Saturday, December 19, 2009

Eight Page Resume

Our wonderful administrative employee, Samantha, (aka "The God Send") left us at the beginning of August after eight months of employment. She headed back to the university after a 2 year hiatus. Luckily she referred a friend to us (Connie) for the open position who has great English skills and wonderful experience.

In the process of reading Connie's 8 page resume I became a bit puzzled at the abundance of random information provided. She listed her educational experience starting from preschool all the way through college. Her place of birth is listed, along with marital status, date of birth, social security number, quality of health as well as the names and occupations of her parents. I asked Samantha if this is normal, and she confirmed that yes, in fact, this practice is standard.

This may be normal practice in Mexico, but it is certainly not normal in the US, and certainly would be a major deterrent. I wouldn't hire someone who sent such a resume in the US. Granted we are not in the US, and need to play by a different set of rules. Regardless, it does make me ponder and question - why on earth...?

I contemplated why all this personal information is not only provided but expected by potential employers. Why should I care that her dad is named Armando and that he's a security agent? Does this have any relevance as to how she will perform as an employee? Why should I care where she went to elementary school? As long as she lists where she went to college, doesn't that automatically mean she went to elementary school and to middle and high school?

I notice in Playa the proliferation of background checks performed for what may be considered basic transactions in the US. When I applied for a cell phone contract with Telcel in Playa I had to list 3 references and their home phone numbers (not cell phones). Telcel then proceeded to call every one of them. When my employee applied for a Telcel contract and 2 of her references did not answer the phone Telcel denied her contract and she had to reapply.

Many Mexicans don't even have credit cards and hence no credit history. It would be difficult for me to run a background or credit check for a potential employee. Perhaps this odd practice of listing a whole slew of irrelevant personal information is just a way of filling in the gaps for a great lack of traceable personal information. I don't know about you, but I am certainly not going to list my social security information on my resume. Perhaps people here are not scared about identity theft because they have no credit to steal, but I certainly am weary because I do have credit, and no, you can't borrow it!

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1 comment:

Allie said...

I absolutely love hearing about things like this - the small differences in a culture you'll never know about unless you are immersed in it.