back to article Should you lose your religion on your CV?

Your CV should tell prospective employers who you are - but should that include details of your religious faith? I headhunt science grads for banks, and recently received a CV with the applicant's religion right at the top. We’ve always told people not to do this for purely pragmatic reasons. Whatever your religion, there are …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep it quiet

    Keep your religion off your CV. I really don't understand what you're trying to say by putting it there. It makes it look as though it's of something of high importance to you, when all I care about is your ability to do the job.

    On a side note, does this article qualify for the "most irritating El Reg writer ever" award? Self-fulfilling argument: only money is important therefore only people who study things that make money are important therefore everyone else is a waste of space. Would I rather read this article again or a decent translation of "Memoirs of a Madman"? Hmmm, tricky.

    1. Richard 81

      So

      So don't go studying science then. The individual scientist's work will make bugger all money, unless you happen to working directly within R&D at a drug's company, and then only if you're department happens to working in an area that the head office wants to peruse.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    In my experience

    outside the banking industry, is that employers still love and recruit stereotypes in this country.

    I would also say that when I've been interviewing, my objective is getting in someone who is personable, a quick learner, and can wipe their arse unaided.

    So to answer your question, I think you should leave your religion OFF your CV unless you are applying to be an Imam / Rabbi / Priest / Bishop.

    It means that the racist HR office clerk doesn't get to screen you out on the first shuffle of CV's.

    AC for bloody obvious reasons

    1. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

      Even then...

      "So to answer your question, I think you should leave your religion OFF your CV unless you are applying to be an Imam / Rabbi / Priest / Bishop."

      Even then, why put it on? It would be stating the obvious, surely. I can't foresee many Catholics applying for jobs as Imams any time soon.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why risk it?

    I'm not of any religious persuasion, although I was brought up as the typical English CoE. I've never put down my religion: religion isn't important to me.

    Given there are many other people like me that don't state their religion, and as far as I know, it's never hindered me in getting a job, those that insist on stating their religion, it might not have any adverse effect, but then it might. Why risk putting it down?

    For an application to a religious school in an IT department then it might be worthwhile.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What would you say?"

    "Would you really want to work for a company that discriminates based on religion, or even worse, on how you spell your name?"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To ask or not to ask...

    In interview for my first ever 'proper' job, the interviewed (a Hindu) asked me about my religious beliefs. I'm sure this was genuinely not in an effort to discriminate, but to find out more about my personality and establish whether I would be a good fit for the (small) company.

    I answered truthfully that i have very few such beliefs, and never felt that I was disadvantaged by it (got the job and several promotions before moving on). Equally I worked at that employer with a number of devout people of different faiths, all of whom, I suspect, would say they had the same experience.

    Several years later the same interviewer almost ended up at a Tribunal for asking a different candidate that same question (Note: not for any action following an answer, the candidate refused to answer, but simply for asking...). So we know it can be a VERY bad idea to ask, even for the best of reasons...

    But volunteering that information changes that and potentially opens up some uncomfortable ground.

    On balance, I think you should tell your candidate to remove the detail because:

    - It may provoke exactly the inverse reaction to that intended - any professed religion or lack of it could be a disadvantage

    - If they do apply for a job, and lose it because they have a 'muslim-sounding' name, I think it's unlikely they'd really WANT a job there - an employer who still discriminates on those grounds is propabably going to do so on other grounds too...

  6. Peter2 Silver badge

    It's the 21st century!

    Personally, when I have looked at CV's or done interviews then Religon has not come into it. I'd prefer not to know as it removes any suggestion that i'm picking someone for a reason other than them being the best person for the job.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    The response: sod off

    I once interviewed for a job where I was asked to accept a Facebook-friend request so that the company could poke around my private life (my account otherwise being fairly well locked down). It was also inferred that drug testing was expected. Since neither national security nor public safety was at risk, I responded that I would decline both.

    "That may harm your chances of the role," I was told.

    "If that really is the case," I replied. "Then the company and I are probably not well-aligned. My professional performance is the only aspect on trial here."

    In fairness to them, they invited me back to a second interview which I then gloriously flunked! The relevance to this article is simple:

    If a company, and particularly one in investment banking, wants the best people then they will be the sort of company to ignore background and concentrate on ability. Those are the companies that succeed, even if it does mean employing <whichever "evil" group you spoke of, I think I can guess>.

