Monique Chapman
over 6 months ago
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dis·crim·i·na·tion

Tomorrow marks my 4th month job searching since graduating from college back in early May. So far, over 100 applications submitted, 20 or so information interview written request, 5 phone interviews, and 3 face to face interviews.. Resulting in a whopping 0 (Zero) job offers. What scares me the most is that I suspect companies are not hiring me because of my weight. I have been battling obesity for most of my life and I think this disease has finally caught up with me. I do well enough on the phone interviews to land a face to face interview but everything changes once I walk into the room. I’m finding out that there’s a hidden hiring bias within the finance community against people with weight problems. It’s perceived as a weakness. I’m feeling so depressed right now and frankly can’t find the will within myself to move on. Finances are running low and and becoming another major stressor. Family and friends tell me that I’m being too self conscious and it’s all in my head but it doesn’t feel that way. Just thought i would share my story and hope for some advice from someone who’s been able to overcome this very serious personal challenge. How can I overcome overweight bias in my job search?

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Chejon Chejon

Yeah, I am getting that, too. I have applied to 856 jobs in 1 year and 10 months. I get 3 or 4 interviews a week, so I look good on paper. But no job offers.

5y
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Christopher Chase

Monique --

Put your biases on a diet. You do not want used in a decision making process, you should not be provided. This is a stroke of genius. Actions speaks louder! What did they see in you?

5y
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Ricky Roque

Here is a trick, modify your searches to contracting work. These don't care how you look.

5y
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Jayy With two y's

Its okay to be beautiful but understand to stay confident in who u are. The next interview u get u have to expose yourself in away that shows them your weight is not a problem being beautiful is not a problem...when they look at u they dont underatand the inner beauty...so therefore be confident dont allow no one to keep you from being anything less...Have faith in yourself.

5y
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Valerie Stoddard

There most certainly is a bias, and anyone who suggests otherwise has never been significantly overweight and experienced it. That said, you know your weight isn't a character flaw and has no effect on your skills and talent. But that won't help you land a job and that's what you're asking about. Here's my suggestion, fwiw: Try broaching the subject in your next interview. Many people are uncomfortable and don't know what to say to fat people (my daughter is morbidly obese, so I say "fat" not as an insult but her terminology) and if your interviewer is uncomfortable, they aren't going to hire you. If you tell them something such as, "I understand my weight might be off putting, but let me assure you I am confident, smart, and you won't find anyone more efficient and skilled (insert your own adjective here) than I am." Kick the elephant out of the room and bring the interviewer's focus back to what they were impressed by when they did the phone interview or read your resume. Come to your interview with reference letters in hand, supporting what you're saying. Also provide examples of your expertise. Best of luck to you! If you remember to, please keep us posted!

5y
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Tanya Fitzgerald

Monique, I can't begin to understand your particular problem however I can empathize. I am over 50 with a very visible disability. Rather sadly, bias in the employment world is both rampant and accepted and you will NEVER hear the truth about why you didn't make the cut. I can't tell you to toughen up or that you are imagining things; you are perfect just as you are and, no, you aren't imagining things. That unpleasantness being said, there is a very small bright spot in all of this gloom. It does require a great deal of research and patience on your part and you might have to settle for a second (or third) rate position while you look for your dream employer just to get your bills paid but in the end it will all be worth it. You will have both work experience and employer experience which will make you much more market wise and marketable. Once you get to that point and you have become what everyone wants to be and have on their team, you will be dictating your terms. There is nothing for YOU to overcome; you don't have the problem, someone else does. I do work in an industry where looks count however I work for an employer who has made the conscious decision to change this public opinion. There are companies out there that do have this type of corporate conscience and you will need to do quite a bit of research to locate them. You will also need to be mindful when you do get those face to face interviews. Don't just look at the interviewer. Look around the entire room and see what the company employs. If you are staring into a sea of Barbie and Ken dolls, move on. However if you see diversity and inclusion at every level fight hard to land anything you can and prove yourself to climb the ladder. You have already beat the dismal law of interviewing averages. You only submitted 100 applications to obtain the 5 phone interviews (generally it requires twice that) and those 5 phone interviews generated 3 personal ones (far greater than expected). You have what employers want my dear and don't let anyone or anything hold you back. I wish you well.

5y
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david daitchman

I can't speak to the weight bias, but I can tell you how to solve your weight problem. I had triple bypass Feb 3, 2014. 18 months later couldn't lose a pound. Boy did I try. My life depended on it. Then my sister gave me a book by Haylee Pomroy, a biologist working on digestion and metabolism for the FDA, called FAST Metabolism Diet. Pomroy has this totally solved. There is a reason her book was Number 1 on the NY times best sellers list, and a reason she was the featured presentation for Channel 11 public TV in Chicago's annnual fund raiser. The book is totally right. She really knows what it takes. I lost 2 belt notches in the first two weeks, 5 notches in 4 months, and almost 40 pounds.

As for the bias, unless you have a magic wand or win a nobel prize in Finance, it isn't going away. Lose the weight. You will feel like a million bucks and live longer.

5y
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Dr Roxanne Lewis

Monique-- I have the same issue. Weight discrimination is real. However, if you are healthy, and you can move well, discuss your concern with the HR on interview. And remember, you are not the only person with this problem, and, if you can find an interviewer who has the same issue, they will not discriminate towards you. Do some research, and look for jobs in companies that need your skills, push your skills, and ignore your weight "issue" and confront it directly if you think it is a factor. Self Esteem should be on high when interviewing, not low. Other overweight people have found jobs, you can find a job. Remember that the average size for women in this country is a size 16.

5y
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NATY PEREZ

Well in order for you to start feeling good about yourself maybe you could start a plan maybe you could start walking also taking may be a gym class of some sort of exercise and then maybe you need to just go ahead go into the volunteer areas of those same companies may be you can work for the city and work as a volunteer and then eventually that will help you get into a permanent position sometimes we need to also go to the are you local church community and have them assist you with any type of counseling and stay positive God is always giving you opportunities if you look for them in your heart

5y
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Jo Ann Lewis

Hello Monique, congratulations on identifying and accepting this as a possible road block to your success. I believe everything you stated is true and as othwrs have said you cannot blame yourself how others see you. However, it is my faith in you that because you recognize the possibility that being overweight maybe the cause I want to encourage you to seek the necessary help you need. When money is the factor and you cant afford a trainer do you! Walking, power walking, go to Marshall or Ross and purchase a $9 exercise ball, or hand/ankle weights their ropes balls ab gear come with instructions and chamfw your earing habits along with the types of fluids you drink- remember whatever the plan, whateverr the strategy, if you are a child of the Most High, you can do all things through He who strengthens you. Take a part-time job and when you have honed your mind, body and spirit you will ne ready for that blessing. I know from where my help comes from, it comes from the Lord.

5y
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