First It's Writing, Now Faces: Enough Is Enough!

I am going to take a short break form my series on lesser known sites to source from, to address …well something that is pretty silly. 

So first we have a company who is telling us they can tell if someone fits our core values by the way they write their, resumes, blogs, and linkedin profiles. Now there is a company saying they can tell what a persons traits are by their face.

In other words your face will be able to tell if your honest, passionate, trustworthy, hard working, loyal,  etc. Now I am not naming any names, but these companies are way off base.  

First off lets take the writing one. A few things that make this unlikely is they are making several assumptions. First they assume you wrote your own resume, which is not always the case. In fact you cannot even guarantee that a person put together their own LinkedIn profile anymore. Second they are not taking into account that a person’s mood will impact the way the write. I actually had them do an analysis of my resume, my Linkedin Profile and my blog posts. I was amazed at the difference, and I write all my own stuff. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 meaning they are a perfect fit for a companies core values, and comparing my writing to my companies core values I was a 9 based on my Resume a 7 based on linkedin, and a 5 based on my blogs. Now keep in mind this is a simplistic version of what happens, they actually rate you on each value and then over all. However despite that, how in the heck can you take something seriously when the differences are that big, despite all the writings they analyzed were written by me. Answers simple you cannot, and you should not. 

Now this new thing, facial patterns to determine core values. Lets get real there is no way you can tell if someone in honest, hard working, determined or just about any core value or trait form their face, at least not with any real accuracy.  A study done by and published in 2008 in the Oxford Journals by several experts specifically states that “the relatively poor discrimination between trustworthy- and untrustworthy-looking faces”, this means it is really hard to tell the difference between a trustworthy face and an untrustworthy face. Yet there is a company, again no names, that is saying they can. 

In my opinion these two supposed tools, have major flaws and you would have a better chance of using a crystal ball to get these answers than relying on either facial patterns or writing styles to determine the core values or fit of a candidate.

Views: 666

Comment by Matt Charney on March 27, 2014 at 7:37pm

I agree, Dean. It's like using handwriting to determine whether someone committed a crime.  It seemed like good science until it didn't work, and now is overturned. This is the tech version of phrenology. Nice post.

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on March 27, 2014 at 10:45pm

@ Dean, @ Matt: whether or not something does what it says it will do is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether someone will or won't buy it/make money by consulting with it.

Comment by Dean Da Costa on March 28, 2014 at 2:53am

@Keith  True and hopefully after reading this some will not waste their money on either of these

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on March 28, 2014 at 2:12pm

Thanks, Dean. We may hope...At the same time, as the Ancients said:

"Against stupidity, the gods themselves avail in vain."



Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on March 28, 2014 at 8:29pm

Interesting... This post made me think of someone recently commenting on one of my blogs that they could tell by my picture that I am a "nice person" and obviously a "people person." The first part highly subjective. The second part probably meant as a slam as in "don't you have a company picnic to plan?"

Either way, seems like a load of krap! What next, someone measures and scores your social influence based on tweets? 

Comment by PAUL FOREL on March 31, 2014 at 7:56pm

Hey, Dean...

Well, here I go, again...

It so happens there are people who are intuitively guided in [what I will loosely refer to as] 'facial recognition' as you refer to it.

I use it all the time and am in the ninety percentile as far as accuracy goes.

So, it works quite well for me.

Oh, this can be tested- were you in a position to do so and you could run a photo album past me, I'd very much surprise you.

Past my own abilities, I don't know much about this but isn't it true that those 'jury consultants' use their ability to look at people and correctly assess them do this?

Anyway, just know, this stuff does exist.

And Kelly, I am not responsible for your assessing my assessments.

And as anyone can tell you, 'nice people' generally are 'people persons'. It doesn't take a psychic to know the two are linked. For you to form a negative assessment from a compliment seems odd.

Anyway, as I said, this can be tested.



