This article continues the DN theme of "the religious are being
persecuted," but the authors of the study done in the South drew a different
conclusion from their results*:"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. Thus, even in
the Deep South, most employers draw the line against overt expressions of
religious belief in the workplace."There is a proper time and
place for religious expression...Interesting.*The New England study
was available only to subscribers.
One should leave ones religion under their own vine and tree. Just as the very
wise forefathers of this country intended. Why is that concept so hard for so
This article is poignantly ironic in light of the fact that Mormon
discrimination in the workplace resulted in one of the largest lawsuit
settlements ever:Not long ago, the Apollo Group and the University
of Phoenix were ordered to pay nearly $2 million and significant remedial relief
to resolve a class religious discrimination lawsuit discriminated against
non-Mormon employees, and favored Mormon employees, in several ways,
including:- providing the Mormon employees better leads-
disciplining non-Mormon employees for conduct for which Mormon employees were
not disciplined- promoting lesser-qualified or unqualified Mormons to
management positions while repeatedly denying such promotions to non-Mormons- denying tuition waivers to non-Mormon employees while granting the waivers
to Mormon employeesI have seen this kind of religious discrimination
here in Utah frequently.In order to "avoid the appearance of
evil", it is prudent to remove religious references from resumes.
Our Founding Fathers had the prescient genius to establish the world’s
first secular government, complete with a constitution that makes no mention of
a deity and only one reference to religion in general. They did this not because
they were anti-religion, but because they understood history and knew how
religion had torn apart Europe for centuries.And in a sense they were
simply following the wisdom of Jesus (e.g., Matthew 6:5-6 and Mark 12:13-17).Religion is inherently divisive and when recognized outside of
one’s own heart or place of worship it will inevitably lead to strife,
factions and the Balkanization of societies. If it is not clear why this is so,
the following maxim should be instructive:“All religions
viewed from the inside (i.e., by followers of that religion) are true. All
religions viewed from the outside (i.e., by followers of other religions) are
I believe the authors of this article have drawn conclusions that aren't
necessarily in the research. What the researchers said is that employers resist
the entrance of religion in the workplace, not that they resist religious people
in the workplace. That's an important distinction. Religious diversity
can be great, what the employers don't want is someone who is likely to
make it an issue at work. If you are part of a student "lobbying"
association for your religion--be it Christian, Islamic, of atheism--then you
are more likely to "lobby" for that religion at work, a practice that
can alienate coworkers and create awkwardness. I would venture you
would find similar results with resumes that displayed active involvement in
political lobbying--another divisive issue.
I'm active LDS and I do a lot of hiring, and I will say that putting your
LDS mission on your resume is a big turnoff for me. To me, the mission on the
resume says that you're inexperienced and looking for filler material.
Even someone straight out of college should be able to fill a one-page resume
without putting a mission on it. I'd rather see another job on there -
even if it was your job flipping burgers when you were 16 - than a mission.I realize that missions build character. I went on one too. But you
didn't get hired to go on a mission. You didn't have to beat out
other candidates. Even if all you've got is that menial "first
job" to go to, put that on your resume instead of your mission.
There's no shame in admitting you packed fries when you were a teenager.
It tells me that the manager liked you more than the other applicants. Your
mission doesn't tell me that.
Interesting article. Religion in the workplace is an interesting dynamics.
Someone places religious background on a resume if they feel it will aid in a
positive way. Some southern businesses may want a religious person and will
probably seek someone of a southern based religion. Other states, like Utah,
will probably look for someone familiar and friendly to the Mormon religion
since a vast majority of the workers will be Mormon.People need to
be aware that when placing their religious background on a resume may result in
an outcome that was or wasn't expected. They key is to use it when you
feel it will give you leverage with a particular company.Research
the company and make sure to include what is needed. Don't get offended if
you do not get the call because you decided to place your religion on a resume.
There are companies that are anti-religion, pro a specific religion, or just do
not want to see your religion. This is the real world. I am
religious and would never place my religion on my resume.
robinso a two year gap on a resume is a good thing? prison, rehab,
mission.....what? community service/organizer better?
