A Tale of Two Resumes

Disclaimer: These names and histories are ENTIRELY AND COMPLETELY fictional. However, they are entirely true to life, if rather optimistic.

There’s a company hiring for a single managerial position. There are two resumes for the final candidates. One is for Andrew Richards, the other for Andre Watson.

Andrew is 34, went to a fairly decent school, graduated in the top third of his class, has had a couple of jobs, starting in high school, his references note that he is detail oriented, has a stellar attendance record, and an employee of the month award.

Andre is 36, also went to a decent school, graduated in the top third of his class the same year Andrew did, has had jobs dating back to high school, and references paint him as conscientious and organized. One boss mentions that he found an error his supervisor missed that saved his company a couple thousand dollars at one point.

More often than not, Andrew will get called in for an interview before Andre will. Their resumes are actually pretty equal, all things considered, but it’s not just the names, though that has a lot to do with it. Andre’s two years older, and has had more jobs. At least one of Andrew’s is listed as an internship, though a paid one.

But the reason Andre had more jobs was that he actually worked two while he was in high school, because while both his and Andrew’s dads were hurt, Andre’s dad had his workman’s comp claim denied because the bureaucrat deciding it looked at it as a lazy black man trying to game the system. Andrew’s dad had the benefit of the doubt that he actually was hurt as badly as he said he was and that the incident happened on the work site. So while both high-school aged boys worked to help their families make ends meet, Andrew was able to work a single job, and most of his money went toward paying for leisure. Andre also has an additional job on his resume during his college years. His father was still out of work, because his injury wasn’t able to heal properly due to doctors treating him as a drug seeker. Andrew was able to take a summer off and go backpacking across the country with a couple of friends because his dad had returned to work by the time he graduated high school.

Andre graduated college the same year Andrew did because he took a little longer to go through, working and taking a couple fewer classes over two years to help out his family.

It’s so often not just the name that’s different.

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