Race, Sex and Religion on Your Resume
How personal is too personal?
Kim Isaacs | Monster Resume Expert
November 11, 2008
You’re probably aware that hiring managers cannot ask discriminatory questions during interviews. But this legal protection isn’t too useful in preventing discrimination before the interview. If your resume contains personal information unrelated to your job target (your race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc.) you might fall victim to discrimination, even if you’re qualified for the position.
Your resume is a marketing tool designed to get your foot in the door, so every bit of information on it should be selling your value to potential employers. Follow these guidelines to ensure your resume only contains personal information relevant to your job target.
Personal Info That May Be Omitted
• Affiliations, Volunteer Work, Extracurricular Activities and Hobbies: You may leave out organization names that disclose your cultural background, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and other possible targets of discrimination. List only experiences that help sell you as a candidate for your targeted job.
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• Languages: Listing your native language may reveal your nationality. Include only languages that add to your qualifications for the job. In certain cases, knowing a second language is a plus and should be included on your resume.
• Personal Information: With the exception of federal or state jobs, which may require this information, and entertainment jobs, for which personal attributes would be considered bona fide qualifications, your date of birth, marital status, nationality, etc., should be omitted.
Personal Information That Should Be on Your Resume
• Your Name: You can’t pick a new name in hopes of getting more interviews unless you have legally changed it.
• Your Employers: If you worked for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, for example, you shouldn’t hide your employer’s name and misrepresent your work history.