@ute alumniI take it back - putting a mission on there is OK if not
having it would leave a two-year gap. Nobody wants to see a gap and it will
raise red flags, so if you put your mission on there as an explanation of why
there's a gap, that's OK. But most people don't put pre-mission
jobs on their resumes, so there's no gap to be filled...they just put it on
there for the heck of it. I don't like that - it smacks of inexperience
I was point blanked asked about my religion and if I minded working with those
that didn't believe the way I did. I said I didn't mind, but I'm
pretty sure that my religion was why I didn't get the job. They were
pleased with me up to that point because of what was on my resume. But try
Over the last few years I have interviewed between 400 and 500 hundred people,
hired well over a hundred of those. I never interviewed anybody with
an LDS mission listed. I did interview a good number of folks who listed various
religious activities on their resume, ranging from public service to activities
or organizations that were clearly connected to proselytizing of some type. My experience is that those who aggressively showcase religion on a
resume or interview had a high chance of being aggressively religious on the
job. Not only were they more apt to spend time annoying coworkers about
religion, they were often at the center of gossip about the personal lives and
activities of coworkers. Overall, putting religion on your resume is
a turn off, and for good reason.
@ TheProudDuck"The tribalism of Happy Valley is severe. The
tribalism of the NPR-PBS-Whole Foods crowd is ten times worse."I
am really tired of we Americans allowing ourselves to be split into our
subgroups. Just who benefits from this anyway? The people? Hardly. This is
who benefits:Media outlets.People wanting to sell books
ranting on about the evils of the other guy.Politicians who demonize
"the other" as a means to ensure their own survival.Why are
we putting up with this? Why are we cooperating with people who don't need
the country to do well in order for THEM to do well?There is one
tribe we ALL belong to and things are not going to get better until we remember
Stormwalker, I would like to ask you a question? I don't put any of my
experiences of my callings with the LDS church on my resume. But when I am asked
where I got my experience in certain areas that pertain to the job and it was
from years of church calls what would you have me say? As for return
missionaries, I'm sure that they get asked where they learned to speak the
language and they say they lived in the country for a while. When they ask why
they were there what would you have them say? You wouldn't want any of us
to lie, would you?
When I was younger I decided to put my mission on the resume to fill the gap as
I did have useful job experience before and after to list. I determined that I
would not want to work with anyone who was offended by my having served a
mission. I was hired by someone who didn't share my beliefs but respected
my openness about my church service.I suppose I could have said that
I spent two years in a coma and woke up inexplicably speaking Japanese....
@MuseCatGreat question. Listing skills or experiences on a resume is
different than listing a bunch of church callings. The former shows transferable
knowledge; the latter screams church,church, church as if that, in and of
itself, should impress me. When, in the interview, I ask about your
listing of skills and where you gained the experience I am listening to your
words, listening how you present your stories, looking for what you avoid
talking about, weighing how you will fill the job and fit into the team. This is not just about church related experience, but about everything
you tell me you can do. For those things related to a church background I am
paying attention to the focus - are you busy trying to impress me with
"church" or are you focused on your transferable skills that can make a
positive impact? I have hired many devout people. Some were
Christian, some Catholic, and several were practicing pagans. Always, I am
looking at who seems likely to contribute to the success of the team, not
disrupt or cause conflict. Religion is only one factor.
@MuseCat;Answering questions is the whole point of the interview.
Answer honestly. The same for the two-year mission gap; if asked, explain that
you were on an LDS mission, the interviewer will understand and realize that you
left the mission off the resume because it wasn't relevant.
If you think advertising your religion is a turn off in an interview, tell them
you're atheist and watch how fast they run. I avoid all discussion of
religion, sex, and politics during an interview. I concentrate on the
person's skill set. If they have the skills my business needs, then I want
them. Those skills are hard to come by and take years of learning. But they also
need to understand that people are going to go out for coffee together and have
drinks together. There is no expectation to join in. Everyone else isn't
going to change for the new delicate little snowflake.
