being put on a performance plan right after a glowing review, photos on resumes, and more

It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…

1. Performance plan two weeks after a glowing review

My husband was just notified he is being put on a performance plan. He agrees that a recent event he was involved in, but not in charge of, did not go well. But, he was just rated “an exceptional performer” in a review less than two weeks ago, he has been nominated for department awards every month for the past six months, and he is on track to meet all his metrics and goals for the quarter.

The issues outlined in the performance conversation were things like communicate issues better, document processes more, and some concerns about early metrics related to a new platform they are not fully moved into. They also noted that he should think of this as a development conversation, but also that it is a formal performance plan.

I should also note that this is a very “company first, work all hours/days of the week” type of environment and management acknowledged that he had indeed been “putting in the hours,” in the PIP conversation.

Is it possible to be an exceptional performer, meet goals, and still need a performance plan? What should his takeaway be here?

Putting someone on an improvement plan who just got rated “exceptional” two weeks ago? I can come up with a couple of cases where maybe that would happen, but they’d be incredibly rare and it would be clear it was a big deal and Things Had Changed — things like uncovering serious issues that he’d successfully hidden, or finding out that work you thought he’d done was actually entirely done by someone else. Those aren’t normal, though, and if something like that happened, as a manager you’d want to specifically address and explain the discrepancy with the review.

In this case, it sounds like his manager just hasn’t been managing well … or is getting pressure from someone above to manage him differently for some reason. Something weird is happening.

And that crap about “it’s just a development conversation” — no. If that’s all it were, it would be … just a conversation. It’s a formal plan, so it’s something else.

If I were him, I’d sit down with the manager and say, “I want to make sure I’m clear about where I stand. I just got an exceptional rating two weeks ago, and now I’m on a formal improvement plan. I’m certainly committed to making the improvements outlined in it, but the fact that this rose to the level of a formal plan, so soon on the heels of a stellar review, makes me wonder if I’m missing something. Did your assessment of my work change in the last two weeks and if so, what caused that?”

Read an update to this letter here.

2. What’s up with photos on resumes?

I’ve been a recruiter for about eight years and I have reviewed thousands of resumes. Recently, I have been getting resumes from new college grads with photos on them. I’m not talking a small headshot up in the corner but pictures that are taking up 25-30% of the usable space on the resume. All of them have looked posed and professional, but one was obviously a graduation photo taken in front of a fountain at the candidate’s alma mater. Are college counselors recommending this now? I don’t necessarily think it looks unprofessional but … unnecessary. The photos are often taking up valuable space that could be used for highlighting accomplishments. What are your thoughts on this?

Yeah, it’s weird. (In the U.S., anyway. There are countries where it’s common, but we are not one of them.) I don’t know if college career centers are pushing it (but it would not surprise me), but there’s a definite thing where online resume templates often come in formats that no hiring manager would want to receive, sometimes including space for a photo. I don’t know who’s designing those resume templates, but it’s not people who actually do hiring.

3. Company wants to have a large Christmas luncheon during Covid

I oversee a few locations of the company where I work, and my manager approached me about Christmas luncheon amongst these separate locations. I’m currently working from home and hate this idea. I’m not even planning on seeing family in person. How do I convey that it makes me uncomfortable they’re even suggesting this get together?

I’d say, “Currently public health guidelines say not to have social gatherings with households other than our own. The company really can’t violate public health recommendations and put employees at risk. A lot of people aren’t even seeing their families for the holidays, and I think this will seem really tone-deaf.”

If they don’t care about employees’ safety, point out that if it turned into a super spreader event, it would be horrible PR for your company.

4. Should I contact the department head directly about a job I applied for?

There is a position I’m excited about, close to my home (I’m outside a major city, so I would not have to commute into that city and would actually travel opposite rush hour traffic), and in an institution that, because of its location, does not usually attract many of the qualified candidates that generally flock to the major urban center about 40 minutes away.

I know this last fact because I met the woman in charge of the department I’m applying to about a year and half ago. I scheduled an informational visit and a tour of the facility for a class I was taking at the time in my masters program, a professional program that was preparing me for exactly this kind of job. At the time, I corresponded directly with the manager of the very small department. We had an excellent visit, where she showed me around and answered all my questions, even explaining her aforementioned struggle to attract talent to the institution. She even encouraged me to apply for a small fellowship at the institution in the department, albeit in an offhand way (I was unable to, as I had accepted an internship elsewhere).

This woman is still the head of the department (the information is on the website). I of course applied straightaway through the HR portal about three weeks ago, and while I have not heard back yet I know this process moves slowly. Would it be wildly inappropriate to reach out to this manager to reintroduce myself as a candidate and remind her of my interest in the institution? We have not spoken since the visit. The portal makes me think she won’t see my application until an initial screen is done by whoever monitors it. I think I’m qualified, and anxious to procure full-time employment in this terrible job market. Good idea?

Yes! When you know someone on a team you’re applying to, it’s never inappropriate to contact them directly and let them know you applied for a job. In fact, if I were her and you didn’t contact me directly, I’d wonder why! Email her today.

{ 160 comments… read them below }

  1. EPLawyer*

    #1 — someone wants to make your husband the fall guy for whatever went wrong. Unless the PIP has very specific metrics for him to meet to show improvement I would be worried. If it just says “improve communication” okay what does that mean? How can he demonstrate he has improved in that area? On the other hand if it says things like “turn in TPS by 3 p.m. on Friday consistently” you can show that. Either they are in on time or they aren’t. But if its all fuzzy stuff with no measurables, then they aren’t interested in improvement, just documenting they put him on a plan.

    Either way if the company 2 weeks ago say “great guy, awesome” then puts him on a PIP while acknowledging he puts in the hours expected, it’s time to polish up the resume and start job hunting. Make sure your husband knows about this site and all the tips for cover letters and resumes.

    1. Julia*

      Remember we’re getting this thirdhand – it may be that the original PIP was actually quite detailed and specific, and LW was just summarizing it for us.

      1. Anonymity*

        Also depends how bad the mistake was and if it cost a lot of money or loss of a client. Agree, this is spouse writing in, not the actual employee. Something big went wrong.

        1. Brad Fitt*

          “Something big went wrong.”

          Or … LW’s spouse is at an employer that doesn’t get how PIPs are supposed to work. I’ve worked at a few places where roughly a quarter of the staff was on a PIP at any given time. They handed out PIPs during reviews/coaching sessions instead of using a less formal method for feedback and improvement because they “wanted to have a record of employee performance” and “people show more improvement on formal plans” (no shit right?). No one was ever fired at the end of a PIP though because anyone close to being fired tended to quit first. (I tried to quit on the spot my first time because I’d thought PIPs were a SRS BSNS neon warning sign of full-blown sucking at your job that there was almost no coming back from. My supervisor was confused by this and had to talk me down from a total collapse because everybody got put on a PIP. Overall: 2/10 heckin bad way to run a company.)

