Show Us a Photo: Maybe We’ll Hire You

5 Nov

A weird trend I’m starting to see in job listings are of potential employers requesting a photo of job applicants.

I know, RIGHT? 

There was a temporary job I spotted recently that I was applying for and the woman  e-mailed me asking for a recent photo to be sent in.



I wrote her back in a slightly scathing e-mail informing her that I have NO interest in ANY job that would require a photo of me before even interviewing me.

You’d think other than in the entertainment industry this would be illegal, right? I mean, that business is all about head shots and looks and the “right fit” cosmetically. I get it. But for the average job–particularly in an office setting–what gives?

I just knew that it had to be some sort of discriminatory act, this photo requesting. So I did some research and discovered that asking for a photo is not illegal at all. But there’s a catch…

From the question was answered:

No, it’s not necessarily illegal to ask for a photo prior to an interview. And nor is it necessarily illegal discrimination to discriminate on the basis of looks. What’s forbidden is discriminating on several bases, such as gender; religion; race; age over 40; disability; etc. If you believe that you did not get  the job because of one of those characteristics–which are often revealed via a photo or appearance–you may have a discrimination case.

On the other hand, an employer could choose to hire a more attractive applicant, or to not hire because they don’t like how you look, as long as it’s not owing to one of the grounds above. Only the specifically prohibited discrimination is actually prohibited.

Legal tangles. Notice the wording, the twisted vernacular. So sneaky the powers that be. Come on, we all know that looks trump every single thing in this world. There have even been studies done that show babies gazing at the “prettier” or more attractive face when presented with a series of photos.

So why are my britches in a bunch? Because I think it’s ridiculous to:

1) ask for a photo for a job involving NOTHING to do with appearance


2) ask for a photo for a job involving NOTHING to do with appearance.

My fingers will be doing the typing. What if they’re not pretty?

My eyes will be doing the scanning of documents. What if they’re not pretty?

Cough. Is my brain attractive enough? Did you need a photo of that, too?

This is all dumb.

I was so tempted to send in a huge print-out photo of a gorilla along with my resume.

Here’s my picture, a-holes:



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