How would “blind” interviews alter the makeup of the workplace?

In career services, we stress the importance of appearance at job interviews.  Dress conservatively, get rid of distracting jewelry or scents, if you play with your hair, pull it back, don’t wear rings on ever finger or in every piercing, don’t have loose change in your pockets, and so on. has a thought provoking blog post today about conducting “blind” interviews and how our workplace might be different if hiring managers weren’t allowed to see job applicants, but could only hear the answers to their questions.

Here’s a excerpt from their post:

“Before blind auditions became common in the 70s, just 10% of new hires at major U.S. orchestras were women. The theory was that women weren’t very good musicians. But labor unions protested the hiring process and pushed for blind auditions where musicians would try out behind a curtain so appearance and gender were concealed.

In studying personnel from 11 major orchestras, Harvard economist Claudia Goldin and Princeton’s Cecelia Rouse found that 29% of females and 20% of males advanced to the final round in blind auditions. When auditions were not blind, only 19% of women advanced compared to 23% of men.

Even though sex discrimination is hard to measure, those stats speak volumes. Fortunately, since the 80s, about half the news hires at the New York Philharmonic, 40% at the San Francisco Symphony and more than a third in Boston and Chicago have been women.”

If we apply the same concept from these orchestras to hiring for other types of jobs, it’s amazing to think of how the workplace might be different.  I interviewed someone once who had tried to do the right thing by taking out his piercings, but had accidentally caused the piercing area to bleed, which was probably a lot worse than us just seeing the piercings in the first place. 

Have you ever been in an interview, on either side of the table, and felt that appearance, gender, age, looks, etc. played a roll in the outcome?  Do you think it would have been different if the interview situation had been “blinded?”

Job Action Day, Better Late than Never!

Job Action Day logoQuintessential Careers declared November 3rd as Job Action Day.  But even if, like me, you missed this great event, turn any day in the future into Job Action Day for yourself!

What is Job Action Day? “Quintessential Careers has declared Nov. 3 Job Action Day 2008 worldwide — a day for job-seekers and workers to confront the current economic crisis head-on and take action steps to improve their careers.  Quintessential Careers will mark Job Action Day 2008 with service-oriented articles and blog entries to provide workers and job-seekers with information, ideas, and concrete steps that they can take to secure their futures — both in the short-term and the long-term. The articles, to be introduced in a special Job Action Day edition of Quintessential Careers’ newsletter, QuintZine, include:”

Also, check out all the bloggers who participated in Job Action Day, they’e got some excellent useful and clever tips, tools, and techniques to help anyone in any stage of their career:

In addition, the Quintessential Careers family of blogs, including the Quintessential Careers Blog, Career Doctor Blog, Quintessential Resume and Cover Letter Tips Blog, and A Storied Career, will feature Job Action Day entries.  

Career News Galore, All In One Place. Simple. Useful. Clever.

More career advice exists on the internet than I can even begin to comprehend. So how do you access it in a way that simplifies your life?

Enter lists, you guessed it, all the top information sites for any topic you can imagine, more or less.  So if career advice isn’t your thing, consider visiting and finding what is.  I happen to love and as well as the career page.

It’s an amazing concept- an online magazine rack of hundreds of topics.  Get the information you want, all in one place.  Simple and Simplifying.

Ask handi!


Do you have a career related question?  Maybe you can’t find the information you need about resumes, cover letters, salaries?  Or you just haven’t found any good websites for your particular job search?  Or maybe you’re just wondering how to word something on your resume, cover letter, or Thank You note?

handiwork wants to help you find the best, most useful, and hopefully clever resources on the web to aid your quest.

How can you “Ask handi?”  Simply submit your question as a comment on this page and I will post answers daily.

**It should be mentioned, in the interest of full disclosure, that I rather enjoy a challenge- so even if you think your question is unanswerable or just plain silly, I’ll give it my best shot.

Radical Careering = Rad Resource!

I like inspiring things.  Inspiring things are, well, inspirational.  Once resource that I’m particularly inspired by is the “theory” of radical careering, introduced by Sally Hogshead.  I first came across the concept through her book of the same name, but after visiting her website, I am convinced of its rad-ness.

Radical Careering centers around the shocking and unbelievable idea that, GASP, we should love what we do for work, and that in order to feel that love, we need to fight for it.  I know, I know- I’ll give you a second to contemplate it fully.  Now, the concept and materials surrounding Radical Careering can be a bit, um, intense.  But Hogshead admits it herself in her first “Radical Truth” – “Welcome to the age of intensity.”

And I suppose that’s a great way to describe the feeling of truly loving your work- it’s intense. 


  • Self Induced Whiplash- a quiz that introduces the momentum equation: goals+attitutude+skill set+action+network.  What’s your career momentum like and how can you improve it?
  • Portable Equity- the sum of all the skills, talents, experiences, and networks that you have built in your current career and can TAKE WITH YOU into a new career.  How many suitcases will you need?
  •  Professional manners revisited- now that’s something we could all brush up on!


  • Some of the activities are more useful than others, but I do give props for cleverness!
  • There are so many websites connected to Radical Careering (that are part of the main website), that it’s difficult to remember what you’ve already visited, and even where you are in the site.  But it’s not a bad place to get lost.
  • Some of the links lead to unfinished pages or “coming soon” notices, after you’ve already gotten all excited about what you’ll find.  Try remembering to check back later :(

Career Advice Website-

I’m the first to admit it- I love career-related advice, but I’m certainly not the most comprehensive source (yet :)) available on the web.  Enter, a website that lets you search over 400 career advice websites and blogs from top professionals in the field. 

Some of my big favorites come up in a quick search for career advice-’s Job Search page, Quint Careers,, and many others.  And of course searches also yield results from excellent career advice blogs run by professional career advisors and recruiters- and yes, handiwork is one of them!

So check out for the answers to many of your career related questions.  But of course, don’t forget to come back to handiwork! and Job Search Videos!

I am a big fan of and their excellent job related videos.  Available online at their own website and on YouTube, the videos cover everything from job search basics- cover letters, resumes, interviewing, professional dress, networking, etc… AND they also cover employers by interviewing great companies to get a “day in the life of” feel. 

Check them out-

Also, check out the newest page to handiwork- Career Videos.  Videos from CareerTV and other sources.  Informative, often fun and funny.  Enjoy!