Picture please…oh, no picture?? No job!!!

Ok, perhaps I’m ever so slightly exaggerating in my subject heading but I find it quite – what’s the right word – … peculiar/disturbing that it’s quite acceptable here to submit a resume for a job with a picture of yourself on it.

Actually the most disturbing part of it isn’t that it’s acceptable to submit it as such, but more so, that it’s acceptable to REQUEST the submission of a resume with a picture. And they will clearly outline, in writing so as not to cause any misunderstanding, “Con currĂ­culum, foto y referencias…” (Submit with Resume, Picture and References…)

Can we think about what this means in the day-to-day job application process here in Chile? When it comes down to two individuals who have the exact same qualifications and who have the exact same stellar references and who have worked in similar impressive companies, the automatic deciding factor is: your appearance??!!! How you look in your resume picture?

And in Chile it actually goes beyond that at times (so I’ve heard). It can really come down to whether or not you’re a lighter skin tone or blonder or have light or dark eyes. Why? Because that’s really valued in a country where everyone pretty much looks like the next person. I’ve been here less than a month and the other day at the mall I did a double take when I saw a true blonde. I was like “whoa!!” Hello?? Who am I? Blondes are more prevalent in the USofA so to me, it’s like ok, you’re blonde. Here, not so prevalent so it truly stands out as a mark of …being different. Or perhaps in some minds, a mark of being better. After less than a month, I fell victim to that as well.

Which brings me back to applying for a job. I thankfully have a job but it got me thinking about my resume picture, in the event I have to start looking for a job here at some point. Which picture would it be?? Which would sell me and make me stand out?? Especially should a blonde, blue eyed be my competition.

I was thinking of this one:

Though I feel like I look a TINY bit like I’m trying to go … use the facilities. Would that work for me or against me? If I argue that I am a hard worker and don’t give up, that could work in my favor, no?

But then, there’s also this one:

Where my enthusiasm cannot be denied and therefore, one could argue that I would apply that same enthusiasm to my position, right?

But how can we discard this one:

And this one provides the “A” as a reminder for my name and that’s ALWAYS useful, when a potential employer remembers your name. Am I right or am I right?


It’s a tough call. They’re all an aspect of me that I want an employer to recall! What to do? Perhaps when the time comes, I should submit a small photo album for further reference…

And to be fair, there are so many other factors that contribute to getting a job here. I think that above and beyond a picture or being fair and blonde, it’s what we call a “pituto” here. Basically, knowing someone who can get you in. This is a country that is run by “pitutos.” If you want anything here, you need to know someone who can get you in (whether a job, a club, a social group, a school, etc).

In the end, I’m not so sure it’s that different from the U.S. Whereas there we can’t legally request or send a picture on the resume, I don’t feel that it’s past us in the U.S. to pick a candidate based on which college they attended. I also don’t feel it’s unheard of to hire someone that someone else referred. Of course it’s not. I know two people who were hired at my old company based on a reference from me. Of course they did their part to get hired but would they have gotten the interview without the reference? I wonder.

Though now that I am thinking about it, the difference I see is this: in the U.S. it truly is possible to get a job at a company where no one recommended you or gave you a reference. In fact, I think that when compared to Chile, getting a job in such a “blind” manner is even prevalent in the U.S.

Well, should I ever get to the point where I need to find a job here, you can rest assured my avid blog followers (all three to four of you), I will shed the TRUEST light on the process for your enjoyment and for our mutual enlightenment!

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2 thoughts on “Picture please…oh, no picture?? No job!!!

  1. You should use the last one so that they know you're from California…then you will be hired on the basis of being a gringa đŸ™‚

    No, I think it's bad too, and I've heard that government jobs no longer accept photos (although that could be rumor). The hope is that it will trickle down to all companies. But of course until it actually becomes illegal or somehow is made to seem really unprofessional, everyone's going to keep doing it! As it stands, if you don't have a picture, people assume you're ugly…and in a job like sales, that can matter. Although I feel sort of immoral doing it, I put my picture on my resume because hey, I'm not bad looking, and every extra point counts!

    Also here people put their high schools on their resumes. In the US that wouldn't mean anything, since people tend to move around, but here especially if you're from Santiago and applying in Santiago, your high school says a lot about your class and general background. Can you imagine being judged on where your parents decided to place you in school when you were 5?

  2. It is true that government jobs no longer require the photo. They say it could be used to discriminate. You think?

    Actually, I think the first is the best, but I think most places (that still require one) want a carnet (think mug shot) style photo. Sad.

    Good luck job hunting! I've been doing the same.

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