Recruiter Rejects Woman from VP Job for Not Wearing Makeup

A New York woman is alleging that she was denied a high-level job because a recruiter did not believe her appearance showed enough effort.

In a viral TikTok that has been viewed over 266,500 times, Melissa Weaver, 30, said she did all of the things that would be in line with an office dress code in her video interview for a vice president role in human resources at a tech company.

Weaver says she was wearing a black blazer and white button-up shirt — both ironed — styled her hair in a blowout look, and painted her nails a neutral color.

But one thing she didn’t have on? Makeup.

@_melissaweaver Does wearing make up to work make a difference? #work #corporate #career #interview #job #jobsearch #makeup #jobinterview #opinion #advice #women ♬ original sound – Melissa

“I didn’t think was a big deal,” Weaver penned in an essay to Insider about the incident. “But apparently, it was to her.”

Weaver said she thought the interview went well — it even went 10 minutes longer than scheduled — but was surprised when she received an email days later saying that though she was “in line” with what the company wanted in terms of experience and values, she would not be moving on to the next round.

Related: Woman Goes Viral For Live-Recording Her Layoff, Talking Back

As an HR expert herself, Weaver pushed for feedback, which is when she was told via email by the recruiter that the company was “concerned that you didn’t put forth enough effort into your appearance given you were interviewing for a Vice President role.”

My reaction was a bit of shock. One, that someone would write that in an email. But more so, that in 2024, this is still happening,” she said. “Hearing that because I hadn’t done that, I was somehow less qualified or didn’t seem like I was as enthusiastic about the job was just baffling.”

People in the comments jumped to Weaver’s defense, calling the recruiter’s decision “wildly inappropriate” and urging her to forward the email to the company’s head of HR.

“It’s wild she said that in an email to you,” one person wrote. “This would never be said to a man.”

“That honestly feels like discrimination,” another said. “Not hiring you based on your looks?”

Related: The Emotional and Financial Cost of Workplace Bias

Weaver did not call out the company by name.

According to LinkedIn, Weaver last worked as a Senior People Business Partner at Action Network before being laid off in December 2023.

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