          I don’t know why some employers do this, but it’s been enough of them that I think maybe some higher ups misread a book on management strategies and tried to implement something they didn’t understand, and then it got spread around in some industries.

          1. Brad Fitt*

            Tl;dr: It could be as bad as you’re all speculating but this blog tends towards an audience of white collar professionals who are used to reasonable, competent management and often overreacts to things that are common within industries that have a lot of less than ideal circumstances that are treated as normal.

            LW: Ask your spouse how common PIPs are at their work. You might be shocked/relieved.

          2. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

            “I don’t know why some employers do this, but it’s been enough of them that I think maybe some higher ups misread a book on management strategies and tried to implement something they didn’t understand, and then it got spread around in some industries.”

            Yes. Seen it happen. Also, the movie “Office Space” is NOT a management tutorial, it’s a satire.

      2. Observer*

        Still something major happening. I see three likely scenarios:

        1. The OP is not getting the whole story and the employer just found something BIG

        2. Something went very, very wrong with the event. Either someone is trying to make him the fall guy or he genuinely missed the boat somewhere. Either would fit into the idea that he needs to communicate issues better.

        3. Someone is looking for an excuse to push him out.

        In all three cases, it sounds like OP’s husband should be polishing his resume and looking for a new job.

        1. JSPA*

          Not directly relevant to this situation, but scenarios where this can happen are,

          1. excellent results, but the company just found out about harassment / bullying / something else they don’t tolerate, happening at borderline remediable, borderline firing level.

          2. 90% of job done was done excellently, but the other 10% not even slightly up to standard, never mentioned, and the manager feels both blindsided and lied-to-by-omission.

          3. someone looked excellent for quite a while because they successfully blew smoke up the manager’s ass. Then the manager caught on, when things crashed and burned.

          4. someone gets praised for being self-sufficient, feels that asking for support will be seen as a sign of weakness, and thus screws up massively through not asking for support. Manager realizes in retrospect that, “Jamison is unflappable, self-sufficient and fully in control, how amazing” actually meant, “Jamison has no crisis-awareness, has misplaced priorities, or freezes when things go wrong, or would rather play at being competent while things melt down than ask for the necessary help.”

          It can also mean, “asked for help, but in a deferential, low-key way that did not adequately flag up the problem, and was not insistent on circling back until the message got through and the needs were met.”

          Needless to say, if the failure had ANYTHING to do with Covid safety, it ABSOLUTELY becomes PIP-level (if not immediate-firing level) overnight.

          But “we didn’t notice our platform maxes out at 200 participants, and we thereby locked out half the C-suite” might also be a significant enough failure.

        2. TardyTardis*

          I agree. It doesn’t matter how good you are, if someone wants to make you the scapegoat for someone else’s mistake, you’re not going to be able to fight it unless you already have a rabbi of your own equally high up who will tell you the truth about what’s going on.

        3. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

          OP #1 =
          Very likely #3 – or he’s being set up as the fall guy for something (#2 /partial) and in either event, he should be polishing up the ol’ resume.

          I had that happen to me once. I got a scathing review, out of the blue and opted , well, I won’t sign, if it sets up a conflict with HR, so be it.

          The REAL reason I didn’t sign was, I was giving my manager and his boss a chance to back away from it. If I had been forced to reply to it, especially with one specific instance of misconduct/disrespect of my manager’s doing, all three of us would have gone down the drain. Certainly HR would have respected the chain of command and saved face, and let me go, but my manager and director would also become, as they say “dead meat”. Then one day I get called into a surprise meeting with my director and an HR rep. Hmmm, I’m gettin’ fired! OK… then it turned out my director was on the hot seat. He kept his cool, and I kept my mouth shut.

          There also was another time when I was (effectively) put on a PIP (probation) but decided, “I don’t need this s**t in my life”, I went out and got another job, resigned – and they offered me money to stay! But my probation period was one in which three of the staff had suffered the same fate. One guy found a new job in three days and they threw him out to make a bad example out of him. Then I resigned and received overtures for a counter offer. I refused them, and thus became another “professional bad example”… the third guy, they had to establish a truce with.

          OP #2 – I don’t mind putting my picture on my resume. I’m a mature, white male. If the hiring manager or HR people don’t like my looks, tough noogies, I don’t want to be around them, either.

    2. Beth*

      Agreed. Whether his manager was the one responsible, or his manager is protecting the one responsible–it sounds like this event went badly enough that there are going to be consequences for someone, and his manager is set on making sure it’s him rather than whoever was in charge.

      Unless his manager offers an extremely convincing explanation for this sudden about-face, your husband should be job hunting. Even if the performance plan gets resolved with no further issues, it doesn’t bode well that his manager would throw him under the bus like this.

      1. Boof*

        We don’t know what’s happening with the other people on the problem event; could be they are getting similar treatment, or even bigger consequences

      2. Tidewater 4-1009*

        I would also try to look at: who is his manager protecting? Who was in charge of the event? Who made the big mistakes? If neither of these were OP’s husband, he is being used to protect them.

    3. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

      it’s time to polish up the resume and start job hunting.

      We have a winner!

      OP#1, this sounds like they want your husband gone and will manufacture whatever evidence they need to make it appear like a justified plan.

    4. Mannheim Steamroller*

      I came here to say exactly this. He’s being set up to fall on someone else’s sword.

      1. Artemesia*

        yeah only two ways to read this:
        1. he is being scapegoated and they want him gone
        2. the LW has not been told the full truth about what happened and he did mess up on something really important

        1. kt*

          Well, there is a less-dramatic version: that he’s being scapegoated but they don’t necessarily want him gone. I have heard of situations where the boss picked ‘the best performer’ to take the fall because they figured the top performer could resist the hit to reputation and then they would not have to fire anyone.

          1. MamaSarah*

            This is the theory I’d go with…but I’d also start pinching pennies and be mentally prepared to start job hunting.

          2. Sarah*

            If that is the case, I’d absolutely get my resume together. They don’t deserve him if they are going to treat the best performer like that.

          3. Blue Kettle*

            I think something like this happened to me at a previous teaching job. I suspect that administrators were under pressure to “show growth” in their teachers, so I got a sudden abnormally negative observation after years of good ones. No PIP, but they said they had grave concerns and wanted to do a follow-up observation a few weeks later. The second observation was glowing, better than I’d ever had, and they praised things they had ignored the first time and overlooked things that had previously been cited as problems. Maybe they thought I’d play along and give them the data they needed for their own evaluations and then go on like nothing had happened, or maybe they wanted me out (though I can’t think why), but that was the experience that got me mad enough to look seriously for a new job and I’m so glad I did!