    If a company will discriminate on a basis other than ability, that business is liable to fail, or at least do worse than competitors - which in investment banking is pretty much the same thing. Console your candidates that the 'best'" places won't; though the downside is that you will probably be working with some nasty characters who have been equally enfranchised. If you don't like that, change your definition of 'best.'

    That place for which I interviewed? It was in the City. It isn't any longer. I wonder how many other candidates told them to stick their invasive procedures. I suspect very few.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would have

      "I wonder how many other candidates told them to stick their invasive procedures. I suspect very few."

      It says more about them than it does about you. I would have knocked them back without a second thought.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    What on earth has religion got to do with it?

    Religion has no relevance to employment, unless you're applying to be the local Rector or perhaps the next Pope.

    Personally, I won't employ overtly religious people.

    Religious types seem to be too gullible.

    It sorta goes with the territory.

    Vacancy: Sky Faeries need not apply...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    You're assuming I have a religion to lose...

    (If atheism were regarded as a religion - which it ain't - it would be the third largest in the world)

    1. Paul 4

      Proof please?

      That dosen't sound right, unless you are counting China where they claim to be atheist because of the dogmatic represive leaders, who insist you do what they say and think what they think without question. Proof please.

      1. Anthony 13
        Gates Halo

        And because ...

        ... someone says they are christian, muslim, etc. etc. it means they all actually believe it?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well considering that...

    Muslims should not be working in the corporate banking sector due to limitations imposed upon them by their religion... i think that this is a moot point.

    Unless of course they are applying for a position within a bank which follows guidlines from Sharia law.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so..

    John Doe*

    IT Professional

    * Terms and Conditions apply

  12. James O'Shea
    Troll

    candidate

    " a candidate belonged to a group of people so evil that right-thinking people would not only kill them but also make sure their bodies didn’t pollute the Earth". So he was a sitting Labour MP, then?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    personally

    I'd flag anyone who put it prominently on their CV as a religious nut (whichever one) that i didn't want anything to do with.

    But, in this day of employing for diversity, it will probably net you another tick in the box and get you one step closer to the job.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Wonder about the author's criteria and idea of education

    Quote: "This is partly driven by these candidates' (on average) better education and reluctance to study dross like Media Studies or French."

    While I may agree about "Media Studies" (though it seems to me that a lot of financial goings-on are almost entirely about manipulating perception and the media and nothing to do with reality), every other pundit and employer in the international business world complains that a big disadvantage of English candidates is the almost total ignorance of foreign languages, such as French, German, Spanish, Russian. Meanwhile, candidates from the other side of the Channel are sucked up as they have this in spades, while I have no doubt that many of your "Mohammeds" grew up multi-lingual and have no problem tackling French, if they do not all ready know it.

    I imagine the author is a classic case of "the world speaks English, so why should I bother?". Odd, studying a foreign language is traditionally considered part of a good, rigorous education.

    By the way, I am a software engineer and former biologist, now working for a bank. My willingness to learn a language has been invaluable, both now and when working for computer companies in the Thames valley..

    No wonder British applicants are falling by the wayside. But I do agree, one's religion, skin colour (hence no photographs), sexual preferences or taste in malt whisky have no place on a CV unless directly relevant to the job.

    1. Liam Johnson

      Missed the point

      Why would you have to study French at university in order to be able to speak it? Most other contries in Europe manage to bring their student up to an exelent level of English without them having to study just English.

      Besides, there is little use in speaking French, surly Japanse, Chinese would be more useful?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Missed the point

        French is an extremely useful language, given the large number of countries which speak it. It's particularly useful if you do a lot of business in North or West Africa.

        But your other point stands. Many of the people who get a job which involves speaking French don't have the "French-speaking" as their primary skill. French-speaking IT support (for example) seems to come primarily from IT-trained people who can also speak French.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Think YOU missed the point

        I never said the ONLY subject should be foreign language, nor that it must be French. I said a foreign language used to be considered PART of a proper education. As for Japanese or Chinese being more useful: as it happens I did, for a wonderful job, learn and work in Cantonese and have used Japanese and, no, in IT or even banking, unless you are a Far East specialist, Mandarin etc. are not more useful than a widely spoken (as opposed to large number of speakers) language such as French, Spanish or German (German is very useful in places like Turkey and much of Eastern Europe, as well as being, probably, the language with the most speakers in the EU, French will get you by in a lot of Africa and various Arab countries and parts of SE Asia and the Pacific, while Spanish and Portuguese will serve you will in S. America (USA too in some areas), parts of N. Africa and so on for other European languages.

