July 2nd, 2014
09:24 AM ET
Why you should leave religion off your resume
By Sara Grossman, CNN
(CNN) - If you’re applying for a new job, it may be best to leave religion off your resume, according to a new study.
Job applicants who mentioned any form of faith affiliation on their resumes were 26% less likely to be contacted by employers than candidates who didn't, according to the study conducted by sociologists at the University of Connecticut.
Muslim, pagan and atheist job applicants were the least likely to get callbacks from potential employers.
“People have a fear of the unknown,” said Michael Wallace, a co-author of the study and a sociology professor at the University of Connecticut. The study “implies that when people don't know much about a religion, they have an instinctive fear of that group.”
Jewish applicants received the least discrimination of all religious applicants, with evangelicals not far behind.
The researchers sent out 3,200 nearly identical resumes to 800 employers around two major cities in the South, changing only a reference to participation in a religious student group while in college, including affiliations to evangelical Christianity, Islam and Judaism. The study does not name the cities.
A control group of resumes featured no reference to any religion.
The researchers also included a fake religion, called “Wallonism,” to measure the degree to which people discriminate against a completely unfamiliar faith. The fact that employers discriminated against “Wallonians” confirmed this suspicion, Wallace said.
The nonreligious resumes received responses about 18% of the time. By contrast, less than 11% of Muslims heard back from employers, followed by 12% of atheists and about 13% of “Wallonians,” Catholics and pagans.
Evangelicals heard back just under 16% of the time, while Jews heard back about 16.5% of the time.
The study showed that employers in the South - the country’s most religious region by many measures - prefer applicants who are not public about their religious affiliations, according to the University of Connecticut researchers.
“While religion is central to Southern life and Southerners more openly display their religious beliefs than citizens in other parts of the country, they also embrace the secular notion that there is a proper time and place for religious expression,” the authors wrote.
“Thus, even in the deep South, most employers draw the line against overt expressions of religious belief in the workplace.”
Religion in the United States has become “compartmentalized,” Wallace said. It is perfectly acceptable to be religious, he said, but Americans prefer that expression be secluded to certain domains.
“Social institutions are where you have a great diversity of people,” Wallace said. The worry that religious people might try to push their beliefs on other people is the biggest reservation of employers, he added.
The negative consequences of open religiosity did not seem to apply to Jews, however.
Although Jewish applicants received slightly less feedback from employers than applicants who made no mention of religion, this discrepancy was not enough to be statistically significant, Wallace said.
The researchers cited a number of theories as to why this phenomenon might be, especially since Jews make up a tiny portion of the Southern population.
For one, Jews have integrated well in the region and are not as residentially or occupationally segregated as they are in other parts of the country, Wallace said.
Also, evangelicals - who make up the largest religious group in the South - have a close affinity to Jews, even more so than to Catholics, and may feel more connected to members of this religious group, according to Wallace.
“Jews, and especially the Jewish state of Israel, feature prominently in evangelical Christian theology; in fact evangelicals express stronger support for Israel than any other ethnic or religious group except Jews themselves,” the researchers wrote.
Rachel Kranson, an assistant professor of religion at the University of Pittsburgh, said that part of this phenomenon might be a race and class issue, rather than a religious one, as the vast majority of Jews are white and middle class.
“People's religious identities do not exist in a vacuum, and intersect with categories of race and class,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Employers' preference for Jews may also indicate a preference for white workers from well-off backgrounds.”
The conclusions of this research largely mirrored those of a study performed last year in New England by the same team of University of Connecticut sociologists.
While sociologists found job discrimination in New England, it was not nearly as pronounced as in the South, except against Muslim applicants, according to the study.
That study found that resumes that mentioned religious affiliations received 19% fewer responses from employers than the nonreligious control group.
Muslims saw the worst of the discrimination, in both the North and South, according to the studies.
Muslims received 32% fewer e-mails and 48% fewer phone calls than job candidates who didn’t mention religion on their resume, according to the study. In the South, they received receiving 38% fewer e-mails and 54% fewer phone calls.
