Bias in the hiring process can take many different forms, from gender bias to race and ethnicity bias to confirmation bias. You may have heard many strategies on how to avoid being the victim of bias while searching for a job, from researching a potential employer’s stance on diversity, to making sure your email and resume are free from references to race and ethnicity.
You can diminish your chances of being a victim of bias by simply cultivating a few best practices when job hunting online. On Reddit, some employers share some traits and behaviours that inevitably bias them against potential employees. Here are some examples of these, and suggestions of the best online job-hunting practices to safeguard you against employer bias.
Don’t make all your content public on Facebook
There’s nothing wrong with sharing photos of nights out clubbing with friends on Facebook; however, you may want to manage your privacy settings so you don’t make every photo public. One employer on Reddit wrote of recently looking at the Facebook page of an employee who posted scantily-clad photos that revealed her thigh tattoos. The employer explained he or she didn’t mind thigh tattoos, but wondered about the judgment of someone who would post those photos publicly.
Remember, when job hunting online, it only takes one click to make your social media a little more private, and it just might make the difference in getting a job.
Make sure your email address is acceptable for the job for which you are applying
On the same Reddit thread, a recruiter writes, “Having recruited for a decent number of entry level admin roles, you'd be amazed how many people will put [an] email address like porn_star6969@.com or sexee.laydee420@.com on their CV. It [takes] under 5 min to sign up for firstname.lastname@****.com and yet they fail to do it.”
If you have an email address that would be inappropriate for the job to which you’re applying and don’t want an employer to be biased against you right from the start, simply sign up for a new email address for job applications. Creating a new email address only takes a few minutes, but could be a game-changing decision in your journey to find a job.
Format your resume in a standard format
You may have thought your days of painstakingly formatting a page were over after high school or college, but think again if you’re trying to find a job. One employer on Reddit decisively describes what can happen to resumes that are not formatted correctly: “Picture on the resume - trash. Unprofessional email address- trash. Typos - trash. Unless they're hilarious or extremely pathetic typos, then they get passed around the office so we can all laugh at you and then - trash.”
If you’re not sure how to format a resume correctly, Zety has some tips for the best resume format for 2021.
Research the company well before showing up for an interview
One disgruntled employer mentions on Reddit, “Read the job description we wrote so you know what skills we care about and which division you'll be working in. And know what the company does. We're easy to find on google and our website is filled with nothing but information about what we do.”
If you’re thinking about how to find a job, researching any prospective company should always be your priority. Glassdoor offers suggestions of things you can learn about an employer before the interview.
Sign up for an online direct-to-hire experience instead of mass-emailing your resume
When trying to find a job, some people can’t afford to be choosy. One employer on Reddit shares that many people “will turn in a resume to an establishment that isn't actively hiring...if I don't have any need for extra personnel, I'm not going to be able to give you a job. The best you can hope for, if you absolutely wow me, is that I stick you in the fill-in folder.”
If you don’t want your application to end up in a fill-in folder, why not try an AI-based direct-to-hire solution such as Geekbidz? This platform allows job seekers to rank their skills, then uses Artificial Intelligence to pair them with a job that is currently hiring, for an on-the-job evaluation. While job seekers using this solution will still have to be vigilant about their social media profiles and researching the company, this hiring solution eliminates some other potential sources of bias, like online job applications and resume formatting. If you are thinking about how to find a job and realize you’re not a naturally detailed person, AI-based solutions like Geekbidz give you greater freedom from employer scrutiny over minutiae like email applications and resume formatting.
Pay Attention to the Details When Job-Hunting Online, or Choose a Hiring Solution Where Details Don’t Matter
When job hunting online, details matter, as employers demonstrate in their comments on Reddit. From making sure your public social media profiles are scrubbed of anything that might bias a potential employer against you, to formatting a resume the correct way, job hunting is replete with minute details to watch for. If you can stay attentive to all these details, you stand a much better chance of entering a job interview without being dismissed by employers prematurely. On the other hand, if details aren’t your forte, you have nothing to lose by trying new, AI-based hiring solutions that excel at removing resumes and online job applications from the hiring process completely.