Nursing Application Photos: Discrimination or Not

  1. 1
    During my recent job hunt in the nursing field, I decided to contact a recruiter to help me with my application and "getting my name out there," so to speak. I worked with her for a few months trying to find jobs in clinics and doctor's offices across the Atlanta area, when after a few weeks she asked if I could send her a picture of myself to attach to my resume because the hiring agencies wanted to see what I looked like before an interview or further evaluation. My questions:

    Is this a form of discrimination?

    Is this about the company's image and the company wanting to make sure only attractive nurses are hired?

    Is this a new way to judge nurses and keep nurses of certain appearances in certain areas of nursing (only clinics and offices were contacted by the recruiter and they were the only agencies to request a photo)?

    What do you think?
    Faeriewand likes this.
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  4. 50 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    I think the picture could be a way to show that you can look professional. You have to think whenever you work for a company, you become a face of the company. I doubt they are looking at the picture to see if you are pretty/ugly, black/white etc. I am sure they are just looking for a professional appearance.

    I work at a hospital and we hire surgical fellows through a residency match program. The program requires them to post a picture. We dont look at the picture for more than just a face of reference to the application.
    lindarn likes this.
  6. 8
    I think this is ridiculous. They ought to see how professional you appear when you arrive for your interview. That way, the interview process if fair for all. I think surgical fellowship is different area entirely....there is a lot of business PR stuff in that type of area where a photo may be acceptable. Of course, if you are really good looking, more than the average person, than this might work for you so why not? But also remember....if you are a woman, and you happen to look better than the average woman...that can bring negative discrimination to you as well........by now, we all know how catty a female dominated business becomes. Good luck...well wishes for a great job!
    annister, melmarie23, Plagueis, and 5 others like this.
  7. 4
    Quote from DREAMSDOCOMETRUE0610
    During my recent job hunt in the nursing field, I decided to contact a recruiter to help me with my application and "getting my name out there," so to speak. I worked with her for a few months trying to find jobs in clinics and doctor's offices across the Atlanta area, when after a few weeks she asked if I could send her a picture of myself to attach to my resume because the hiring agencies wanted to see what I looked like before an interview or further evaluation. My questions:

    Is this a form of discrimination?

    Is this about the company's image and the company wanting to make sure only attractive nurses are hired?

    Is this a new way to judge nurses and keep nurses of certain appearances in certain areas of nursing (only clinics and offices were contacted by the recruiter and they were the only agencies to request a photo)?

    What do you think?
    I wouldn't think it would be as much as attractive as two other factors...one acceptable, the other, not.

    Acceptable:

    Applicants that are well-groomed. I'm sorry, people need to have a professional image and if I was hiring, the I-just-crawled-out-of-bed-because-I-get-to-work-in-pajamas...wouldn't fly with me.

    Unacceptable

    I don't think the race thing would concern me as much as age....BOTH SIDES of the age spectrum.

    To me, they are setting themselves up.
    Psychtrish39, canoehead, Faeriewand, and 1 other like this.
  8. 16
    Well you can pretty much do what you want these days. You are not already employed by said company, so they can pick and choose out of whatever criteria they want.

    Here's what you do, learn how to use Photoshop.
    elizabethgrad09, annister, cbcle, and 13 others like this.
  9. 1
    To me that sounds a little funny. I'm not sure if places really do this, but I have never had to do it. Maybe they do want to see if you're professional looking, I.e. no extreme hairstyles/colors, gauge piercings, nose rings, chin piercing ect. If you feel comfortable enough, you can or you can't. It's totally up to u. It's not something you have to do is it?
    lindarn likes this.
  10. 3
    How is it discriminatory to ask applicants to provide information? I think we're all too quick to cry "discrimination" in this country.Either provide the photo or don't. Of course, anyone who really wants a position will do their utmost to comply with a reasonable request from a potential employer. And this is a reasonable request. FYI, it used to be routine to attach a picture to your resume - perhaps some applicants still do that as a matter of course and the employer just wants to make all applications similar. You don't have any way of knowing why the employer wants the picture and to refuse such a small request will likely tell the employer alot about you and your ability to be a team player.
    Meriwhen, sevensonnets, and lindarn like this.
  11. 0
    Up until, not that many years ago, when one was up for promtion in the military, an official photo was required to send to the promotion board with your promotion packet. It was taken by the base miltary photgrapher, and of course, it was in uniform.

    The military stopped doing this, and I don't know why. The last picture I had to take for promotion, I was 4 months pregnant with my daughter. It was a head shot, so I squeezed into my regular uniform, because I did not want to take the picture in my military maternity uniform.

    Anyway, as said, the military stopped requiring pictures for promotion. I have no idea why they stopped.

    Lindarn, RN, BSN, CCRN
    Somewhere in the PACNW
  12. 2
    Perhaps one branch of the military did, but I can guarantee you that the Marine Corps did not. You take a picture for promotion and any other programs you want to apply for. Professional military appearance is very important in the Marine Corps. Do you look good in uniform (and I don't mean are you hot) or do you look like a bag of crap wrapped in a set of Charlies? We have height and weight standards, but we also have a policy on military appearance, so if you are close to your weight limit but it's obvious that you work out and look totally squared away in your uniform, the weight part is not as scrutinized (especially if you have a high PFT score), but even if you are within standards some how but have a big ol' gut and didn't take the time to get a fresh haircut before your board photos, you're likely to get tossed aside, if there's any competition at all.
    cb_rn and lindarn like this.
  13. 23
    Quote from roser13
    How is it discriminatory to ask applicants to provide information? I think we're all too quick to cry "discrimination" in this country.Either provide the photo or don't. Of course, anyone who really wants a position will do their utmost to comply with a reasonable request from a potential employer. And this is a reasonable request. FYI, it used to be routine to attach a picture to your resume - perhaps some applicants still do that as a matter of course and the employer just wants to make all applications similar. You don't have any way of knowing why the employer wants the picture and to refuse such a small request will likely tell the employer alot about you and your ability to be a team player.
    We're quick to "cry" discrimination because we have a pretty strong history of it. And it's a fairly recent history too, and to deny that it still occurs silently and subtly in some areas is naive.

    Asking for a picture off the bat makes me think they're using appearance to screen applications before deciding who to call in to interview. I don't find that to be acceptable.
    Mrs. SnowStormRN, annister, Chin up, and 20 others like this.


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