Comment by Dean Da Costa on March 31, 2014 at 8:25pm

Thanks for the reply Paul. I am glad you feel you can judge if someone is good, bad, trustworthy, hardworking etc, by their face. I am glad you feel you are in the "ninety percentile for accuracy": As I stated in my post I sited an article by a prestigious organization stating to the contrary. I do not buy it for a minute that just by looking at their face and no other information just their face that you can tell anything. As to jury consultants, I know a few, have spoken to them at length, they do not just look at a person’s face, they study the way they are reacting to questions, and how they react not just in their face but in other nonverbal communications, ie shifting the way the sit, moving their hands, the way the walk in to the room, etc. So we get back to the original statement, you cannot tell if a person meets core values, by looking just at someone’s face, and I highly doubt when you do it, there is not more to it than just that. For example if you read their resume first, then you are not just looking at their face. If you ask them questions, then you are not just looking at their face, etc. Either you are using a lot of nonverbal tells, or are reading some background info, you are not just looking at their face and making a judgment, I know the jury consultant do more than just a look at someone’s face, without some kind of outside stimulus happening. We are talking about a company that can tell by someone’s face and nothing else if they possess the core values a company is looking for and I can tell you it cannot.

Comment by PAUL FOREL on March 31, 2014 at 9:20pm


I get it.

I really stated what I did to bring out the point that I am not unique -there are others who are similarly talented- although, unfortunately, I/we seem to be in the minority.

Not to debate this but in everyday life I may be using 'everything' about a person's face and body language to form an overall assessment but in terms of [my] core talent, I can do a lot with only a picture and at a glance, I am predominantly looking at someone' face, not their posture.

There is no need to get hung up on this- I've spoken to some people who can do what I can do and are even 'better' at it than myself.

Like I said, this can be tested. Were you to pick a site where you can post ten or more pictures that are reasonably sized, I can settle this.

..."just their face that you can tell anything" will be the test, okay?

Oh, btw, what's the name of that company that claims they can do this- sounds like I ought to be working for them.

The easiest $5K a month I made -doing screening- was just showing up for meetings so I could look someone over. Yes, I have references.


There is a larger issue, here.

It 'used to be' that when someone came to the door, asking for a job, 'Old Man Jensen' would come out and look the person over and could be relied on to form an accurate assessment as to whether or not that person would make a good hire.

We refer to that as someone who has the capacity to be a 'good judge of character'.

Those days seem to have gone the way of the Do Do Bird and OMJ has been replaced with clueless first line interviewers who need to rely on 'strengths and weaknesses' questions to form assessments.

That is a bit of a broad statement but refers to my point that internal corporate recruiters are no longer hired by whether or not they can size up people but instead by whether or not they can read a resume and ask those questions we all know by heart.

And of course, due to concerns about corporate liability and CYA, it is safer to point to an administered psyche test than having to own up to having made a bad call with regard to hiring someone who did not pan out.

That I can do what I do is not half as relevant as the fact that too many candidates are suffering a poorly executed interview because the interviewer was not chosen based on an ability to 'read' people.

Pick a website, post about ten or more pictures, Dean, and you'll be amending your blog.



Comment by Dean Da Costa on March 31, 2014 at 10:13pm

Thanks Paul but given what the experts in the Oxford Journal said I think I will save myself the time and effort. To be clear I am a proponent of utilizing tells, in non verbal communication, but do not, and have been backed by the experts mentioned in the Oxford Journal believe you can tell if someone meets the core values just form their face or a picture. The experts have spoken

Comment by PAUL FOREL on March 31, 2014 at 11:14pm

"The experts have spoken"

Yes, Dean, they said that about Copernicus, too.

Given a chance to learn something new, you'd prefer not to.

Nothing uncommon about that.


Why don't you at least write a blog about how internal corporate and third party recruiters ought to spend more time learning how to read people using what you believe does exist- body language and other 'tells'.

It doesn't have to be about me- you can spend time on what you believe does exist instead of putting down that which you don't believe.

Just a thought.


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