        Of course, one can learn a language in many ways and I have had to use formal and informal methods myself, the results of the latter showing in my written and painfully (for the listener) spoken variants. However, academic study of any discipline, but especially language (which usually covers more than just the spoken variant, including literature, culture and the discipline of grammar) is a very good intellectual and social training - some of the best IT people I have known have been linguists, two being classicists, other good ones seeming to come from microbiology, biology or chemistry.

        So, my point would be: any rigorously studied subject is a good training for most jobs; languages for at least part of one's education have the added benefit of being useful both professionally and privately. Religion is, to my mind a private affair and I would mention it on a CV only if I was really a devout whatever-ist and I wanted to be sure my religious life and the job are compatible or if it is relevant to the job. Otherwise, keep your self-selling to the usual run of sport, hobbies etc. (and be careful, my stepfather, a keen golfer, refused to employ anyone who put Golf on their CV, on the presumption that they would take too much time off to play it. Others I know refuse skiers, footballers and mountaineers because of the likelihood of injury and time off to recover).

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Stop

          Again... Missed point

          The article mentioned useless degrees, like media studies and French. Here in the States we class those as "Under water basket weaving". French is a very useful course, or series of courses, but a ruddy useless degree.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    discrimination

    Trying to keep things "balanced" = discrimination.

    If you NEED to have 70% of person type A and 30% of type B, then you necessarily need to choose more of one type over the other, even if you have more of the other type that is better qualified.

    Please tell me it ain't so.

    As for religion on your CV, I would say keep it off. If the recruiters notice you're some weird religion that takes half the year off for religious reasons, there's little chance you'll get the job no matter what!

    Nice article, btw.

  16. Critical

    Ignorance...

    Since when was French "dross"? With that kind of ignorant attitude, you've certainly chosen the right career path...

  17. Julian 4

    Open Diversity

    Surely, there's a good analogy here with living in a diverse community. Living in a large city (e.g. Manchester where I live) means you're continually exposed to a wide range of cultures and religions; and basically it's fine.

    CVs include both qualifications and experience plus something about you as a person. Requiring people to omit their beliefs would be the equivalent of living in a city where people have to fake being white agnostics as a precaution against people taking offence.

    That would never work - the best way of dealing with bigotry is open diversity. For example, IMO it's reasonable to put your faith on a CV if you want, though it's probably best to put it at the end, since it's not a direct qualification for your job. To a religious person, requiring an employee to omit it could easily look like the company is repressively anti-religious from the start.

    In addition if you find that certain people put their faith at the top of their CV in big, bold 24-point text, then this is probably indicative of their character in some sense. Maybe you want people who are that forthright in your company! Maybe it implies they'd be less diplomatic in all sorts of social situations. Either way, handy.

    I'd always advocate open diversity since as you say, even people's names or phraseology can imply to some people something about their ethnic background/beliefs and the only way to get over that ultimately is to bite the bullet and be open about it. Then we discover it's OK; then we can move on.

  18. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Tom Watson 1
      Linux

      FYR

      i⋅ro⋅ny /ˈaɪrəni, ˈaɪər-/ [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-]

      –noun, plural -nies. 1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

      pi⋅geon /ˈpɪdʒən/ [pij-uhn]

      –noun 1. any bird of the family Columbidae, having a compact body and short legs, esp. the larger species with square or rounded tails.

      Penguin - Looks a bit like a pigeon but not at all like a pidgeon.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    No way

    I'm a pagan druid - and very proud about that. But, I'd never even dream of putting it down on my CV. The majority of hiring managers reading it would think I'm a delusional tree-hugging nutjob! ;-)

  20. CheesyTheClown
    WTF?

    No place in the work place

    Religion, color and sexual preference are all topics that may or may not come up in the canteen among friends, but in reality, they have little to do with profession. If I see religion on a CV, it tells me the candidate will need more time off than other candidates because they take religion so seriously, they don't work on certain holidays or will have to make extra trips for family baptisms and such.

    A CV is about qualifications. As a low level systems engineer, I often work with twice as many foreigners than with locals (myself being a foreigner) because educational systems are failing and the only way to gather enough qualified talent is to import it. It's often interesting for me to work with someone new from a country I haven't met people from before, however all that matters is what the guy/girl knows or can learn and if he/she can finish a job they start.

