally got a job because we knew some people who worked within already. I'm sure you know all this already, But don't lose hope! It will happen chica! Love ya!