“This suggests, ironically, that religious discrimination in hiring is most prevalent in regions of the country where religion is most passionately practiced,” the authors wrote.
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Why on earth would anybody put their religion on their resume, LOL, only in America can this nonsense take place.
I've hired scores of people and looked at hundreds of resumes. I can't remember seeing religion on one of them.
The headline is not written by the author, much less the science paper writer. The point of the research was not to get evidence to stop people from putting their religion on their resume. It was to determine in a controlled way if there is hiring discrimination by religion.
It is interesting that there is discrimination for all religions relative to not stating religion (except perhaps Judaism) in the South. Muslims and atheists are discriminated the most. Not surprising, but it does provide evidence of discrimination based on type of religious belief or not.
I haven't been on a job interview in a long time but being an atheist, I always wondered how I would respond during a job interview if I was asked about "my religion"
If you were asked that question in an interview, it probably tells you that you don't want to work there.
Unless the job is with a religious insti.tution of some kind this is a flagrant violation of EEOC guidelines.
I agree, that would be shocking if someone asked.
If I really needed the job, I'd tell them that I would prefer not to discuss it because it does not in any way influence my ability to do my job. If I didn't need the job, I'd be upfront. But I have never been asked and I can't imagine ever being asked.
Exactly...... of course unless you're applying for a job in a church maybe...
Or the American Atheist Society.
A piano accompanist who worked with my son applied for a position in the school of music at a university in Texas ( the same one that expelled my sister-in-law from law school for being unwed and pregnant, as it happens). There was interest in her religion during the interview and she claimed to be a Unitarian. The response was a comment that they had hired Jews before, but not Unitarians. She didn't get the job. When asked, don't tell.
Isn't that illegal? like asking someone their age?
They arent legally allowed to ask about religion I thought.
They are not.
!st...prove they did...deniability will let them get away with it.
2nd...If you bring up the illegality, you will NOT get the job, then see 1st
In Texas you say "Ahhhmmm a Suuuthern Baaahptist, suh".
You'll get the job.
What "fear of unknown"? I could care less what religion someone is. If they take the time to mention it on their resume, then they are probably high maintenance and will expect special treatment. Mentioning it after you're hired is one thing, mentioning it on the resume means we don't want them.
It is best to not admit that you are afraid of the dark and of things that might get you because you have been bad.
And this is why we need Freedom FROM Atheism. Atheism is a failed attempt.
Attempt at what?
At reality. Atheism has no logic or reason just a pile of lies and hate for what has happened in your own life. That's why most atheists cling tightly to religion. You can't get over your own past which has nothing to do other people yet you take it out on others. Atheism is pathetic.
No one has access to reality. Some people try to come up with conceptual models that conform to it in verifiable ways. Other people skimp on the "verifiable" part and jump to God's Truth. I don't suppose anyone really succeeds in full, but the latter group seems to always fail.
And atheism will always fail. Always no matter how hard you force your atheism into our lives.
"Atheism has no logic or reason just a pile of lies....." – destroyingatheism
Huh???? Atheism is the lack of belief in a pile of lies, such as non existent sky people.
"........ most atheists cling tightly to religion." – destroyingatheism
What can you say to someone making a ridiculous statement such as this? Try Dictionary.com.. Type in "theist", then type in "atheist". Maybe this will help you, but it's doubtful.
Atheists seem to have sole access to reality and logic. That is why so many physicists and mathematicians profess atheism.
Sounds like salero's girlfriend........... another pro-ignorance troll...
And just how do atheist access this reality and logic Atom?
nice trolling, seen better
This is lunatic screaming on the street corner crazy...I like it!
How do we access it? It is called education. And the internet. And good genetics.
You seem like the kind of idiot that would list their religion on their resume.
Nope. My faith has nothing to do with my job. You atheists like pretending you're being persecuted yet will attack and mock the people you hate for doing it. The more you push your delusional atheism, the more people will fight back. Keep your atheism to yourself, k? 😄
Well, thank mighty Thor Jesus has intelligent folks like you sticking up for him on the internet. Otherwise, who knows what might happen.
How do you know what I believe when I never stated what I believe? Assuming to feed your delusional fantasy I see😃
And you assumed I was an atheist, you hypocritical d-bag.