    Placing religion on your CV is just plain stupid, in fact, listing "groups I'm a member of" which includes groups that aren't directly related to the job is also a waste of my time. It's like saying on the CV "I'm a <insert team name here> supporter". It shows a lack of seriousness about the job in question.

    I of course get annoyed by people who insist on sending "I'm not afraid to tell the world I'm a proud Christian" messages everywhere. It's just a waste of everyone's time.

    Save religion for the church. Save the social sex chat for the bars or the lunch times. When it's time to work, it really don't matter who you're banging or which god you're praying to.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    horses for courses

    Sometimes religion is relevant, such as a christian publications company i am aware of, or fitting a physical profile, such as modelling - heck if we wanted to we could argue that we're discriminating against intelligence and school dropouts *should* be hired as brain surgeons.... We've gone too PC, I think avoiding discrimination is of great importance in such a diverse culture as exists in the UK, however sometimes (often?) following legislation in these matters is actually detrimental and can lead to positive discrimination. I know we want there to be a panacea of equality and rules that we can follow to make it so, but its the constant conflict and challenging of the status quo that actually allows diverse cultures to live together in harmony(ish)

    A CV should be relevant to job/industry/work environment etc. (how many people get hired simply because they got on socially - after all you have to spend every day with these people) and sweeping statements about what should go on a CV are pointless.

  22. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    how about...

    A small section on your CV for "favourite foods" in which you can include Bacon Butties.

    I always decline the equal opportunities questionnaire on privacy grounds but I do remember many years ago the wife went for an interview as a nursery nurse at a Jewish establishment and made the mistake of making mention of her Christian faith on her CV. That didn't go down too well..

  23. Vanir

    Greed as religion

    I find it amusing that the author tries valiantly to argue that greed is the enemy of bigotry while admitting to being bigoted himself. A definition of bigotry: One who is strongly partial to one's own group and is intolerant of those who differ. The author seems to belong to two groups here; the group of greedy people, and the investment banking group. How great the intersection of these two groups is open to speculation.

    People may come from diverse backgrounds or other groups to form another group but that does not mean that this new group is a diverse community. The claim that investment banking is the most diverse community in the world beggars common sense. The evidence given that investment banking is greedy I can readily agree with. Perhaps people wishing to enter investment banking should put greed as their religion on their CV.

  24. Mr Templedene

    I think

    I would be wary of someone so dedicated to their religion they felt it necessary to advertise it on their CV.

    Simply because someone with extreme religious views who preaches to fellow workers could very easily stir up tension in the office, something I would rather avoid.

    So really, it's a sort of personality test for me. I don't believe you can be held to discriminate against someone because you don't think their personality would clash with the rest of the office.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yarmulkes are OK, pony-tails aren't

    To be honest if someone puts their religion prominently at the top of their CV I would assume that they are either a religious zealot of whatever persuasion or someone likely to interpret and setback as an assault on their equal opportunities. The CV would therefore be rejected. But other than that religion doesn't matter a jot.

    I am, however, a lot more likely to reject candidates sporting pony-tails. On the (surprisingly reliable) assumption that under each pony-tail there is an a**ehole.

  26. James Dunmore

    Remove Age

    I was told to remove my Age from my CV, but it doesn't take a genius to work it out - given I had dates of A levels, Uni degree, then work details that followed straight on - granted it wasn't accurate but it wouldn't take a genius to work it out.

    But at the end of the day, where do you draw the line - do you not include hobbies? what if your hobbie is church groups, etc.? Goes back to the religion thing doesn't it. At the end of the day, a CV should describe you AND your work - and if something is part of your life, don't be scared to hide it.

    1. Phill Sacre

      agreed

      I agree - I put my religion on my CV at the end with other hobbies and interests just to give potential employers an idea about what I'm like as a person.

      If they're not interested they don't have to read it!

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Bankers

    I've spent 25 years working for various banks and they are scrupilous about hiring an appropriate % of muslims/hindus/Jews. They are also scruplious about never promoting them,

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    slightly OT ...

    dunno about religion, but I was caught by a colleague once putting a few cv's through the shredder. When they asked how I had decided against them, I just stated they had spelling and/or grammatical mistakes.

    We ended up having a shouted argument ... which did nothing to change my pov. If someone is so lacksidasical as to not even hit "F7" before they submit the most important document in their professional life to a prospective employer, then I don't want them.