@ No One Of Consequence,In Utah you are more likely to be hired
because of your mission, not in spite of it. There are a lot of Mormon-owned
businesses here, especially in the tech sector. More often than not, if they
find out you are not LDS (I don't bring it up, but I am honest when asked)
they will find someone else that is a "better fit for the team".
A devout disciple of Jesus Christ who has read the New Testament would
reasonably expect that life "in the world" is going to be difficult.Simply turn the other cheek and get on with life. There's no sense
trying to fit in where people don't want you to be. Doing that would be
just practicing pain.God has a place for you to serve and mission
for you to fill. Find it! Bloom regardless!
Due to all the hatred of the LDS Church in particular and religion in general
just shown by people writing here is all the reason not to mention religion
unless you know for sure your employer is himself a religious person.
Particularly of your own religion. I'd go for honesty and good working
habits of an employee over college any day.
Be smart enough to know your audience.
happy2bhere wrote:"Due to all the hatred of the LDS Church in
particular and religion in general just shown by people writing here is all the
reason not to mention religion unless you know for sure your employer is himself
a religious person. Particularly of your own religion."And were
it not for such favoritism and religious discrimination as I cited in the first
place, there would not be so much hatred of religion and the religious.You bring it on yourselves.
RE: The Apollo Group lawsuit:Everyone tends to hire people they either
know or relate to, when they can. Mormons who worked for a company knew other
Mormons and hired them. Is that wrong? In general, the LDS Church is like a big
family. Almost everything you listed also happens when people hire friends and
family. If there was bad behavior, I'm not excusing it, but I'm not
sure there was. Lastly, AG agreed to pay an out-of-court settlement, they
weren't ordered to. Companies do this for many different reasons.RE: American "secular government":Your assertion is silly.
"Of the thousands of citations quoted to support [the Founding
Fathers'] ideas, 34% came from one source -- the Bible." (From the
article "Early Americans Studied the Bible" on the National Center for
Constitutional Studies website, NCCS [dot] net). The quotations on that page,
and elsewhere, prove that the Founding Fathers relied on Biblical religion to
create the country (and Constitution) and hoped that Americans would remain
religious. Their only concern was for ONE RELIGION to rule the country, not
religion itself. It had absolutely nothing to do with religion being
"divisive," as you assert.
A colleague worked at an HBCU in East Texas and the last thing they would have
put on their resume was their religion (Mormon) since it was a
"Christian" college and Mormons are not considered Christian by a
majority of the Christian community. But when the history department wanted
someone to talk about the Church and the trek West, they asked him to give a
lecture. To explain how the Church was reestablished, he just gave the 1st
Discussion like they did while serving a mission in New England.
The question isn't whether one need hide his religion during the hiring
process, but whether having it on a resume will reduce the chances of getting an
interview. Keep in mind that a good resume will be tailored for each job to
which you apply. There are places, such as job fairs, where having one or two
generic resumes to hand out is okay, but when you're applying to advertised
job openings, learn a bit about the company and write the resume to fit. If
you're applying to Deseret Publishing or to a company run by your Bishop,
by all means include your mission and other church activities, but not if
you're trying for a job with General Motors or the Wall Street Journal. Use
the space for information that will resonate favorably with the people you want
to hire you. And when you get the interview, use good judgment in deciding how
much personal information to reveal.
You can list your skills and abilities gained in and associated with your
religiously oriented experiences by simply stating they were with a non-profit
organization. I lived away from UT for 30 years and saw it all the time on
mostly non-LDS and other socially and religiously active people's resumes.
No worries to me, and I've hired hundreds of engineering and IT people
through the years, and been an interviewer for the hiring of thousands as part
of the staff pool.It is an impressive achievement to see that
someone had contributed 2 years of their lives away from home in volunteer
service / teaching on the streets and possibly learned a language to do so.
That's leverageable, heady stuff to have in your organization. Mask the
denomination, but don't throw out the skills, experience and time
commitments; they tell who you are. If the employer doesn't respect who
you are, you can do better - and will.
