Friday, December 03, 2004


In Which I Get The Picture...

So today, I'm going through the slush pile (which I try to do on Fridays) and I see a query from a professional writer who sent me a few clips and...a picture of herself. Nothing undignified or erotic or anything but...a picture of herself?

A little later, my editor drops by with a stack of intern applications. So now I'm looking through a bunch of resumes set in VERY large type so as to fill the page despite a paucity of experience (a trick I remember using). And halfway through I stop dead. I'm staring at a young woman's resume whose main feature is...a picture of herself. Nothing undignified, but it's not a head shot either; it's cropped to just below the sternum. And she's vamping a little. Twenty resumes later, by God, here's another one (this time just a headshot)!

What the hell? I'm thinking. Why in the name of God would you send me a picture of yourself? I mean, think about it, you smart young women out there, looking to loose yourself on the industry: Do you really want to work for someone who would be swayed by this tactic? And what kind of message are you sending to the (I hope) majority of editors who will NOT be swayed? That's right, we're thinking: This is all she has to offer? A pretty face? Same goes for the freelance writer (although really, not a looker, so that's like two strikes on her. Not that I care about stuff like that).

All I can figure is this is some new tip that's wormed its way into the universe of advice designed to help you get a job. When I was starting out, it was the rage to print your resume on neon-hued paper, bright enough to stand out from a pile of submissions on an editor's desk...except of course that when he looked at it full on, the lurid color either gave him a migraine or induced blinding cataracts. I suppose a picture of a pretty young woman is easier on the eyes but...well, it's cheap.

As far as I'm concerned, stick with a plain resume. Use a large typeface if you want to. And spend some time writing a kick-ass cover letter. Those words are worth a thousand pictures.

From Somewhere On The Masthead

Here's my resume. No picture, just a blog. I'm a terrible opportunist.
Yes, never miss an opportunity, especially if you can respond without feeling the need to provide photo support. Thanks for stopping by --MM
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