    5. Cat Tree*

      Hmm, I was actually thinking something a little different based on my own experience in the past. To me, it sounds like it could be head games, a power play, or gaslighting. I worked at a small, extremely dysfunctional company that was run by a tyrant. I inky took the job because it was 2011, I was unemployed for months, and it was my only option. We didn’t have anything like regular performance reviews, but we did have employee of the month, which was a little strange in a tech/manufacturing company where almost everyone was salaried. Anyway, the only feedback I got was winning employee of the month. A week later, the boss was in the bathroom with me and said, “You know, you’re really getting a reputation for being a slacker”. I actually looked around to see if someone else was in the room, because I couldn’t fathom her saying that to me. I’m pretty sure she was just being a jersey. For context, she also once called me “very ethical and precise” but like, she meant it as an insult based on context and the tone of her voice. Luckily I found another job and was gone in 8 months.

      So when I hear about contradictory feedback, it makes me think of manipulation, like keep working hard for your breadcrumbs of praise, but don’t start thinking you’re worth something.

    6. Inge*

      I agree with the above. Happened to me. I had multiple glowing reviews, the blam. PIP. Fired 2 months later, along with many other coworkers. My salary was a bit higher due to some additional licensure. I was replaced by someone with someone, based on their licensure, is likely getting app 60% of what I was earning. Completely traumatizing as I have never had work issues at any job I’ve had. The point of this is that I wish I would have caught on, I would have taken a pay cut to stay in my position. (Although the organization had a very specific pay scale to license structure)

  2. Julia*

    I’d bet on Alison’s hypothesis that the manager in #1 is getting pressure from someone above to look like she’s “doing something” about a problem that has recently come to light. It’s particularly likely given that there was a recent visible event that didn’t go well.

    Of course, it’s always possible the manager just treats performance reviews like a bureaucratic box to be checked, and they’re unrelated to her actual poor opinion of the employee’s work. Or it’s possible that the event that didn’t go well actually did alert the manager to problems with this employee’s work. No way to tell for sure.

    1. RC Rascal*

      I was nearby to something similar to this once. Manager was terrible and having performance issues , was on a PIP themselves. He then told a bunch of lies about his best employee and put her on a PIP because she was the logical replacement for said bad manager if he was to get fired.

      1. Deranged Owl*

        He then told a bunch of lies about his best employee and put her on a PIP because she was the logical replacement for said bad manager if he was to get fired.

        Oh, wow. That is vindictive.

    2. Kelly L.*

      Yeah, I’m wondering about a couple of possibilities. Maybe husband’s manager just writes perfunctory reviews without really thinking about them. I’m also wondering if maybe there are more than one boss involved–one who thinks husband is great, the other who does not.

  3. AnonRecruiter*

    2 – SAME HERE! I’ve been in the field for about 13 years at this point, and prior to 2020 I typically only saw photos from some international candidates where that is expected in their country. This year? It’s a sh!tshow. Most of the photos are 20-something females or 40-50 year old men.

    Your guess is as good as mine.

      1. EventPlannerGal*

        YEP. I was looking at Canva’s CV templates earlier and I swear I saw one that I would bet money this person used – the photo space genuinely is 1/3 of the entire page. I have no idea what the template designers could have been thinking, because it honestly looks ridiculous.

    1. Jane*

      Almost of the MS Word resume templates have a space for a photo. And on some of them they want you to add your initials to the design, as if your initials were a company logo.

      You can’t blame college leavers for using the templates provided by Word, as they are going to assume they are correct, but if I see another resume with Century Schoolbook typeface …

      1. EPLawyer*


        If you haven’t done a resume in a while (see 40-50 year old men mentioned above) you think this is the way its done now.

        20 year old females because they are used to IGing everything in their lives so why not a resume?

        (Yes I am making broooooooaaaad generalizations)

        1. Crivens!*

          Just a note: when you use “men” in one sentence and “females” in another, especially when the one about women is an insult, it makes you look like a kind of person I’m sure you don’t want to be.

          1. Nanani*

            Men and women, fine. People, even better. “Females” makes you sound like -at best- a Ferengi.

            Women are people and non-binary people exist.

        2. EventPlannerGal*

          LMAO those dumb 20-something females and their social medias and their selfie pictures, am I right? Am I right? And hey, how about that airplane food?

    2. Namedafteru*

      I wonder if it has to do with social media. Some HR departments check out a person on social media. If you have a photo of the candidate, you can be sure you are looking at the correct person. I don’t like it when people include photos either, but it’s the only reason I can think of why it is becoming more common.

      1. Tidewater 4-1009*

        Wow, so many potential problems. I have my Facebook locked down so it shows only my cover photo – which is not of me – to the public. I would find it creepy if an employer was trying to check out my personal Facebook. That’s for my friends!
        LinkedIn is for employers, and I finally put a photo there when I started job searching this year.
        That young people aren’t aware of the boundary violation and may even be advised to make their personal social media available to employers, is frightening. They’ll have to learn the hard way, I guess.

            1. Tidewater 4-1009*

              But all they will find is my name and cover photo, maybe one or two posts I’ve made public over the years, and the person of the same name who lives in Europe and her cover photo.

        1. ...*

          Plenty of young people are aware of it. Just because a commenter up top says 20 year old “females” are always on IG doesn’t mean all young people are incapable of figuring out social media. Looooooool

          1. Tidewater 4-1009*

            Well, that’s good! I was concerned they were being raised without awareness of these boundaries and would not understand it’s a problem until something bad happened.

    3. The Cardinal*

      Huhn…how times change! I remember when some organizations – including colleges and universities – required applicants to submit photos. This practice was primarily used to screen out applicants who were black (and unbelievably at HBCUs to limit the number of darker skinned blacks – especially women – from being admitted). This was part of some sad but pernicious thinking that was quite common back in the day.

      Except for military deployments I’ve resided in the southern U.S. my entire life and until the mid-to-late 70’s in some places, this fell into that category of “this is just how things are.” I can’t imagine voluntarily submitting a photo but hey…times change, history lessons are often forgotten (or not even taught), and the band plays on!

      1. Glass Piano*

        I’m in the middle of a medical school application cycle, and about 1/3 of my schools wanted a photo! I found it pretty surprising, for precisely the reasons you mention!

    4. Community*

      I thought those rules had changed or at the very least relaxed with the prevalence of social media including platforms like LinkedIn which all include photos.

