Where do our personal beliefs fit into the interpersonal spaces we inhabit?
According to one recent study conducted by sociologists at the University of Connecticut, our most powerful personal belief, our religious affiliation, doesn’t fit in with our most important every day space: the workplace.
Research gathered from the study and summarized in a post on CNN’s Belief Blog concludes that job applicants who list any religious affiliation on their resume are 26 percent less likely to hear back from employers than applicants who do not list a religious affiliation.
But why? What effects does one’s religious belief have on those the company they work for or the coworkers whom with they share an office space?
I have experience including religion on my resume, as recent as July of this year.
I’m a Christian and a consultant for West Angeles’ web and IT team. I put just that on my resume, which I shipped off to Lutheran High School of Orange, a private Lutheran high school in Orange County.
My first day on the job, I chatted with one employee who shared with me that not every student and employee of the school subscribes to Lutheranism, but that every soul at the school shared a strong belief in God. Not every person at the institution goes to a Lutheran church, but they all go to church.
I fell in love with my new work environment, having been schooled to a way of universal thinking void of judgement.
But that’s not the case, clearly, at every place of employment.
In the study, 800 employers around two major Southern cities received 3,200 applications, all of which were nearly identical.
Results show that applicants with non-religious resumes heard back 18 percent of the time. Jewish applicants heard back from employers about 16.5 percent of the time, followed by Evangelicals, which heard back 16 percent of the time.
Muslims heard back from employers less than 11 percent of the time, while atheists, those that don’t believe in God, heard back 12 percent of the time, while Catholics and pagans heard back about 13 percent of the time.
So why is it that some religions received more correspondence than others? It could be a case of religious discrimination, but behind that is the existence of racial and socioeconomic discrimination, according to the report.
Jewish people are often thought to be middle class white people, whereas Muslims are often thought to be minorities practicing a less common religion.
The study also reports that employers fear the possibility of applicants pushing their religious agendas on other employees if hired.
The information from this study suggests that there isn’t much to be gained by putting religion on your resume. The safe bet would be to leave it off. The fact is, especially in a liberal state like California, religion is a hot-button topic.
In fact, earlier this year, I went to a church in California at which the pastor, during his message, said, “Don’t you guys go getting all religious on me.” To put it into context, he was referencing a new-age way of looking at marriage.
Essentially, he was asking the congregation to avoid being old-fashioned.
But, with all of that said, there are positives to putting religion on your resume, and I’m living proof of just that.
For members of West Angeles Church, our Bishop’s words have reached the masses on an international scale. Accompanying his name is the idea of strength, integrity, and wisdom.
In my specific case, noting religion on my resume did more to attract my current employer than dissuade it. In fact, without my religious affiliation on my resume, I would not have acquired this new career opportunity, one that I consider to be my best yet, one that will encourage my strong involvement in my own church.
Religion can be seen as overbearing to many. Those unfamiliar with God and his teachings have a tendency to fear the unknown, just as we all do in different walks of life.
But if your boss or supervisor or manager contests your openness regarding your religious affiliations, then maybe that’s not the place you are meant to be employed.
WestA will read, edit your resume
If there are any members looking to nab their first job or just looking to dust off their old resume, the West Angeles Web team is happy to read, edit, or provide advice on resumes.
Even if you desire assistance with formatting your resume, or simply want it checked for grammar, please email me at [email protected]