Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The "Seinfeld Syndrome" is alive and well when it comes to resume tapes

If you were a fan of the comedy "Seinfeld" you know that Jerry always found some little fault with any woman he was dating. Man hands, low talker, bad lighting girl, you name it. The running joke was that he could never find the perfect woman.

When it comes to hiring someone, a lot of managers channel Seinfeld as they look at tapes. At various times I've taken tapes I liked to upper management, and gotten these comments:

"She's kinda top heavy."

"He's losing his hair."

"Too thin."

"Bad dye job."

"Needs a nose job."

"He looks too young / too old."

"He's already getting a double chin."

Sounds a lot like Jerry, huh? Note that all the above comments have absolutely nothing to do with reporting or anchoring skills. Everything is superficial.

And the thing to keep in mind is that when it comes to the superficial part of this business, everyone has different tastes.

One day in the newsroom someone started a poll as to who the best looking movie star was. The women were mostly going for Brad Pitt, the men were divided between Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Charlize Theron. Then one of the guys chimed in with "Sarah Jessica Parker" and every other guy went, "Huh?"

Like I said, different tastes.

You may be the most qualified reporter, you may have the best anchor tape in the stack, but if you don't fit the taste of management (not just the News Director) then you might not get the job.

As George Costanza would say, "It's not you... it's me."

So if you don't get the gig, it might not be you. It's them.


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