    5. Daisy*

      This honestly freaks me out. It could be so easy to use those photos to discriminate against certain groups.

  4. Alex Beamish*

    Responding to the first post: it’s likely that there’s a political component to this PIP, as there was when I went through a similar situation about a decade ago. The department head was a fan of ‘stacked ranking’, a bizarre process that imagined that each team had at least one person who needed terminating. For whatever reason, that turned out to be me. I was assigned a 16 week project for my PIP, and I delivered a high quality product only a day behind schedule. Everyone was happy with the result, and I imagined that was the end of it. Heh. Big mistake.
    I was handed only very small projects after that, and terminated about a month later.
    I heard from several co-workers that they were shocked to hear I’d been let go — once you’ve worked at a company for a while, you know who the goof-offs are, and I was not a goof-off. After all that, I managed to negotiate a good severance package (with thanks to Alison), but the whole thing left a really bad taste in my mouth. (My team lead quit a month later, and another colleague left after that — the CEO called directly, begging him not to leave. What a soap opera.)
    I highly recommend you get your resume up to date, perfect your cover letter, and start looking for a new job. The odds that you can emerge from this PIP intact, with the employer-employee relationship in great shape, are tiny. Good luck.

    1. Junior Assistant Peon*

      I worked at a place that did stacked ranking. It works fine at a place where turnover is high, but my company had gone through at least a decade of shrinkage by attrition with minimal hiring. The result was that the low performers had already been managed out, and they were forced to give bad reviews to people who didn’t really deserve them.

      1. Alex Beamish*

        If you’ve got one 4, three 3s, two 2s, and a single 1 (going from best to worst), then, OK, it makes sense to see what you can do to get the 1 up to a 2 .. or see about replacing them. In my team, there were no 1s .. we were 2s and 3s (I’m not going to gaslight you into thinking I’m a 4). We were getting stuff done, and we worked well with others.
        I was also going through a marital breakup (which my team lead knew about — he’d take me out for beer and supper, and let me decompress — so thankful), so if I became 10% less effective, that was why. While I was on the PIP, I kept trying to get feedback from him — and suddenly he clammed up, which spooked me.
        Once I was invited to an impromptu meeting by the Director of Development (here it comes — he *never* talked to us), it all became clear.
        Anyway, it was obviously a toxic workplace — people would ‘disappear’ without a trace. OK, there are a few bad apples, but there were also some good people. You’d go over to talk to someone and their desk would be completely empty. “Where’s Fred?” “He was let go two weeks ago.” “??” No announcement, no “Thanks to Fred, we wish him well ..” E-Mail.
        Keep your resume up to date, folks. You have to look out for #1.

        1. JSPA*

          Or if your workplace is a slow-motion version of “the pit and the pendulum” crossed with ‘hunger games,” maybe decide to get out while it’s the other people who are being disappeared.

          Those places keep employees by using a mind-warping lie: convincing people that they’re lucky, special, favored, gifted or immune each time they’re not (yet) the person on the sacrificial alter.

  5. Kevin Sours*

    Note that not only are photos on resumes kinda weird in the US (I personally just ignore them when they come up) but it they are prohibited for a lot of US government applications. As it, including one will get your resume summarily tossed. But people still do it…

    1. Cat Tree*

      It just seems like such a bad idea from the employer’s perspective too. We try really hard to reduce bias, but a photo makes it so much easier to subconsciously discriminate. It would also make it somewhat easier to make a legal case for discrimination, but honestly I’m more worried about actual subconscious discrimination than being falsely sued for discrimination (Legal might have a different view though).

      We value diversity because of the benefit to our company in getting the best candidate, but unintentional bias is real and hard to fix. There’s already so much info in the candidate’s name but that can’t be avoided. Having a picture seems like a nightmare though.

      1. introverted af*

        I mean, for an initial resume screen, names are unimportant. Obviously once you get to interviews that’s unavoidable, but I feel like cutting identifying information at that stage before they get reviewed (including addresses if listed) could still help reduce bias and improve at least diversity of interviews

        1. DireRaven*

          You know, I agree addresses should be stripped from resumes, too. At least street addresses and zip codes. (City and state or nearest metro area and state – so if a person lives in a suburb of a city that has a reputation for being swanky – there is no way we can afford to pay what they probably want – (even if they live in a more modest area of the suburb or are living with their parents until they have a steady income) or for being less ritzy, can probably affect a job hunt. And if the person in the swanky suburb lives in a modest area, well, the employer might Zillow their home address or zip code and realize where they live and it could affect the offer.

          Stripping names is also good. Let the accomplishments stand on their own without knowing the gender and/or race of the person.

          One question I have about age: If you put the year you graduated college, that is a pretty good indication of your age. (People assume 4 years, straight out of high school, so if you had a break or took longer, it could make you appear younger and if you went in with a lot of credits and graduated ahead of schedule, it could make you appear older. But, at some point, putting that you got your BA/BS in YEAR will date you.)

      2. Kevin Sours*

        I believe, but am not completely sure, that in the Federal process it’s common to strip the name from the Resume and substitute a reference number for at least the initial winnowing process.

        1. Cat Tree*

          That’s a great idea. Maybe my company already does it that way and I’m not aware of it because I only see resumes after HR has chosen the ones to interview.

  6. Crivens!*


    Not only is that manager shockingly irresponsible, but the more people do utterly unnecessary things like this, the less people are able to do things that ARE necessary for mental health and well-being (for many) like seeing family or limited numbers of friends. It is actively making the world worse for everyone in so many ways to have gathering that serve no good for anyone except “but I wanna!” right now.

    1. Crivens!*

      Note: I’m not advocating for people visiting family and friends right now, just noting that the sooner people stop having stupid gatherings the sooner we CAN visit family and friends.

      1. Guacamole Bob*

        I’d feel less comfortable doing something like going for a masked walk with a friend outside if one or both of us had just attended a large company holiday lunch with no masks, lots of talking and eating, and a lot of people who aren’t taking precautions seriously in other parts of their lives, especially if we lived in a part of the country with a lot of cases right now. So I think your point is correct in both the short and the long term.

        1. JSPA*

          It’s all about, “what if something additional goes wrong.” People drift towards each other, people stumble, people sneeze, people lift their mask to wipe their nose, the exuberant neighbor whose greeting occasions an awkward, unchoreographed retreat…those are not considered, planned acts.

          The more planned acts we can dial back on, the more space there is for the “oops” moments to be bingles, not crises.

        2. Jennifer Juniper*

          Maybe it’s the company’s way of letting people go without firing them. If enough people get COVID and get sick and can’t work anymore, that will be money saved on the payroll.