You seem to have "faith" in extreme ignorance.... how nice for you!
I'd prefer to be destroyed for not believing in leprechauns...
And the troll of a million monikers adopts a new name.
LOL. I always love it when people who believe in talking snakes and donkeys tell me -I'm- crazy. At my company we require employees with objective and critical thinking skills. Enough said.
I guess he/she finally retired the name "atheism is not healthy for children and other living things".
New name, sally?
"If you’re applying for a new job, it may be best to leave religion off your resume, according to a new study."
"“While religion is central to Southern life and Southerners more openly display their religious beliefs than citizens in other parts of the country, they also embrace the secular notion that there is a proper time and place for religious expression,” the authors wrote."
I believe that's common sense. I am very accustomed to not wearing my Christian Belief/Faith on my sleeves.
Yes Vic, it is common sense.
The problem is that it was once conventional wisdom to encourage students to include extra-curricular campus organizations that they belong to in college. It is participation in religious campus organizations that was tested in the experiment.
Politics and religion can be third-rail topics in the hiring process and I think are best avoided in most hiring situations.
It is customary for recent graduates to include on campus social activities such as a fraternity's or student government's memberships, for example; however, experienced workers only include educational background along with their functional experiences anymore when applying for a new job.
This study ONLY examined resumes from graduating students. It was a controlled experiment – the resumes were essentially fakes.
I didn't even know putting your religion on your resume was a thing? What sort of sanctimonious, self-important d-bag does that? It's like telling me your favorite baseball team as if that relates to your ability to flip a burger or do accounting. Except that even the most fervent baseball fan isn't half as annoying as a proselytizing holy roller.
Atheism is not a religion. So I put it down as not being one on my resume.
Welcome back Atom... I mean SciFi, TheManShow, and all your other manifestations.
Hello Mr. yellownumber6/James XCIX!
I do not post under other names. You, however, seem to change yours regularly, along with the exhibited personality.
It depends on what company you are sending your resume to. If you trying to get a job at Hobby Lobby aka Made in China J-unk, then adding " I am a red-necked Christian " would definitely get you an interview. Bringing your bible with you to the interview would ensure your employment.
“People have a fear of the unknown,” said Michael Wallace, a co-author of the study...The researchers also included a fake religion, called “Wallonism,”
Naming the control religion after himself may not have been the best choice scientifically, but there is about as much objective evidence for Wallonism as any traditional religion.
Oh, that is why the American Atheists & North Texas Church of Freethought never call me back! Doh!
"Muslim, pagan and atheist job applicants were the least likely to get callbacks from potential employers." Wow, what did you know? This is like duh!!
I've been saying all along that all men of reason and reasonable men, know very well that atheism/idolatry are Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE. That's why not even in Hollywood they are listening to extremely hypocritical and compulsive liars atheists. Atheism/evolutionism/idolatry et al are all Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE. Men of reason and reasonable men know that. That's why communism, socialism and fascism the economics systems of choice of atheists/evolutionists/idolaters were a Complete and Total Failure.
Because if you Lie you Fail, lying is a failure and atheists are compulsive liars. We see all the time, here in the Belief Blog.
a loser 21
Because if you Lie you Fail
Then you fail with every single post.
JAJAJA... oops... pardon me please... I meant to say... HAHAHA!! God I miss the emoticons. Now, now igaffed ..really... do you expect me or anyone here in the Blog to believe that you're a "Winner"? Come on kiddo, not even your mom believes that!! JAJAJA
According to you, you lie, you fail
so once again, you fail
Now you are trying to lie about my mother? How utterly pathetic you are.
Ok fair enough! So.. lets say, that I think that not even you mom would believe you're such a winner as you pretend with all pretense to be. That's because atheism is Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE, and atheists are Compulsive, Congenital, Pathetic and Pathological Liars.
well that was a load of rambling nonsense, thanks for that.
I could always give you the benefit of the doubt and say maybe you were speaking in tongues but I dont feel that generous today.