    It's got nothing to do with their spelling, and everything to do with their attitude ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      I'd recommend randomly ditching half of them

      That way, you avoid employing unlucky people.

    2. Steve X
      Happy

      Join the club

      Yep. If they can't be bothered to put the effort into the CV (or ask for help to do so), they're unlikely to be bothered to put the effort into the job. Category #1 for the round file: typos and poor grammar on the CV.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Grammer

      And what dose that have to do with grammer, or Dyslexics, who have problems with spell checkers (i.e. they will change the word to another, incorrect, word)?

      I am Dyslexic, and have had these problems, dispite spellchecking, and asking someone to proof read it for me. The agency came bcak and said they couldent put my CV accross as it was. It ended in a row with the person I asked to help me...

    4. Havin_it
      Headmaster

      Oh the irony

      Are you quite certain your victims' spelling and grammar were at fault?

      I only ask because I counted one error of spelling and four of grammar (I could be kind and say three, one of which you committed twice) in your post which is around a hundred words in length.

      Admittedly this is relatively unlikely to have been the most important writing exercise of your life, but given its subject matter it's certainly the one you should have proof-read (or perhaps asked a friend to proof-read) with a fairly high level of diligence. Ken?

  30. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    If an employer cared whether I was a muslim or not

    I would not want to work there.

  31. Richard 120
    Alien

    Don't put religion on your CV

    If I look at a CV that contains religion then my first thought is - idiot.

    Mainly because I think religion is a complete waste of time and mostly irrelevant in todays society. The only useful thing I've ever gathered from religion is the whole "do unto others" bit.

    The rest is just fluff.

    I describe myself (if the subject arises) as apatheist, I don't care if there's some omnipotent being or spaghetti monster out there somewhere, why should I let the fact that some abstract thing does or doesn't exist affect my behaviour?

    I just have to add...

    Can't we all just get along?

    (and then curse myself for sounding like a hippy)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Read the question!

    No one yet has answered the question actually asked: An individual feels that their name is strongly attached to a particular religion. The want to know whether to inform potential employers that they do NOT follow this religion, and a suitable way of doing this.

    I have come across people at work calling themselves "Mo". This seems to work for people given the name Mohammed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Read the question!

      "I have come across people at work calling themselves "Mo". This seems to work for people given the name Mohammed."

      How does that work? Every person I know who is called "Mo", it's short for "Mohammed". What else could it be short for?

      1. PirateSlayer
        Troll

        Other

        Moses,..

        ...

        ...oops.

        What about people called "Islam" and "Christian"?

      2. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

        Maureen?

        I'm sure I could think of more...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You may not be able to hide your religion

    Even if you don't state your religion, it might come up if it's been a big part of your life. I can see that someone might give away their religion if they were employed in a faith-based organisation or were active in some sort of church or other religious group - e.g. if you want to demonstrate your leadership skills by saying you led a church youth group. I've also seen people give ministers of religion as personal referees in job applications.

    Having a box for religion on your CV seems similar to people putting hobbies or interests on their CV: there's generally little reason for it and it looks like padding. Could you sack somebody if they said they were a Christian but weren't? Or if they say their interests are the cinema but they only like Jean Claude Van Damme movies?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Practical considerations?

    Religion should not (and never has been for me, not that I've chaired that many interviews so far) a consideration when aptitude is what's being assessed.

    However, if someone is a devout adherent to their religion, this will in most cases place some practical constraints on what they're willing to do. Obviously a devout Muslim is unlikely to even apply for a job at a (non-Halal) abbatoir, but there are other factors that might only become apparent at interview otherwise. For instance, you *need* the applicant to work Saturdays, but a devout Jew would be unwilling to do so on their rest-day (hope I have this bit right, The Big Lebowski is my only research basis). Then there are various dress-code-vs-devotional-acoutrements conflicts that can arise, as we've seen a few times in recent years.

    It's evident from these high-profile tribunals that once you're in the door, you can pretty much demand any concessions your religion requires. But is it acceptable to rule out an applicant based on practical considerations like these? I'd genuinely be interested to know, as it's germane to my own business. And I'm not talking about conflicts where the employer *could* acquiesce but gets arsey about doing so because it inconveniences them or costs a few bucks - I really mean cases where attempting to meet the religious requirements would be demonstrably likely to result in the company going titsup, or would be simply physically unfeasible. Anyone know about this?

