March 20, 2006

Pay attention to that job application head shot!

Job applications in Taiwan often ask for the applicant's height, weight, sex, and a small photo. Ever wonder what they do with that information? Does the hiring manager look at your height and weight and then imagine the size of your belly? Do they use your smile to assess whether you will be easy to get along with, or easy to cow? If you have a good body, would it be in bad taste to include a body shot along with the face shot?

Recently, I overheard some coworkers going through the interviewing and hiring process, so I got a closer understanding of this issue. I was first alerted to the hiring process when I heard three girls huddled around a computer exclaiming how cute one of the job applicants was. However, there was a bit of disappointment when they noticed that his height was not on par with his good looks. After looking through all the applications, they were still disappointed that they could not find a single hunky applicant that was 180cm or taller.

On the more serious side, here is what they were really looking for in a job applicant: The foremost requirement is that he or she graduated from one of the top tier colleges. (There are five public universities in Taiwan that are considered top tier, if I remember correctly.) Then, of course, there is the technical competency and English ability. Next, the applicant must show an interest in the job. (Fake interest will do just fine.) Next, the applicant must seem willing to work overtime. Last, he or she must not be too outstanding. Let's face it, this is nobody's dream job, so anyone too capable will be gone before long.

Also, this hiring process makes no claims to being gender-unbiased. The hiring manager joked that he could hire a cute girl for one of his workers. The co-worker then replied, in all honesty, he would prefer a male co-worker because a male would be easier to teach and to work with. I had to restrain myself from exclaiming, "It's fine if you think that, but you can't SAY that! Don't you realize that the company could be sued (...if you were in America)?" I don't think they would have appreciated that.


Post a Comment

<< Home