23 January 2016

Looking the part

Siobhan Thompson writes on Twitter:

Diversity hiring is scary because it makes people realize that part of why they got their job is because they look like the idea of that job

— Siobhan Thompson (@vornietom) October 21, 2015

This is something I’ve been aware of for a long time. Last time I found myself unemployed in a new city, I went and spent time sitting outside some offices when everyone went to get lunch. I made notes about what people wore — and then I went and bought some of the same type of clothes to wear when being interviewed.

As the saying goes, dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Generally good advice, but tricky if you want a job as a sports mascot, astronaut or stunt cock.

It doesn’t end once you get the job, either. I’ve known web developers to be viewed with suspicion because they habitually wore a suit with shirt and tie, and a friend once commented that I was the only Unix guy she knew who wasn’t overweight with a ponytail.

© mathew 2017