    On another equality subject: when casting a play or film, is it illegal to refuse to audition a woman for a male role?

    PS - I'm an Arts grad too. Want fries with that?

  35. Dan Atkinson 1

    Keep it off totally

    Declaring your religion on a CV only says that you have an outside interest that could impact on your ability to do the work in the same hours as someone with equal experience and ability. So why have it on there? A decent HR function will have a diversity agenda anyway - if they want to know they'll ask.

    Note to Muslims though, the biggest impact on your career is more likely to be that recruiters often spend a lot of their time chucking out speculative CV's from applicants in Asia that will not be considered due to logistical and visa constraints. To avoid getting inadvertently dropped in the Asia bin do try to Anglicise your CV as much as possible

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Religion on a CV, lol they all applying to be pope of something, fools

    So what tyoe of person would write a CV without lieing on it and then admit to believeing in something made up, hardly indicative.

    Lets face it most people who pretend to be religious are doing it as there playing the odd's "If I say I believe in god and when I dide he exists then I'm fine and if he dont exist then i'm fine as well", no backbone.

    Jedi proves what religion actualy is, heck scientology tried that though some took it too serious, realy puts things into perspective.

    ANON to avoid the religious nutters, the non religious nutters I dont mind, least there honest about why there doing things.

  37. Tim

    Advice for your candidate

    You've said yourself that investment banking is an extremely diverse area in which to work. Indeed, it is so tolerant towards multiple faiths that an overtly Islamic name is among the most popular in your candidate pool, while your clients' HR executives are almost militant in their quest for equality.

    Given this environment, I don't understand why you feel the need to do anything other than advise your candidate to remove the reference to his religion (by extension his non-muslimness)? He will only be harming his chances of getting a job (by looking like a troublemaking zealot) if he keeps the reference on his CV, and by your own admission being considered a muslim is not a barrier to working for a big bank.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    do I really need one?

    Seems like a reasonable question:

    Applicant has muslim sounding name but is not muslim. Wants to highlight that fact to avoid any prejudice against muslim candidates.

    Wishing that there is no such perjudice does not mean that there is no such prejudice.

    If this is for an investment banking role, then I wouldn't bother. I think there is very little prejudice against any religion from what I have seen in investment banking jobs in london, but what there is is likely to be against religion generally rather than any specific flavour.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A gutsy move.

    I have to hand it to you, it does take balls to ask the generally under-valued (and under-paid) crowd that has the data infrastructure you depend on in their hands on advice on social issues between generally overpaid, well, evil cretins that just all but caused the rest of the economy to collapse, too.

    Personally I no longer deal with recruiters, and not merely because the best jobs are those you get via-via. Recruiters lie, wholesale, so far all of the couple hundred I contacted did while trying for a job for a couple years after a burnout. ``Not enough unix'' even after I explained I had six different kinds of unix on my CV. And pointing out the discrepancies got me called ``childish''. Sure. Oh well.

    That said, I have no personal advice, but I admire the problem enough to dissect it. The problem seems to be that of appearances reflected from a larger problem. That larger problem is among a contingent of muslims, a very visible immature in-your-face militant core with an apparent unwillingness to play along with the natives. A very large, incomprehensible, and unsociable family popping up everywhere, if you will. Scourge of the neighbourhood writ large.

    Suppose you could make every muslim who fails to pray for the Queen on friday move to a country whose head of state they are willing to pray for, and you may have solved most of the larger problem; public opinion will follow, for the unsociable part has ceased to unsocialise. This is of course not something that will actually happen, and not just because it borders on thought police. But provided it was feasible to take this pie-in-the-sky thinking and make it practice in some reasonable way, it would be effective.

    The immediate and perfectly practical workaround of throwing the religion up front to contrast with the name might very well be a reasonable, and perhaps even favourable trade-off in potential jobs now not lost vs. potential now jobs lost with prejudice. I know of no way to tell.

    The problem therefore is one of balance, knowing that in legal theory neither should have been an influence but in practice both are, probably. Recruiters stripping off the personals, knowing this, therefore also should strip off the religion, and all is well again.

    Paris, because social issues are hard.

  40. kissingthecarpet
    WTF?

    I have no idea

    who "belonged to a group of people so evil" could refer to - why so coy? Especially weird is the bit following about "right-thinking people would not only kill them but also make sure their bodies didn’t pollute the Earth" Who are you talking about - a Cthulhu clone?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Disgusting!

