About Me

John Fahy is the Professor of Marketing in the University of Limerick and Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the University of Adelaide. He is an award winning author and speaker on marketing issues around the world.

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What Not To Include on Your Resume!

In the sphere of career building as with so many other walks of life, technology is playing an ever greater role. Job hunters are being advised to develop their LinkedIn profiles, build personal websites and to be very careful about what they post on their Facebook pages. The venerable resume is being supplemented by invitations to create and upload a short video allowing you to pitch for a role or to explain how you would solve a fictitious business problem, for example. Recruiters not only get to review your track record but they also know what you look like and get a sense of your personality.



But is all of this advantageous to you the applicant? The answer it would appear, is yes and no. Research conducted by two Israeli academics Ruffle and Shtudiner which was published last year examined the impact of including a picture on your resume. They sent out over 5,000 CVs, in pairs, to over 2,500 job openings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture, while another almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/female. The results were fascinating. Employer call backs to attractive men were significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. However, and perhaps surprisingly given the conventional view that attractive women get all the breaks, this beauty premium did not hold in the case of females. In fact, women with no picture had a significantly higher rate of call backs than attractive or plain-looking women.


So what explains these surprising findings? Additional analysis and follow-up research revealed that women were overwhelmingly responsible (93 per cent) for deciding who gets called for interview. Female jealousy of attractive competitors in the workplace and negative perceptions of candidates who attach photographs to their CVs were deemed by the authors to be the likely explanations for the penalization of attractive women. So much for the notion that decisions made in the workplace are rational! And the next time you are applying for a job, a little bit of prior research may be very useful!

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