          1. The_artist_formerly_known_as_Anon-2*

            It’s not money saved on the payroll but many companies take out life insurance on their older employees – if they drop dead, they hit the jackpot.

      2. ThatGirl*

        I actually am advocating for that, because one lonely Christmas is better than a New Years spent in the ICU or at a funeral.

        1. Crivens!*

          I think we actually agree! I’m NOT advocating for visiting anyone, just pointing out that the sooner we’re all in line with what health experts suggest the sooner we do get to safely visit.

          1. Something Something Whomp Whomp*

            Totally agreed. It’s kind of sad that you need to underscore that you’re not advocating for visiting anyone. In some circles, it’s as if suggesting that not being able to spend time with people is depressing inherently invalidates the possibility that you can recognize that not visiting people is also important, which is…what?
            It’s either a weird critical thinking fail or an empathy fail or a “if I admit that this is difficult I’ll shatter into a million pieces” issue, and it’s hard to tell which one it is.

        2. Cat Tree*

          Exactly. Isolation is depressing and the effect on mental health is very real. But the alternative is worse! A Zoom funeral is even more depressing, and I have known people who had to go through that. As sad as I was spending this Thanksgiving alone, I would be much more sad next year and every year to come if I could only visit my mom at a graveyard. It’s not worth the risk.

      3. Deranged Owl*

        Indeed, the stricter people now are, the sooner we can visit family and friends again.

        Not USA, but I do live in a country that is rather badly hit with covid-19 (though numbers have been lowering steadily for the past weeks, so that’s good).
        But the sad reality is that while 90% of the people are really following the rules, those 10% are refusing or are being very nonchalant about it and keep the virus circling around.

        Like I read somewhere, please don’t have a Christmas party and claim that you’ll go in quarantine for 14days afterwards, which is ridiculous because you could have spread the virus to your family at the Christmas table. It won’t help!).

        When it is around Easter, grandmother/grandfather/friend/familymember won’t resurrect either… no matter how many thoughts and prayer.

        1. tangerineRose*

          “the stricter people now are, the sooner we can visit family and friends again.” Yes. This!

        2. Lily*

          It took my mother to say to my uncle “is burying one parent not enough for you? Do you want your mother’s funeral next ?” for the family to stop a “big” funeral for my grandpa. He didn’t die of covid but everyone he’s ever known coming from several countries together is not a good idea.

    2. LifeBeforeCorona*

      Seriously, here we are back in a lockdown, health and political officials are almost begging people to stay home. My workplace asked people to take extra precautions beyond the mandated ones to keep everyone safe. One co-worker’s reaction was that they refuse to say no to their large family if they want to visit. When this nightmare is over a good column would be on workplaces and co-workers who showed their complete lack of common sense.

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        That’s the same kind of columns we’ve been getting in great carload lots for the last nine months.

      2. Cat Tree*

        I know I’m really callous to frame it this way, but their large family might not be as large next year. That is the reality of the situation. It’s it worth having one big celebration this year at the expense of family members dying?

        I have a friend (who I haven’t seen in person since March) who voluntarily got on an international flight for a vacation. His reasoning is that it was pre-paid so he didn’t want to miss out. I asked him if his hospital stay was also pre-paid. It’s just so short-sighted. He went anyway and I will not be seeing him in person until we’re both vaccinated.

    3. Sparrow*

      Right, I have been the model pandemic citizen since March, which means I have been alone for almost 9 months. My depression is already so severe, spending Christmas alone would not be a smart move. But while I know *I* would quarantine for two weeks before driving to visit family, I don’t trust that they would all do the same and/or get tested, which means I’m still on the fence about going. Their state is currently in much better shape than mine, covid-wise, but the people there are also more cavalier about the rules, so that probably won’t last. If only folks would make better choices, this would be easier for everyone.

      1. JSPA*

        If two (or many) people have indeed been strictly isolated (including no in-person shopping, nobody coming to work in your house) then those specific people coming together isn’t risky.

        But few people game out the travel process or do a deep dive into what other people mean by “isolating.” One person’s “isolating” may include a lot more shared airspace than another’s.

        Some people have just decided “kids don’t count” (which isn’t so) or “masked shopping isn’t contact” (it’s far safer, but not no-risk) or “tests are reliable.” (If millions of people rely 100% on tests that’s miss even a fraction of a percent of cases, that’s thousands of exposures.) Or that outdoors isn’t “in person.”

        If a “what’s your exposure” conversation takes 30 seconds or less, you’re probably getting the “rounded down for simplicity and personal comfort” version.

    4. JSPA*

      Yes! I’d try saying, “If people go to the luncheon, maybe out of a sense of obligation, and that ends up being the reason they can’t see family members over the holidays, it’ll be a huge blow to their wellbeing, even if nobody gets sick.”

      Alternative suggestions, especially if they include those same resturants, would be great, as presumably part of the idea is to support the restaurants and maintain the relationship. “Gift certificate, people’s choice of which place” or “they do great pies and cookies ‘to go,’ we could have them delivered for a comparable price to a meal” might fly better than, “are you out of your freaking senses?”

      1. JSPA*

        #3, it may be too late, but with 20/20 hindsight, the best answer would have been, “yes, I’ve started looking into the logistics of a Zoom lunch or treat-basket toast, and was going to approach you about whether there were funds for delivery, and if so, how much. I’d be glad to expand that, if nobody else is already doing so.”

        First, managers who don’t think much are suckers for sunk cost / sunk time.

        Secondly, initiative points.

        Finally, and most importantly, it treats as completely obvious that whatever will be done, will be remote.

  7. D3*

    Re: Resume Photos
    It’s Canva. They have a million templates with spots for photos. They are also very heavy on the graphic design and I wonder how readable they are by ATS.
    But it’s definitely a Canva template thing.

    1. Artemesia*

      Photos are barred many places for the obvious reason of wanting to review applications without obvious data on race and age. I am shocked that this is becoming a trend.

      1. Cat Tree*

        Yeah, at one point I seriously considered giving my future children, especially daughters, only gender neutral first names just to reduce bias on their job applications (I’m a woman in a heavily male industry). I’ve also known plenty of people who use a more “white sounding” nickname on their resumes for the same reason. So many of us go out of our way to remove these factors. I can’t imagine anyone besides a thin, conventionally attractive white man benefiting from adding a photo.

        1. Jennifer Juniper*

          A thin, young, conventionally -attractive white woman may also “benefit,” but the job she lands would have a better chance of coming at a very heavy price…

        2. ...*

          I mean the first thing I do for every candidate is go to their linkedin if they have one so im going to see them regardless. Not to check their picture but ive had a not insignificant number of candidates have a totally different job history on linked in then their resume, like on their resume they are current employed and on linked in they have been “seeking opportunities” for 3 years and that previous job from the resume ended in 2017.