However atheism is Absolute, Complete and Total NONSENSE and atheists are extreme Hypocrites and Compulsive, pathological Liars. Since they usually are or sympathize with communism, socialism and fascism. It is therefore understandable that men of reason and reasonable men in a Market Economy and in a Private Property rights political system would NOT want them atheists as part of their staff.
CNN usually freaks out at this type of information, but you may want to research the religion of the upper management before you write the resume. Jews do have their own cultural norms, and they do help each other more than other religions – generally speaking. Faced with 4 qualified applicants, a jewish HR is MUCH more likely to hire the one who happens to be jewish.
This is a stronger correlation than a christian hiring a christian, for example.
Thta has been the norm for them forever. They call everyone who is not jewish mud people, and traditionally do not consider them human per se, since they are not gods special little guys.
In Islam, the same applies. Their book specifically says that you do not need to honor any contract made with a non-muslim, that you can cheat them at will...again becauwse they are not gods special little guys.
The jewish people are not the only ones who do this.
Mormons are QUILTY of hiring only their own. It's not uncommon for a mormon to list their bishop as a reference. A common question, in the interview, is "how many children do you have?" It's not legal but how would one prove it in a suit in a state run by the LDS church?
"Mormons are QUILTY of hiring only their own."
Now that's certainly a blanket statement... I'm in sti.tches!
I would have thought the Amish and the Mennonites were more quilty than the Mormons.
Yeah...My ex-wife made me a quilt, stuffed with feathers....just like my ex...always trying to bring me down.
If a person simply listed my religion is X, I would throw such a resume out simply because it tells me the applicant was dumb enough to think that was somtheing applicable to being hired.
However, being an active member of a church, such as a Sunday school teacher or a person on the board of deacons, could ad value to the person because it shows they have active ties to the community. Where I work activity in the community, religous or not, is greatly valued.
Applicants should consider whether to include their religious faith depending upon the prospective employer. For example, if I were applying for a job with Hobby Lobby or Chik Fil A and I were a Christian, I'd definitely include that fact in my resume. If I were an atheist, satan worshiper, etc. applying for a job with the same companies, of course I would leave it off.
ANd if I wanted a job there (which i don't) I would lie and put christian as well...If it helps get the job and is completely meaningless to the job, no harm no foul. It really is inapproprite to put information in that employers are not allowed to ask for.
Right? It'd be like putting your race on the resume in hopes it would give you preferencial treatment.
What a liar.
I defy you to find a single person that has not lied. Everyone is a liar.
It is precisely students indicating participation in extra-curricular campus religious associations that was tested in this experiment.
It's likely not your religion that they are discriminating against. It's just that nobody wants to hire someone who is stupid enough to mention religion on a resume.
One reason that Jews might be less likely to be rejected for mentioning their religious affiliation that wasn't mentioned is that Americans don't expect Jews to proselytize whereas if others put mention their religious affiliation or lack thereof on a resume, a potential employer may worry that the job applicant is the type of person who may feel it is ok to proselytize coworkers, which can cause dissension in the workplace. Some people won't understand how irked coworkers may become by someone "witnessing" to them in the workplace.
Like the unknown person that leaves religious pamphlets on my desk at work every so often when I'm not there.
The study goes to some length to discuss why there was a difference with Jewish candidates:
"The one possible exception, the lack of discrimination against Jews, is not so exceptional upon closer inspection. Jews, and especially the Jewish state of Israel, feature prominently in evangelical Christian theology; in fact, evangelicals express stronger support for Israel than any other ethnic or religious group except Jews themselves (Schrag 2005). Also, as Schmier (1989) points out, despite consti.tuting barely 1 percent of the Southern population,
Jews have had a disproportionate influence on Southern culture. While Jews are culturally different from evangelicals in many respects,Southern Jews have deep historical roots in the South and have more successfully assimilated into mainstream culture than Jews in other regions. Southern Jews did not form residential enclaves to the same extent as Northern Jews, and they attained positions of influence and leadership in civic and philanthropic associations. As Schmier (1989:1290) notes, “few phases of the Southern experience and few places in the South escaped their influence.” In short, Jews thrived in the South, not by brandishing their religious differences but by embracing key aspects of Southern evangelical culture.
