Deciphering the Science Behind Job Searching: Part VIII - Remove Opportunities for Bias & Discrimination

May 8, 2020

Bias and discrimination from recruiters and hiring managers are most often unintentional. It's in our nature as Homo Sapiens to be subjective in our decision making (we are not robots yet in that regard).

 

The article below is jam packed with guidelines for you to decanter your resume from generating bias to ensuring objectivity and neutrality

 

Credit to Kushal Chakrabarti from TalentWorks, for affording us with these cool tricks of the job seeking trade.

 

Special Issues — AKA: Discrimination Isn’t Just For Minorities

 

2 Tips for Entry-Level Job-Seekers

 

Identify (Actually) Entry-Level Jobs

 

Let’s be honest: looking for jobs is a *!@$* pain in the ass. Of a random sample of 95,363 jobs we analyzed, 52% (49,245) were supposedly entry-level (based on what the employer said). Of those, my job-searcher — a Marketing Assistant in LA — was only interested in 3% (1,286). Of those 1,286 supposedly entry-level Marketing Assistant and other jobs, I found 240 for actual entry-level Marketing Assistants.

 

It’s painful work, but someone’s gotta do it. If you’ve got the patience and the time (and stubbornness), rock on! If you don’t, you can pay us $10 to do it (and other stuff) for you.

 

One way to break past the job search Catch-22 is to play a different game. Instead of fighting with everyone else to get that first job, you can instead build up your work experience by doing freelance jobs on the side.

 

Not only will you get paid, you’ll also have far higher chances getting your 2nd job (everyone else’s 1st job). In the future, especially when experience inflation means you need 4+ years of experience to get your first job, this might be the only way to break into your job.

 

2 Tips for Older Job-Seekers [+268% BOOST]

 

 The best age to get a job is between 28 and 35. During this time, you get a +25.1% hireability boost over everyone else. Up to age 28, your hireability is increasing by +9% every year. After age 35, your hireability drops by 8% every year.

 

Remove Your Graduation Date If You’re 35+
 

Here’s the thing: Hiring managers (subconsciously) guess your age based on your graduation date, how much work experience you have, etc. If you don’t list your graduation date, they can’t tell how old you are.

This obviously won’t get you past subtler age discrimination in an interview (give us a call for that), but it will at least get you past the first few filters.

 

Don’t List More Than 3-4 Jobs
 

Removing your graduation date doesn’t help if you show your first job starting as May 1985. Show the most recent 3-4 jobs and summarize the remainder in a Key Skills and/or Employment Summary section.

 

3 Tips for Minorities [+287% BOOST]


 

 I really hate being politically correct. Why? It makes it harder to talk about and fix real problems — sometimes, the very root causes of why we’re having to be politically correct in the first place.

 

So, let’s get right down to it. Minorities face stereotypes. Whether those stereotypes are justified or not, they’re very real and have very real effects, especially in the job search. What we’ve found is that while they’re bad for everyone, certain resume mistakes are catastrophic for minorities if they reinforce those stereotypes.

 

What are those stereotypes? Grossly over-simplifying: African-Americans are lazy welfare queens, Hispanic-Americans are mooching off healthcare and Asian-Americans can’t (or won’t) learn English.

 

African- & Hispanic-Americans: Fill In Resume Gaps
 

Although they’re bad for everyone, resume gaps appear to be especially catastrophic for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. Make sure you remove or fully explain any resume gaps.

 

Asian- & Hispanic-Americans: Triple-Check Your Grammar and Spelling
 

Again, although they’re bad for everyone, spelling and grammar mistakes are catastrophic for Asian-Americans (and to a lesser extent, Hispanic-Americans).

 

(This and the above are less hireability boosts and more avoiding catastrophic hireability penalties.)

 

Force an Objective Playing Field [+199% BOOST]
 

Unlike the above, which are about avoiding mistakes, there’s something proactive you can do to level the playing field.

 

Although everyone benefited when they forced an objective playing field (tip #9 above), it had a massively greater effect for minorities and almost equalized the effects of the uneven playing field. Roughly speaking, forcing an objective playing field closed the racial discrimination gap in hiring by 54% (a 1.6x race penalty vs. 2.3x originally).

 

2 Tips for Women
 

As many others have noted, one of the biggest challenges that many women face in the workplace is second-guessing themselves. This applies in everything from salary negotiations to staff meetings to, you guessed it, the job search.

 

We’ve seen two especially interesting things in our analyses that reinforce the same basic point: When women do ask for what they deserve, they’re rewarded for it (more than men).

 

Apply If You Meet 30%+ of Job “Requirements”


 

 Whereas men have to meet ~50% of job requirements to be a viable candidate for a job interview, women only have to meet ~30% of job requirements.

 

Don’t Second-Guess Your Qualifications
 

But, here’s the twist: although hiring managers are willing to accept women who meet ~30% of their job requirements, 64% of women took themselves out of the running for jobs where they met the 50% “good enough” bar we suggest for everyone (let alone the 30% bar above). For comparison, only 37% of men did.

 

Put another way: Employers think you’re qualified. Stop telling yourself that you’re not.

 

2 Tips for Laid-Off Job-Seekers
 

Apply to Companies With <500 Employees [+192% BOOST]
 

The #1 thing you can do to mitigate a recent layoff or firing? Focus your job search on small- to medium-sized employers. Applications to companies with <500 employees had a 192% higher interview rate. For every additional 1,000 employees, the hireability for people with work blemishes dropped by 19%.

 

Don’t List Jobs Shorter Than ~9 Months [+85% BOOST]


 

 

 

When hiring managers see a short job stint, they don’t know if it’s because you were fired (because you were bad at your job), laid off (officially not your fault, but sometimes still a flag), or quit early (which might mean you’re unreliable). American hiring managers are suspicious of job applicants whose shortest employment lasted less than 16 months.

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SearchRSA, LLC

Tampa, Florida

Office:  (+1) 386 868 3442

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