    2. babblemouth*

      I also blame Canva for the trend of self-evaluated skills presented as a download-in-progress bar, taking up to 20% of the real estate on a one page CV. Useless information, presented in a way that fills up the page when there isn’t much else to say…

      1. TechWorker*

        Lol yes I hate those. Oh you rate yourself 4 out of 5 for ‘communication skills’ I mean that’s nice but tells me nothing except that you’ve had bad resume advice…

      2. The Original Stellaaaaa*

        After reading that the OP thinks that these new college grads would otherwise be filling up a whole page with relevant accomplishments, I’m not surprised that these candidates are resorting to weird measures to fill up a page. There are always disconnects like this with recruiters, I’ve found. Unless she really is looking for a list of high school and college extracurriculars and detailed activity reports?

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          She doesn’t say that. She points out that taking up a third of the page with a photo (!) rather than what employers want to see (yes, accomplishments) is a bad idea. A college grad might not have an entire page of accomplishments (although I’ve seen plenty that do), but they shouldn’t have a third of the page to spend on a photo either (even if it weren’t a bad idea for other reasons, which it is).

        2. MK*

          Well, yes, I would assume that a recent graduate will have a number of school/university related stuff on their resume, things that a more experienced worker won’t bother to mention. And even those might not feel up a whole page. But even if one only has the bare qualifications (in my country that would be degree, languages with level of fluency and computer knowledge with level of expertise) it would be better to have a third filled page than a photo; if nothing else, it’s distracting.

      3. Caramel & Cheddar*

        I haven’t been a manager for 8+ years, but the self evaluated graphical representation of skills thing was definitely a thing back then (and I was in non-profit arts).

    3. Miss Pantalones En Fuego*

      Aesthetics change over time, so I am not that surprised that this is becoming popular. Especially since there is a broad trend toward having photos of yourself in various public contexts. It’s probably bad for all the reasons that other people have mentioned but I can imagine that in many work contexts a text-only resume with no graphic elements looks very old fashioned and out of date.

  8. BuildMeUp*

    #1 – The only way I could see this making some sense is if the issues outlined in the performance plan are all directly tied to what went wrong with the recent event. If it was a big enough deal, I could see them wanting to make sure it doesn’t happen again. A performance plan is an odd way to address it though, especially if there hasn’t already been a conversation about what went wrong.

    1. Malarkey01*

      This is what I was wondering. I had an excellent employee once that made a very very big mistake tied to a really bad judgement call. In anyone else, it would have been an immediate termination. They were so good though that I fought to keep them. In exchange the company wanted me to document coaching sessions and a more formal probation period where work would be closely supervised.

      I think looking closely at what went wrong, how bad was it, and is the PIP trying to address that specifically may help (or it can be bad management and never make sense).

  9. Chocolate Teapot*

    1. I once received regular praise for my work, then all of sudden during appraisal (and bonus) time, my previous happy boss did a hatchet job on my work, then told me I was being transferred, as there wasn’t enough work for me.

    A few weeks later, it was announced that somebody else in the company was going to take over the job I had been doing, but with a formal title change. At this point, I started revising my CV (without photo!) and got a much better job elsewhere.

  10. WS*

    Where I am, there’s been no new COVID cases for 28 days, and everything is going back to normal apart from international travel. I thought that this year, after a stressful year working in frontline healthcare and being the workplace COVID coordinator, at least we wouldn’t have to put up with a Christmas party…but now we’re having one! (Yes, I know the COVID thing is a much bigger issue, I’m just having a little introvert whine.)

  11. AnNina*

    Regardin 2:
    A related story: I’m in one of those countries, where pictures in a resume is a thing. BUT I was still a bit shocked, when one day my manager stepped into my office along with a stranger holding a camera, and said: “Hey, if you want to have a professional photo taken for your resume, meet us at the parking lot in five minutes.”

    Found out later, that they were taking some promotional pictures and on top of that, wanted to offer professional pictures for staff. Everyone else was also invited and nobody else (at least, on my level) knew about it in advance. It was weird, but since we are a decent company in most aspects, it was “funny weird” enough.

    1. KimmyBear*

      My office did something similar but marketed the photo as being for LinkedIn. We also work in many countries where photos on resumes is very much required.

    2. Lovecraft Beauty*

      Does anyone know of blogs like AAM for non-US audiences? I have sort of figured out the difference between the US résumé and the U.K. CV, but not entirely, and suspect there are more subtleties in the ROI, and would be willing to bet actual cash money that I am totally offbase on EU norms. (Are there EU norms or is it country by country?)

    3. Cat Tree*

      I work at a huge company where it’s very common to first interact with someone over email. We are encouraged *after we are already hired* to add a photo to Outlook to make it easier to find each other if we ever meet in person. My company offers professional portraits occasionally, and I was scheduled to get one… at the end of March. Obviously that didn’t happen so I have a years-old photo taken at a Cheesecake Factory for now. In the grand scheme of things it’s such a minor problem right now, but hopefully someday I can get a good photo.

  12. BarnacleGirl*

    OP 3 my company is doing something similar. It’s ridiculous the way employers are deliberately putting staff at risk. When I voiced my concerns I was shot down for being a grinch so I’m calling in sick the day of. No way I’m exposing myself or my family because people want to eat dry turkey on the company dime.

    1. tangerineRose*

      Good for you! A lot of people don’t seem to realize that this could be a life-or-death choice.

  13. Beth Jacobs*

    I’m in a country where photos on resumes are the norm and I’m defying that norm. It’s shallow and takes away valuable space that I need to display achievements and hard skills. Haven’t had any trouble getting interviews.
    Unless you’re a model, what’s the point?

    1. Mookie*

      re LW 2

      How and why and who is putting them up to it are interesting questions, no doubt. It’s natural to be curious about new and shifting patterns of observed behavior in order to glean something useful from that behavior broadly and case-by-case when judging applicants on merit, judgment, and character.

      That being said, LW’s concern about the practice functioning as intentional padding or as self-defeating behavior for applicants selling themselves short on their resumes are entirely separate questions. Is the average college grad resume substantively full enough that a 25-30% infill photograph will be truly crippling—occupying key space that ought to be reserved for quality content—or is it a question of it just seeming so and therefore giving a bad impression?

      I certainly agree that effective resumes should be easy to read and that stylistic, superfluous frippery is often more distracting and irritating than it has any right to be, given that even rendered perfectly it will not make a candidate, mediocre or otherwise, any more qualified or alluring.