I have been involved in hiring before. At that time I wasn't concerned about anything other than the fact that he could or couldn't do the job – and that meant showing me an example of what he could do.
Other than that, my only other concern was that he wasn't on any drugs and wasn't a criminal.
Any hiring manager who is worth his salt, as long as he isn't hiring for a religious occupation, such as a Christian bookstore or Christian Seminary, the applicant's faith shouldn't even enter in the process.
If you were looking at two qualified applicants, and one of them happened to share your religion you wouldn't be biased toward that person. Given your inability to discuss honestly, your self-righteous posts are amusing.
not on any drugs?
Like caffeine, aspirin, doctor prescribed meds, cough lozenges?
good luck finding a human that lives in America who is not on drugs theo. They are extremely rare.
You know exactly what I mean.
Quick question then theo.
If someone smokes a little weed on weekends...
And another drinks daily, but not while working...or abuses prescription meds.
both are taking drugs...one legal, the other not.
How do you feel about the two. Do you feel differently about them?
No, again how does your mind work? You could have stated illegal drugs to help you make your point. Even still employers can discriminate against, smokers, alcoholics, prescribed drugs that could have affect there performance, etc. all legal. So say what the hell you are babbling about more precisely. To say you would not discriminate because of your religious beliefs is hard to believe; how about a woman that you know had two abortions, don't lie now.
I think a little weed might help Theo...
Putting "I am a red-necked Christian" on your resume would definitely get you a interview at Hoppy Lobby aka Made in China Junk Ware.
"Christian Business" + products from "godless" nation = HYPOCRITS!
"If you’re applying for a new job, it may be best to leave religion off your resume, according to a new study."
"In the southern United States"
Is perhaps missing here. Results from a separate study in the north east were slightly different.
"Job applicants who mentioned any form of faith affiliation on their resumes were 26% less likely to be contacted by employers than candidates who didn't, according to the study conducted by sociologists at the University of Connecticut.
Muslim, pagan and atheist job applicants were the least likely to get callbacks from potential employers."
A big finding of the survey was that atheists are the most likely to be rejected by prospective employers – even more than atheists, contrary to what the sentence above might indicate.
"The nonreligious resumes received responses about 18% of the time. By contrast, less than 11% of Muslims heard back from employers, followed by 12% of atheists and about 13% of “Wallonians,” Catholics and pagans"
A fictional religion (aren't they all?) gets more resume call-backs than an atheist... I see that as confirmation on the ridiculousness of religion. I also see that as hiring discrimination, which is illegal.
The survey found that atheists were the most discriminated against – even more than Muslims or fictional religions.
Ooops – 11% < 12% so that is incorrect, but when I read the survey findings they made a big deal about the rejection rate for atheists.
I guess that to the surveyors the idea that southerners would reject Muslim candidates was a bit of a no-brainer.
From the survey:
"Atheists also faced considerable discrimination from employers, a finding consistent with the perception of them as “others” in American society (Edgell, Gerteis, and Hartmann 2006). They received 49 percent fewer e-mails and 43 percent fewer phone calls than the controls. They were equally as likely to receive an e-mail response as Muslims but received slightly fewer e-mail contacts than Muslims. Atheists were second lowest overall in the employer preference scale despite the puzzling fact that they ranked relatively high in solo responses, indicating that a few employers actually preferred atheists over religious believers"
People should not wear their religion on their sleeve, in this case should not "wear" it on their resume.
Unless, of course you are applying to a Church or other religious organization, where a person's religious belief is a pre-requisite to satisfy their job related tasks.
The fastest way for your resume to hit my garbage can, is to list your religion.
It shows the person is an idiot to offer that information.
"Why you should take religion off your resume"
It should never have been there in the first place.
This survey was referenced in the topic about people not wanting atheists to marry into the family.
What was actually tested was not religion, but incorporating references to religious collegiate extra-curricular campus organizations.
Students are often encouraged to include extra-curricular organizations that they participated in at college. The result of this survey indicates that students should be discouraged from including any affiliation with religious extra-curricular activities.