by James Watkins
Originally published: June 8, 2017
Never judge a book by its cover — so your mother, priest, teacher or somebody surely told your younger self once upon a time. But seriously, have you ever been browsing in a bookstore and had the time to open every novel that piqued your curiosity? And if you’re relying on recommendations from friends or book clubs, how do you know that they don’t also base their selections exclusively on pretty covers?
Books, humans; tomato, to-mahto. The Book of You is judged by its cover almost constantly, especially when it comes to getting a job. Your résumé is essentially one big dust jacket awaiting judgment, wrapped around the human hardback within. It might be your race or your gender, or even your socioeconomic background, accent, sexual orientation or the ethnic origins of your name. Humans are very good at making judgments and inferences based on limited information — consciously or not — leading to all manner of explicit and implicit biases. A moral offense? Sure, but in business it’s also a financial liability — a discrimination lawsuit waiting to happen.