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Pages: Jobs requiring head shots - why? [1]
Author Topic: Jobs requiring head shots - why?

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2010-09-21 16-12-47

Jobs requiring head shots - why? I wonder about why so many jobs where looks are not in the job skills (such as acting or TV work) require a head shot? Is it to get around ethnic or age profiling? I see it too often with service jobs. I know a restaurant or club (or really any place) can have dress codes and grooming standards so why don't they simply put those policies in their ads? It is quite easy to do. The reasons I see are to get applicants to reveal skin color or age/physique. I do know of some places that use the 'include head shot' tactic to reveal ethnicity and especially with women, physique. I have heard that it is used as a memory tool due to large quantities of applicants to remember but competent recruiters deny this. It gives off the impression that restaurants/businesses are looking for people possessing looks over skills. Is the head shot tactic a symptom of superficiality over substance? Is it symptomatic of LA and Hollywood? I mean really, if let's say you have an ethnic restaurant like Japanese, Indian or Kosher or can't you put in your ad enough requirements on grooming or experience that will naturally bring qualified applicants? Why require a picture? I have been both applicant and hiring manager and would just like to open a discussion on this topic. Admittedly, there are extremes where appearances matter (largely in grooming) but why have the requirement at the application phase? or even at all?
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2010-10-01 19-07-06

It's LA. Need I say more? Really.
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2010-10-04 7-10-17-

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  • Skiclub

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    2010-10-06 16-35-51

    LA seems so different from NYC I cant imagine an employer asking for a head shot for an office job here.
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    2010-10-07 0-29-13-

    It really is different In NYC, they're more interested in where you got your MBA. LA is concerned about looks and money. Unfortunately, it seems like the most active places for jobs are found on either coast. I'd like to find something in the midwest. I've read that the midwest hasn't been as hard hit but, maybe that's because there weren't as many jobs there to start with? A lot of 3rd World countries ask for head shots too. They don't have any of those EOE rules. They'll also ask how old you are, if you're single/married/divorced and if you have any kids. The ideal is to be of northern European decent, single or married without any kids.
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    2010-10-08 21-49-10

    I read an English language classified ads paper from India and had to laugh, they are so honest. For example, for receptionist it would say "must be young and attractive." That's not to say that older homely people are not employable, in fact, there were ads for nannys that inevitably stated the requirement of being homely and mature. Guess no chance for Robin Williams to run off with the nanny. So different from our PC ads.
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  • delsanto

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    2010-10-09 1-51-51-

    it's largely for discrimination reasons But then again, would you want to work for someone who doesn't like you because of your ethnicity? I say it's a time saver and it's probably for the best for the job seeker also. There is nothing to stop someone from not hiring you because of your ethnicity unless they do something explicit at which point you could take the evidence to the labor board. But people are sly and can discriminate. The 1965 civil rights act only stopped racists from discriminating openly. People are still sneaky enough to discriminate based on race. T
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  • xylona

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    2010-10-12 1-07-02-

    Simple solution Send in a heavily photoshopped photo that only shows them what they want to see.
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  • corson

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    2010-10-14 3-39-22-

    LOL - yeah, air-brush it to the point where you look like a fuzzy ghost! Perfect! :0D
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  • cotroneo

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    2010-10-25 10-04-08

    Except that Susan Boyle. she refused to buy into the whole "Hollywood thing". I think people found it refreshing. What about the Chinese Olympics when we found out that the cute little Asian girl was lip syncing because the actual singer was too ugly? That was funny.
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    2010-10-28 3-25-08-

    sad that a lot of the great singers of yesteryear wouldn't get a look in today because they don't have the "image" no - but they COULD sing by golly
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    2010-11-05 9-50-57-

    well, since i only hang out w/pretty ppl... i trust you all are stunning! lol
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    2010-12-01 17-53-52

    thank you ... thanks for the compliment - I think I am good looking too! However, I do remember way (waaay) back when that movie Cocktail came out and lots of bars wanted actors that looked like bartenders. Perhaps some were good but most didn't know their jobs. Also, the Susan Boyle example is a great one. She went through a Hollywood makeover but at least she has the singing talent. Frank Zappa had a similar comment about MTV ruining the career chances of great music talent that is not camera friendly. To that I say how many of these glamour pop stars would make it if it wasn't for their computer corrected voices and visual appeal (which is also largely fabricated)? Probably not many!
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  • orosco

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    2010-12-17 4-39-56-

    Jobs Requesting Photos Hey, For a majority of regular jobs, it is illegal to ask for a photo anytime prior to hiring within the state of California and the United States. However, the employer may request a photo after hiring for identification purposes, such as making a photo ID card. It is normal, however, for professions like porn and acting to request a head shot or a portfolio of pictures for modeling. This is what I got from the U.S. Department of Labor website: Q: I saw a job posting in my local newspaper that I considered applying for. In addition to a resume and cover letter the employer requested a photograph. Is this legal? A: I cannot think of any job-related reason why an employer would require a photograph. A photograph would provide information to an employer about your gender, race, and perhaps even culture/ethnic background and age. It would be illegal for an employer to disqualify you from a position based on any of these areas or “protected classes.” Hope it helps.
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