I've recruited and placed thousands of people in my career. Remember a
resume only gets you an interview, it doesn't get you a job. List a
mission on your resume ONLY if you are early in your career and you need to
create a logical timeline so you don't have a gap. List it as volunteer
service, or something similar, and talk about teaching, leadership, and language
and how it applies to the job you are seeking. Inside of Utah it probably
isn't a big deal, but outside of Utah, highlighting a mission can be seen
as a threat to workplace stability if employers think you are going to come and
start proselyting. If you have 5 or more years of experience in your field, you
can drop the mission from the resume with no problem. I say this not to detract
from a mission, which is a wonderful thing, but to give yourself the best chance
to show your skills and not create unnecessary bias. The only time I'd put
a mission on the resume is if you are actually applying to work for the LDS
Church. They like to see it.
I do not care about the person's religious affiliation, I would concentrate
more on his or her education and work credentials and would even do a background
check on him or her.
As the hiring partner in a company I would avoid raising religion on a resume
unless it relates to the job (i.e. international sales and you spent two years
in France). I have noticed that resumes from BYU are much more likely to list
missionary service and sound overly religious. (Of course you can also use it
to avoid working for a firm which an anti-LDS bias).The great irony
with religion is that many people who otherwise condemn discrimination are more
than happy to discriminate on the basis of religion. Back when I was in grad
school I attended a meet and greet with a number of local companies. One was
very open about not wanting to hire Mormons. On the way back to school I made
a comment about how saying "we do not want to hire Mormons" was a stupid
thing to say. To my surprise several of my more liberal friends spoke up
defending the company saying that they they had the right to hire whoever they
choose. My retort of "so would it be o.k. if they had said Jews
instead?" ended the conversation.
The Scientist:Thank you for rationalizing discrimination. Because
some Mormons have discriminated against others, it is o.k. to discriminate
against Mormons. Thus, since I have worked at a place which discriminates
against Mormons (which I have), it is o.k. for me to discriminate against
non-Mormons?And since millions of religious people were put jailed
or put to death in atheist Russia and China, it is o.k. for all religious people
to discriminate against all atheists. After all, they brought it on themselves.
I love relying on "reason." It leads to such a happy place.
An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
only in Utah... only in Utah..they know who is in the club, and who
@RBBI put down my mission on my resume just to show the missing two
years. Putting anything religious down on their can cause you problems. Just
putting my mission down and having no other information on there about it almost
cost me a job. Luckily I knew someone in the company who was able to vouch to
the boss for me.What a boss does not want is someone coming in trying to
preach and convert the rest of the team. Most peoples experience with mormons
outside of Utah is missionaries knocking at their doors and frankly they think
we are crazy.
to CMO BeaverAnd in the words of Groucho Marx, "I would not want
to belong to any club that would have me as a member."
Wouldn't these statistics vary by state? They did differ from the northern
and southern united states in that picture but what about individual states? In
Utah I assume that religious employees would be preferred in such an LDS
populated state. Also would a religious employee be preferred due to moral
values that they may have over a non religious person? I'm not saying non
religious people don't have good morals but would an employer prefer a
religious person's morals? Or If an employer is a religious person
wouldn't they want to employ people of the same religion? In my opinion you
shouldn't employ someone based off only their religion but the
circumstances change from different jobs and companies.
The above comments are thought-provoking and I see everyone's POV.BUT no one's mentioned the recent Supreme Court decision. With religion
now able to dictate what health coverage you get, it will be increasingly
important that the EMPLOYER reveal the "religious bent of the closely-held
Leave it off your resume. No recruiters care about your personal details, but
only about what you can DO for the company.
As an interesting side note, I have met a couple of FBI recruiters and several
agents who told me that the FBI specifically recruits return missionaries. They
said they like them because they are usually honest, trustworthy individuals who
often times speak a second language fluently. Of course that could be just a
myth, but hearing it directly from the recruiter makes me believe it.
RBB,Glad I could help.I don't believe in the Bible,
so quoting moral platitudes from it is meaningless.