    If I had a "Muslim sounding name" and I needed to declare I wasn't so as to convince the hirer I was not of that faith, I don't think I would want anything to do with a company so bigoted! What kind of sick and twisted mind would see a name and instantly start pre-judging that person based purely on their name? Alright, we know these sorts of people are out there, but if I was asked to do something like add my religion to convince someone, I think I would be better off finding a different agency to get me work!

  42. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Leave it out

    I can see the point, that the candidate may want to emphasise that they aren't muslim in order to avoid discrimination based on their name. But I rather suspect that a good deal of that type of discrimination isn't on grounds of being muslim anyway, but on grounds of being 'foreign', so I doubt it would make a great deal of difference.

    If you want to emphasise that you aren't a muslim, then put down your hobbies as drinking whisky and eating bacon sandwiches in lap dancing bars...

    I think by stating your religion you are opening yourself to another kind of 'discrimination' (if I can call it that) as modern British society seems to be becoming increasingly hostile to religion in general, and I guess that by stating your religion on your CV, you will be creating the perception that religion is important to you.

    Personally I think you're not going to gain much by trying to de-emphasise a 'muslim sounding name', and you're risking losing out if the person assessing your CV either doesn't like religion, thinks that you might try to convert your co-workers and cause friction, or thinks that all religious people are stupid because who'd believe in an invisible sky-fairy.

    1. unitron

      Re: Leave it out

      "then put down your hobbies as drinking whisky and eating bacon sandwiches in lap dancing bars..."

      Isn't that basically what the 9/11 hijackers were doing the night before? Or at least the Ft. Hood shooter?

  43. James 5

    So, that would be...

    "Mohammed the Shred" then.

    Nope, doesn't run off the tongue like "Fred the Shred".

    Perhaps all applications should be made anonymous until the interview stage. Candidate ABC1234 (and so on).

    We used this technique with rock samples many years ago - when sent for analysis so they were provided anonymous "out of number" sequence IDs and this was supposed to avoid bias from the laboratory doing the analyses.

    To answer the question: I have never added religion to any job application nor received one in any applications. Just see it as totally irrelevant.

    However, the question is surely NOT about religion on CVs but the perception of religious conviction based on a name ! A company that pre-judges (prejudice) it's applicants based on a nebulous connection between name and religion (or any other factor) is not one you'd want to work for anyway ??

    Surely, if you're worried about the effect your name may/will have on your future employment it indicates a) a lack of confidence in your abilities and b) finding an excuse beforehand to explain why you didn't get the job.

    If someone is really worried about this then there's always the option to change name by deed poll, I guess.

    And finally, Ethics ? in a bank (at least the upper echelons). This is a joke, right?

    We're just recovering from a major, bank caused, recession in which many many people lost their livelihoods, all caused by the greed and total lack of ethics of the directors of many banks. Sorry, but I now just see the large financial organisations as legalised crime syndicates, nothing more nothing less.

  44. unscarred
    Megaphone

    Sometimes easy to guess

    I don't have my religion stated explicitly on my CV, but I do have my involvement with a charity described from which it's pretty easy to guess. I did think long and hard about that, and sometimes get a few surprised noises when they ask me to elaborate in interviews, but I don't think it's ever negatively affected my ability to get a job.

    My opinion: don't flag it up, as it's not strictly related to your ability to do the job, but don't try and hide it either as it is part of who you are.

    You should have the pride and personal integrity to stand by your beliefs and anyone prejudiced enough to discriminate on that basis is not someone I would want to work for.

  45. Stuart Henderson
    Grenade

    bloody love the Corrs

    My CV:

    Jeff Jefferson

    I bloody love the Corrs.

    Qualifications:

    BSc Basket Weaving

    ...

    if you put anything in such pride of place on your CV, you'll look like a MENTAL person. whether it's a religion, a hobby or a quote in Klingon; your CV's going right in the bin.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    French

    Knowing some French does have the advantage that you have a better chance of escaping from this craphole of a country and going somewhere where "freedom" is not a dirty word.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Ah oui? Grass is always greener...

      yet when it comes to sporting events (are youse listening, Ireland) the French will describe something as "pas tres fairplay", the use of the English term suggesting that they don't have the concept in French...

      ...but let me add I'm an ex-pat Brit working in France for years. I /might/ move back, once Gordo's Gang get the chop. If they've left anything to move back to.