      Personally, my objection in the US to photographs, particularly for entry-level applicants, is that self-representation for job seekers in this country is gendered and racialized, and applicants already adjust their presentation and what personal details they choose to disclose or highlight, be it to boost one’s prospects by signaling prestige or an unmarked identity or to conceal one’s background to avoid detection as marked or as a minority. In this sense, photographs in resumes and application materials have the capacity to contribute to further de-“blinded” screening even more overtly than names, education, and (ugh) “hobbies/interests.”

      In select fields where outreach to young professionals remains systematically uninterested in broadening, diversifying, or tapping “non-traditional” talent, photographs could introduce bias because scouters and recruiters are not trained or motivated to recognize and adjust for it. For other fields or workplaces, photographs might provide a small benefit for employers and applicants alike or, more probably, cause and contribute to no ill effect.

      1. soon 2be former fed*

        In 43 years of professional employment in the US, I have never used a photo on my resume, and would have never thought to do so. Unless seeking modeling or acting jobs where appearance may matter, why would anyone choose to include a photo so they can be judged on factors other than their qualifications? Hard no to this foolishness.

    2. General von Klinkerhoffen*

      I can see an argument for attaching a photo at interview stage (to help jog an interviewer’s mind as to which candidate was which) but you could just as easily take a Polaroid on the day or a screenshot if remote. I haven’t heard a good argument otherwise, outside of literal casting.

    3. Artemesia*

      The point is we can see how old you are, what race, your gender and of course if you are a woman particularly, how attractive you are. It is one of the reasons it has been frowned on in the US, apparently till now.

    4. RebelwithMouseyHair*

      If you send one to my ex boss and have blonde hair, your chances of getting hired go through the roof.

  14. triplehiccup*

    Pictures were required by a lot of places when I was applying for server and bartender jobs in Austin, Texas, in 2009. Die to late-onset cystic acne, I switched to retail :)

    1. EPLawyer*

      I lived in Austin in the early 2000s (gone by 2005). I would think they would want a picture to make sure you had the requisite tats and body piercings. Not that I have anything against them. I just noticed that most servers had them in Austin.

    2. Tidewater 4-1009*

      You both might find the book Neo-Bohemia interesting. It examines the relationship between the art scene and the businesses in Wicker Park in Chicago in the 90s and 2000s. Sounds like something similar was happening in Austin.

  15. Lisa Turtle*

    OP1, what was the recent event and what was your husband’s involvement? Those details really determine how he proceeds. Your letter implies that you think he should have been protected from a PIP because of he recent glowing review, but if the recent event was a truly massive fuck up, that can eclipse a glowing review.

  16. Thankful for AAM*

    Maybe those responsible for hiring need to start adding this to application instructions: “applications with photos and graphics will be rejected”

  17. JohannaCabal*

    #2 You mention you’re getting these from recent grads. It could be that they are imitating LinkedIn where I would say that 99% of profiles I’ve seen have a headshot photo. In fact, it seems to be an expectation these days that your LinkedIn page includes a photo.

    Also, the last three companies I worked for featured headshots of almost all employees on their website. That could be driving it too.

  18. Twisted Lion*

    #2 Yes! Saw a resume with a picture on the third page yesterday which startled me. Not a recent graduate though, someone more established in the field. They also included links to youtube videos….. so yeah.

    1. 1234*

      But was the YouTube video relevant to their candidacy? For example, they were giving a speech or presenting at an industry conference.

      1. I'm just here for the cats.*

        Yes. If the youtube video is relevant, either something they created to show specific skills, or a speech at a conference or something I think it would be ok. Odd and surprising maybe.
        Does Alison have anything about links to videos in resumes?

  19. AnonForNow*

    If it’s mainly new grads sending pictures on their resume, I would even make a guess that this is a tik tok trend. I’ve come across people showing how to make resumes on the app and they include pictures.

  20. Anonymity*

    I had a very good colleague who was highly rated get fired for one egregious mistake so a performance plan doesn’t surprise me. More details are needed to make a judgment.

  21. Bostonian*

    #3 Yes, if the public safety angle doesn’t convince them (sad that it wouldn’t), try the PR one. For those of you nowhere near MA, Google “biogen superspreader” or “Biogen conference”. Now, this was back in early March before anyone knew any better, and it was STILL highly publicized and analyzed, especially as it was brought to light how many cases it led to. Now there’s no excuse for holding an event like this, so if it did lead to a ton of cases, the company would be crucified by the media.

    1. Tuna Casserole*

      In my area, having a party can net you a $1000 fine. OP should look into laws where they live.

  22. Amber Rose*

    #3: We’re doing a Christmas Luncheon. We’re telling everyone to order lunch on that day and expense it back to us. For the very few of us left in the office, we’re bring in separately wrapped foods for people to eat at their desks, and they’ll be called in one or two at a time to grab it. I’m decorating the lunch room and we’ll be streaming it over a meeting if people wanna chat online while they eat.

    Basically we’re just buying everyone lunch rather than having a gathering, since that seems to be the easiest way to show our appreciation without violating any safety guidelines. Maybe you could suggest something like that as an alternative?

  23. KHB*

    #1: The particular practices identified in the PIP – communicating issues, documenting processes – are things where you can get away with cutting corners when everything’s going smoothly, but when you hit a bump in the road, they become really important. It sounds to me like maybe OP’s husband had a stretch where everything went smoothly for him, so he got used to cutting those corners, but then he hit a bump, and everything blew up in his face.

    It still seems a little excessive to go straight to a PIP based on one incident. But it’s hard to know what really happened – if that one incident uncovered a pattern of bad habits that just happened to never be a serious problem until now, a PIP might make sense.

    1. CatFurniture*

      How is it a stretch when you’re NOT in charge of this process? The person in charge should have identified this before this went into effect. This seems like someone passing ownership after they got in trouble.

  24. Richard Hershberger*

    LW3: The interesting aspect of this is not that corporate America is willing to kill off its employees. This has always been true. Nor is it that the potential for bad PR is the strongest argument against killing off its employees. This is progress. Not all that long ago, bad PR for something so trivial wouldn’t have been a concern. Rather, what interests me is that corporate America is willing to kill off its employees not to increase profits, but to have lunch.

    1. tangerineRose*

      Irony – the lunch is supposed to show appreciation for employees but could kill them and people they love. I don’t get why anyone would think this is a good idea.

      1. Tidewater 4-1009*

        All my work life I’ve noticed a pattern of corporations showing “appreciation” with gestures or small gifts instead of what the employees really want, like more pay and benefits. The Christmas lunch might be part of that pattern.

