Beefing Up a Résumé

Michelle Singletary
Columnist August 1, 2013

Sure the job market is tough, even for some professions that used to have applicants pondering multiple employment offers. But would you include a beefcake photo with your résumé to get a job?

Brian Zulberti of Delaware sent out his résumé in an e-mail to prospective employers. He attached a picture of himself wearing a T-shirt showing off his very defined biceps.

Michelle Singletary writes the nationally syndicated personal finance column, “The Color of Money.” View Archive

“I was desperate, to an extent,” the 2009 Villanova Law School graduate told the News Journal in Delaware. Zulberti had hoped the photo would give him a competitive edge. In another photo, posted on his Facebook page, Zulberti is half-nude holding a sign that says, “HIRE ME!!! no… as a Lawyer, … NOT A ESCORT… wait is it something I’m wearing.”

Notwithstanding the punctuation and grammatical errors (it’s “an” escort), Zulberti is drawing some attention and not all good.

“Seriously? Has this man no shame?” wrote Staci Zaretsky in a blog post for Above the Law.

I would say both photos were inappropriate. Really, what is it with the things people post online?

In a similar social media faux pas, a reporter for an ABC affiliate in Huntsville, Ala., was fired because of things she posted on a blog, Paul Gattis reported for the Huntsville Times.

One confession read, “I’ve gone bra-less during a live broadcast and no one was the wiser.”

Shea Allen told Gattis that she regrets that the posts caused her to lose her job. She said they were “meant as Overheard in the Newsroom, just a funny thing, making fun of the subtle nuances of my job.”

“For job seekers it is essential to be aware of what information they’re making available to employers, and to manage their online image,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “At the same time, hiring managers and human resources departments must carefully consider how to use information obtained from social media and whether it is relevant to a candidate’s qualifications.”

Forty-three percent of current hiring managers who research candidates via social media said they have found information that has caused them to reject a candidate, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

A new FindLAW survey found that 29 percent of young social media users fear their posts could cause trouble at work and 21 percent of young social media users have removed or taken down a social media posting over employment concerns.

Color of Money Question of the Week

What do you think of the social media blunders job applicants and employees are making? Send your responses colorofmoney@washpost.com. Put “Beefing Up a Résumé” in the subject line. Please include your full name, city and sate. Or tweet your response to @singletarym and use the hashtag #colorofmoney.

Chat Canceled

This week’s live discussion has been canceled. But please join me next week, Aug. 8, at noon ET. My guest will be Jeffrey J. Selingo, author of “College Unbound: The Future of Higher Education and What it Means for Students,” the Color of Money Book Club selection for July.

Equifax Gets a Credit Check

An Oregon woman has been awarded more than $18 million in a lawsuit against Equifax. Julie Miller spent two years trying to get the credit bureau to fix major mistakes in her credit file, reported Laura Gunderson of the Oregonian.

Miller, who contacted agency after she was denied a loan in December 2009, said the company mistakenly placed financial information from another woman with the same name in her file.

“There was damage to her reputation, a breach of her privacy, and the lost opportunity to seek credit,” said Justin Baxter, Miller’s attorney. “She has a brother who is disabled and who can’t get credit on his own, and she wasn’t able to help him.”

The Pregnant Pause

Pro golfer Hunter Mahan gets major props for exhibiting that some life moments are priceless.

Mahan was leading the Canadian Open, a golf competition with a $1 million prize, when he received a call from his wife that she was going into labor a month early.

Mahan withdrew from the competition and caught a flight home just in time to welcome the birth his daughter, Zoe.

Mahan later tweeted: “Both Baby and Mom are doing great. Thanks to all to my sponsors who appreciate what’s important in life and all my fans for being Awesome!”

Prince George

Last week, I wrote that Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, won’t have to worry the bill to bring their little prince into the world. The posting was prompted by a report in the New York Times that a British royal born in fanciest ward cost $15,000 compared to a $30,000 bill in the United State.

In her report in the Times, Elisabeth Rosenthal took a lengthy look at the cost of having a baby in the United States.

For last week’s Color of Money Question, I asked: What aspects of maternity care or its costs were unexpected for you as parents or after reading the Times story?

“With my most recent pregnancy, it was strongly recommended that I have weekly ultrasounds for the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy due to risks related to my weight,” wrote Rhonda Bryant of Wilmington, Del. “No other health factors were taken into consideration. I was just told it was due to ‘new research.’ My insurance company had to pick up that high tab. If I had no insurance, I don’t know what I would have done. For the rest of my pregnancy, every time I saw a pregnant woman who was my size or larger, my first thought was, ‘I hope she has good insurance.’ Imagine what a burden lifted that would be for expectant mothers if our system was like other countries that didn’t charge ridiculous rates for medical services they say are absolutely necessary.”

Matt Smothers of Springfield, Va., said the thing that most surprised him were the multiple billings.

“We received . . . a bill for the OB/GYN, a bill for the anesthesiologist, and at least one or two other bills. We had itemized statements that included charges for, I am not making this up, acetaminophen (Tylenol) – which, by the way, they billed us more for 2 generic acetaminophen pills than it would have cost me to purchase an entire bottle of the Tylenol-branded pills.”

“Child delivery is a big business,” wrote J. Nathanson of Olney, Md. “Without competitive options - sure our doctors and hospitals can charge what they want. I still wonder if the OB/GYN industry had a role in the escalated malpractice insurance rates for midwifes. It would not surprise me,”

Tia Lewis contributed to this report.

Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to postbusiness.com.

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