An anonymous curriculum vitae (CV) includes a summary of our professional and academic backgrounds as well as research experience, publications, awards, honors, affiliations and other details. However, our names and other personal identifying information are not included in order to avoid choice-based discrimination by recruiters.
Who has never heard of discrimination during a job search? Given the vast typology of situations it covers, (seniors, gay, pregnant women, disabled, “unionized” people surnames or physical original inhabitants in badly-reputed neighbourhoods …) and its foundation which is often subjective (perception, beliefs, unspoken), discrimination can potentially affect all of us.
This idea emerged when some worries-raising figures appeared: in 2009, 16% of Europeans said they had been victims of discrimination, while 25% mentioned have witnessed such an act over the past year. Then in this case, what about non EU-citizens? In fact the concept started even before, in 2006, in France with the adoption of the law of “equality of chances“. This law caused a lot of talks and debates between pros and againsts. UK Companies like Tesco, Barclays and Coca-Cola have agreed to apply this policy, others stayed non-responsive.
This topic seemed to solve discrimination problems in hiring. At the beginning, people thought that the recruiters will not have any discriminative choices anymore. However, this policy has caused a bigger threat, which had reduced even more the chances for immigrants for example to get hired. According to a study conducted by the Centre for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST) between November 2009 and November 2010 over a thousand companies, the anonymous CV fight effectively against gender discrimination but not against those of ethnic issues. The opposite just happened: the immigrant candidates have only one chance in 22 of getting an interview, against a 10 chance if their resume were not anonymous.
This seemingly surprising result is due to the tendency of recruiters to “relativize” the shortcomings of the resume immigrant when they are registered. Spelling mistakes are more tolerated, the non-respect of the conventional national CV form and layout are not badly seen. Indulgence disappears then otherwise. “Recruiters forgive more ‘holes’ in the CV or spelling mistakes when they know the social origins,” says CREST.
The question at then end stays the same: how can it be guaranteed that companies will not make discriminative choices when recruiting? How can immigrants, despite their outsanding technical and academic profiles, find challenging positions without getting faced to descrimination? After all, this idea of the anonymous CV is not that efficient, as the recruiter will get to know the candidate once he/she is invited to a job interview.