Selfie recruitment: How Kate Winslet applied for Steve Jobs movie

Selfie recruitment: How Kate Winslet applied for Steve Jobs movie

Kate Winslet wanted to be in the new movie about Steve Jobs so much that she auditioned for, and secured, the role by sending a selfie to the Producer.

The actor is famous for going out on a limb for the roles that she really wants. This was true for both Titanic and for the new movie about the Apple Founder. In a new interview with The One Show, Winslet revealed the extent she went to in order to secure the role of Joanna Hoffman, one of the original Apple executives.

Winslet said: “I was working on The Dressmaker, and the woman who was doing the hair and makeup in that film had got herself the gig by doing the hair and makeup on the Steve Jobs film. So I thought ‘wow, that sounds amazing.’”

The conversation made Winslet so enthusiastic that she thought “I really need to get in there.”

She continued: “So, in a timely manner, I put a wig over my hair and I took a selfie. I sent it to the producer Scott Rudin, who I know, and it worked for me.”

One meeting with Danny Boyle, the Director, later and Winslet got the job. While this story shows the importance of networking, it highlights the use of selfies in recruitment.

“It would depend on what the selfies were like really,” Emmajane Albertini tells Recruitment Grapevine. She is the Managing Director at Elite National Recruiters. “If the photos are humorous, it wouldn’t go against them, but if they seem quite vain then it could.

“If it is tongue in cheek and funny, then it is fine, but if they take themselves too seriously, then it’s not so much.”

But other recruiters think differently. 34% of recruiters see selfies as something negative, according to Jobvite’s UK Social Recruitment Survey, which was released in September. It interviewed 500 recruiting and HR professionals.

David Lahey is the VP International at Jobvite. He tells Recruitment Grapevine: “In our experience, [selfies] can sometimes suggest a narcissistic personality, someone with the potential to be over self-absorbed. 

“Some of this can be attributed to a generational divide. The selfie craze is generally practised by millennials, while many of the recruiters making the hiring decisions tend to be of an older generation. Still, if you are looking for a job, it might be best think twice before taking your next selfie." 

Albertini doesn’t agree. She says: “If you saw a profile with lots of funny images, then overall I don’t think it would make a difference to be honest.”

While she admits that it wouldn’t look good if candidates continuously posted photos of themselves drinking, there is one thing that would concern her more.

Albertini says she would be more concerned if candidates hadn’t adjusted their privacy settings on Facebook. “That would be a concern in itself.”

Matthew Sanders is the Chief Executive at Zoek. He tells Recruitment Grapevine: “Image is hugely important in today’s world, so if you think a selfie is going to give your application more character, and ultimately the edge, then go for it – it obviously worked for Kate!

“However, we also live in an extremely litigious world, so it worries me a little that selfies might be introducing an element of unconscious bias into the recruitment process. Despite our ‘Tinder-style’ society where success or failure is a matter of left and right, I would probably say that selfies in job applications are currently a step too far.”


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