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Race, Sex and Religion on Your Resume

Race, Sex and Religion on Your Resume

Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

June 01, 2011

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.

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: In the majority of cases, personal information such as date of birth, marital status and nationality should not be included on the resume. There are exceptions, such as federal or state applications that might require this information or international applications in which including personal data is standard practice. Also, it’s customary for some fields (such as modeling) to include personal characteristics — such as height, weight and clothing sizes — if appearance is considered a bona fide job qualification. If you think you might need to include personal information on your resume, research standards in your industry to ensure you’re including the required information.

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