        1. KHB*

          I know, right? I go to work to do a specific job and get paid for it. If my employer wants to show its appreciation, it can give me the resources I need to do my job well, recognize and reward me fairly when I do my job well – or, if for some reason it can’t do those things, it can be straightforward and honest about why not. All else is a distraction.

          1. Tidewater 4-1009*

            Yes, exactly! It’s intended to distract employees from the less than market pay and skimpy benefits.

  25. LGC*

    So, with the caveat that PIPs mean different things to different people…PIPs also mean different things to different people! That is, LW1’s husband’s company might think that it’s just a documented development conversation, but they need to think about how a lot of people think a PIP means that you’re being fired.

    That said, I’m inclined to think that this PIP is garbage, based off of what LW1 said. (With the caveat that I have not read the PIP and I don’t know their husband.) It’s really vague except for the metrics part, and the metrics part is useless because they’re in a transition! Like, I’ll have people who are new to a job flail and do poorly for their first month (on something that’s established process), and I need to reassure them that I am expecting them to not be completely on the ball right off the bat! If it’s something new, then I’m DEFINITELY not blaming them for making mistakes. There’s definitely something else going on.

    LW3 – The notable caveat is that (especially in the US), guidelines vary where you’re at. In my state, we’ve officially capped indoor gatherings at 10 (I’m in a state that was hit very hard at the beginning, and as a result has stricter than average restrictions for the US). Other states have more…lenient caps. So the CDC (in the US) might say one thing, but the state health department and local governments – which are the enforcement bodies at stake – will say something different.

    So you might have to tweak that to say, “The CDC recommends…”

    (On the other hand, I read this letter again, and I’m not sure you’re in the US. In which case, go off your own country’s guidelines, which are probably way more consistent than whatever the hell the US did.)

  26. I'm just here for the cats.*

    OP 1. I would be curious to know if everyone who was involved in the project that went wrong got a PIP. Could your husband ask his coworkers or the person in charge of the project. If others are getting a PIP I think it might not just be your husband. But, like others mentioned above, I would have him go back and make sure things are clear and not fuzzy. If th y are have him ask, ok improve communication. What does that look like for me to be more successful. What are you wanting.
    I hope all goes well.

  27. Oaktree*

    For LW#4, I’m wondering what to actually say in the email to the department head. I’m in a similar position (recently applied to work at an org where I had a summer internship about five years ago, and the job is in the same department I worked in). I want to contact the manager but don’t know what to say.

  28. Texan In Exile*

    LW1: I have a former co-worker, Bob, a software developer, who just quit his job at Old Company, mainly because of his new boss, Tom, a VP brought in by new CEO (who was from GE, as are most of the people CEO has brought in – this means something to people who know how GE operates).

    Tom was angry that Bob gave a great review to one of the two remaining women on Bob’s team. Most of the women had quit or moved to other groups, telling Bob that Tom was a sexist and they wanted nothing to do with him.

    Tom insisted that Bob change the review he had given to Kathy.

    “How can we get rid of her if she has a good review?” Tom asked.

    “Why would we want to get rid of her?” Bob asked. “She’s a great developer!”

    Tom also told Bob to get rid of Sue, saying Sue was “not technical enough.”

    Sue has a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. She was a product manager, not a coder. She is great – I had worked with her.

    Sometimes, there really are evil people in the hierarchy who are conspiring against you.

    Sometimes, there really are sexists who want to get rid of the women.

    1. Tidewater 4-1009*

      I can only hope that Bob posted detailed reviews in all the appropriate places, that Kathy and Sue found better jobs, and that Tom ends up with what he deserves – A group of good old boys who can’t find the right code with a flashlight, and a woman boss. :D

  29. Jennifer Juniper*

    OP1, was your husband due for a raise? If he was, he could have been put on a PIP so the company could avoid giving him a raise. Or some C-suite wants the role for their own kid/spouse/mistress.

  30. Tidewater 4-1009*

    I can only hope that Bob posted detailed reviews in all the appropriate places, that Kathy and Sue found better jobs, and that Tom ends up with what he deserves – A group of good old boys who can’t find the right code with a flashlight, and a woman boss. :D

  31. CatFurniture*

    LW #3 at least it’s your coworkers are at your location. My company wants to fly most of the executive staff (minus the CEO who has health problems) to another location for an on-site visit. Both locations are experiencing a Covid spike but neither state is advocating an quarantine for those people coming in from states experiencing a surge in Covid cases.

    Why? No one is providing a reason that risks the health of multiple workers at BOTH locations. And we’re not being asked if we accept these risks or not. We have to report to work during the visit. Or risk getting terminated.

    1. Former Employee*

      “We have to report to work during the visit. Or risk getting terminated.”

      If you don’t want to risk termination and don’t feel you can quit, attend in a hazmat suit.

  32. Shrek is an ogre*

    LW 2-

    I have a friend who’s from one of the countries that uses pictures on the resume and also includes other details that we would never use here. She genuinely had no idea that this wasn’t normal here (she moved as a professional and I guess just kept naively using the same format) until she asked me for advice and I was like get rid of the picture and this and that… I wonder if it’s something like this, especially if said person tried using a template because a lot of the templates (eg on Canva) include pictures and they might not know that it’s out of sync.

  33. Lalitah28*

    LW#1: Smells like bag management. I’ve been working since 1995 and this smells like manager was a chicken and didn’t want to address issues, or the altercation pissed off the “wrong” person. But all in all, it’s just bad management anyway you slice it.

  34. stuff*

    I applied for a number of jobs in the last two years, and most of them wanted a photo. I asked one of them if this the new norm, but they didn’t reply.

  35. Poppy*

    Re: Letter #2, about photos on resumes:
    I’m surprised Alison didn’t mention that it’s not just outside professional norms, it’s something influencers should be trying to discourage because it can lead to discrimination. (At least in the U.S., where various types of discrimination are against the law.)

    Studies have shown that applications made to look as if they were from Black candidates (whether through photos or names on the resume) got less consideration than if the screener thought the applicants were White. And a poster below cites their own experience of how colleges and employers would rule out candidates for the “wrong” skin tone. I’m sure discrimination against various ethnicities, religions, perceived gender, or appearance could also apply.

    Obviously at some point most applicants are going to reveal what they look like. But including a photo with the resume introduces appearance (and the assumptions that go with it) early, where biases can play more of a role. Career counselors, universities, placement agencies, employers, and anyone else influencing the job search process (apparently including Canva) should be aware of this.

  36. fellicity*

    Who uses a resume template with a photo in it? Me. Who has been on four interviews in two weeks for director-level positions? Me.

    Things change, including how we market ourselves.

Comments are closed.