The Detail & Prejudice Avoidance Checklist
Guess what? People are bigoted. I know that’s a sweeping generalisation and that you might rank yourself amongst those pure souls that make a Buddhist look like a fascist, but no matter how much you try and convince yourself otherwise it is a fact. We can be assured that at this point in our history prejudice is being marginalised (as I’m writing this, John Terry the Chelsea footballer player has been found guilty by the FA of racial abuse) but will it ever be eradicated? Probably not if ever as it is a protective measurement that is a
“In evolutionary biology, group selection is a theory that alleles can become fixed or spread in a population because of the benefits they bestow on groups.”[/notice]
“…the gene-centred view follows that the more two individuals are genetically related, the more sense (at the level of the genes) it makes for them to behave selflessly with each other. Therefore the concept is especially good at explaining many forms of altruism, regardless of a common misuse of the term along the lines of a selfishness gene.”[/notice]
throwback to a time when we would tribe (in Western culture has it ended? No.). Most of us can discern right from wrong and ignore our impulse and treat everyone as equal. However, can we really control our subconscious especially when its thinking 20 seconds ahead of us? This is the dilemma you face; people, humans are fallible by intent and sometimes through no fault of their own as shown on Horizon by the BBC:
Therefore to try and stop prejudice and avoid the Group or Gene mentality, always ensure your cv follows the checklist below by eliminating clues that prejudice “flags” react to.
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- Address and correct post code: if you have just moved to a new home and do not know the post code then use the royal mail post code finder
- Hobbies: Keep them short and relevant: The application process for any position is littered with hobbies/pastimes or obsessions of applicants trying to to be funny/interesting or quirky. The consequence of adding the aforementioned is usually to lose credibility or to subject your CV to scorn and at the extreme, prejudice.
- Portrait picture: This is where you will find double standards abound. Linkedin profiles encourage you to provide a picture and people are increasingly adding a head shot or in some instances a picture that they think is amusing or “cool” (avoid the latter 2 if your position requires an authoritative and corporate individual). Yet the concept of the CV in the UK seemingly still baulks against this trend. But why? Probably through recruiters and employers actively being against the idea for historic reasons and to avoid gender/race/colour/age prejudice. So why is Linkedin able to ignore this historic dogma? Probably because it has been adopted en masse and has become an expected norm whilst those profiles without pictures are now treated with suspicion(Group selection and subconscious again, the irony!).
- Other images: We have seen a trend, of late, whereby some candidates have decided to add a company logo alongside a company profile in a role description. At first glance this makes a visual impact and if the companies in question are of a substantial size or are renowned, this can have a positive effect. Although there not many ATS options that can accomodate the images and could in some instances cause the CV to fail a parsing sift. Our advice to those of you that would like to use a company logo to follow up with a call to agent and ensure the CV has been parsed correctly. Failure to call could cost you the opportunity of an interview.
- Religion: You may or may not have a faith or a belief but based on the information that I have presented here look at it on your CV and ask what does it add to your career document? It adds the opportunity for a reader to make a descion based on Group.
- Facebook/Social or personal Websites: When assessing you for role suitability in the selection process, the recruiter will perform a search on your name via the internet. This can be both beneficial and detrimental; if you use social networks then you are the person responsible for how you portray yourself and the accessibility of the data therein. If you consider yourself a bit of a blogger then you may wish to include a link to your blog. If the blog in question adds something to your application (such as a record of papers that you may have written for an academic institution then use it and explain why on the cv. If your webspace is a place where you rant about life or just generally make vacuous statements based on an ill informed perspective then do not make the recruiter or employer aware. Equally, do not be surprised if the more tech savvy recruiter finds your fetish site and dismisses your application (Group).
- Lies and truth bending: Any type of bending the truth or lying on your CV is illegal.
- Age: Age discrimination is illegal and you are not required to put your DOB on a CV. However, by omitting your DOB you can expect to cause an irritation as you the recruiter will try and calculate your age by studying when you started your first position, left university or school. And while you may blister at the thought of someone doing this, it does occur (Group). There is a positive to this and it is experience may be emphasised. You could be a “seasoned campaigner” or a “whizz kid” both of which could say you have achieved a great deal in a time scale and therefore the merits of being old, young or somewhere in-between are viewed positively. Out of all the prejudices, I personally think that age is the one that is not as prevalent as it was in the past.
- Name: Put your name on your CV and ignore what Nick Clegg said The chances of you being discriminated against by name and not getting a job are low but no one seems to have a percentage. We live in a multi-cultural society and the majority of people in senior decision making positions realise this and make informed choices on employment accordingly. I would suggest that if you are a victim of prejudice then make a complaint to the relevant authority, consider yourself lucky enough to find out before you begin employment and try and find a position with a modern or forward thinking business that appreciates talent as the main criteria for employment.
Usually (thankfully), the reason you will not get a job in 99% of instances is either, you are not good enough, lack required experience or lack suitability of key criteria. One other reason, your cv was not optimised for the ATS and your application fell at the first obstacle.
Do you think I covered all the detail relative to your CV? Add a comment below and let us know.