Should you leave your religious affiliation on your resume?
How about your activist work or evidence of your political views?
Before I sat down to write this, I did a little Google searching to see what other people thought about this issue.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, people tend to feel you should leave your religious and political affiliations off your resume.
What’s the right way to handle this?
Well, that is entirely up to you.
But here are some things to think about as you’re trying to decide what “personal” views you disclose to potential employers.
Sure, religion is protected by anti-discrimination laws. But (obviously) religious discrimination continues to persist.You run the risk of offending someone or having a biased hiring manager or committee.
It can be tricky for hiring managers to talk to you about this experience without also talking about your faith. It does seem safer to leave potentially “extraneous” information off.
But I always encourage people to think carefully about what they consider “extraneous” information about themselves to be.
I remember looking for my first post college job and getting the same advice over and over.
No bright nail color! Or fake hair color! No fancy jewelry! All neutral colors!
I was once told not to wear a skirt.
Guess what happened when I followed all of the rules?
I ended up in a job that wasn’t a good fit for me because I didn’t even show up to interview as me!
I think about it this way: if you’re searching for a 35 hour a week job, you’re going to be spending over 1800 hours a year in the workplace.
You might be able to erase your human rights activism or your church volunteer work off of your resume.
But if it’s that important to you? It might also be essential to your work and/or your identity in the workplace. 1800+ hours is an awful long time to not be yourself.
So, instead of worrying about whether including this experience is “right” or “wrong” to include, think about why you’re including it.
If you’re passion for social justice is informed by liberation theology and your faith community, it sounds to me like that might be important information to share when you’re looking for work as a professional activist.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you handle sharing information like this with potential co-workers! Leave me a note in the comments section!