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Screening Applicants Finding a Job Resumes Ethics

Most applicants for positions with our company apply online, but we occasionally receive hard copies through the mail. We just received one from a fairly good candidate, and we were surprised to find that he included four movie passes. Is this what applicants are now being advised to do? Should this disqualify him?

Applicants today are being advised to take so-called creative steps to separate themselves from the pack, but just because applicants are getting advice does not mean they are getting good advice. It can sound cute and fun to include movie passes with a resume, but this great advice can easily be seen as a bribe.

Your first step is to send back the passes along with a note indicating that you are unable to accept gifts from job applicants. The question of whether to eliminate him from the running is your call. It could be argued that he did not show good judgment in sending these to you, and that should knock him out. However, perhaps a credible employment counselor gave him this advice and convinced him that it is problem free and highly effective.

You describe him as a “fairly good candidate,” and that is not a glowing endorsement, independent of the movies. Does your company typically interview fairly good candidates, or do you set the bar higher? If he would have been selected for an interview had the movie event not occurred, then you should invite him for an interview. By probing his work history and his thinking behind the movie passes, you should have no trouble determining if you should pass on him.

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