  47. keddaw
    Megaphone

    Logic and reason

    If your religion is important to you please put it on your CV - I want to be able to weed you out.

    I value someone who can evaluate the available evidence and come up with a reasonable working hypothesis. If you're religious you can't. End of.

    1. Oninoshiko
      Stop

      bigotry.

      Please include this alias in your CVs, so when anyone googles you they can find this post. Anyone who thinks it is anywhere near the realm of appropriate to discriminate based on race, religion, creed, gender, sexual oriantation is not only a legal liability to my organization, but shows increadilby poor judgement in that they have proven an inability to be respectful of their coworkers.

      Bigotry is not something I want in my organization, it is both wrong, and a legal liability.

    2. Paul 4

      And if you use

      End of you clearly don't value others opinions anyway.

  48. Joe Drunk

    Verily, I say unto thee

    As someone who's worked in IT for almost two decades I've met several individuals of various faiths and cultures, most whom I've had to work closely with as part of a technical team. None of these people let their religous backgrounds interfere with their professional obligations and quite frankly that's the way it should be. Whatever you practice has to be done on your own time, not mine. There may have been those that required select holidays but nothing extended that impacted their work or the rest of the team in any significant way.

    My time in IT has been spent in pharmaceutical, technology and banking. I am currently a hiring manager for my department (no we're not hiring right now nor for the forseeable future) and have never come across a CV that included one's religion. The only content I find relevant for both candidates and for my own CV are education and experience. Hobbies and interests are listed for entry level positions which I have never had to fill. I find their inclusion questionable since I have never incorporated that into my CV from my first IT related job as first level help desk till now.

    My advice would be to not include religion if you are applying for a professional occupation as it is irrelevant. The times I've had positions to fill and had applicants with equal qualifications the one with the best communications skills was always the preferred candidate.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Islam more like a benefit

    In these days of "positive discrimination" (which was outlawed years ago alledgedly) The only people its fair game to discriminate against are white males from working class backgrounds.

    Rich folks....nah they have lawyers

    anyone of colour....do able, but asking for exposure in certain papers as Hitler loving kitten killers

    women....fast track to sexist oppressor central

    Trust me, I've been on the receiving end, many many many times.

    All goes well till they ask about my background and then everything goes pear shaped....especially if the company knows the area I grew up in / live in

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: I have no idea

    A combination of utter ruthlessness and lots of greed, given that the example came from the banking industry. Most other people don't care to be around people with those, er, qualities.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    discrimination anyway

    A CV should primarily cover the skills for the job, most people I know certainly "tune" their CV depending on the job they're applying for. There's always room for some personal notes, a hobby or interest that might show that the applicant is well-rounded, or has an outside interest that would make them a good fit. If the person truly feels that their religion is of such importance to them that they want to list it as a personal interest, that's up to them. Like other posters above, though, I would tend to send such a CV to the bottom of the pile on the "oh dear, a zealot" principle, no matter what religion is quoted.

    I do remember a training course years ago when we were asked to do the usual round-table introductions. One participant stood up and said "My name is xxxx, and I'm a Christian". You could feel the collective wince around the assembly.

    Incidentally, comments were made about events in "other countries", but it can be closer to home than that. As part of the anti-religious-discrimination laws in N. Ireland (which are much stronger than those in the rest of the UK) employers are (or were when I worked there) required to report on the religious makeup of their staff in terms of a percentage catholic/protestant/other. If the company does not make such a report, it is penalised.

    Of course, how does the company get the info? It has to ask, so we all got questionnaires. Like many of my colleagues I declined to answer (to get listed as 'other' you have to specify what sort of 'other' you are). We got polite responses saying "we understand that you choose not to answer, so you have been placed in category "xxxx", if you wish to challenge this, please contact ....". Yes, quite. Positive discrimination is alive and well, and they're even allowed to ferret out or invent information you don't want to share.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Er...

    Did I miss the part where El Reg became an advice site for HR issues?

    Also, Richard 120:

    "If I look at a CV that contains religion then my first thought is - idiot"

    ...

    "Can't we all just get along?"

    I'm guessing probably not...

    1. Richard 120

      Curse you AC for making me reply

      I get along quite well with a lot of idiots, most of them are project managers.

      Anyway, the point is why should they give a flying fuck what I think of them, I couldn't give a flying fuck what they think of me outside the realms of whether we're doing our jobs (to the best of our abilities)

  53. Ross 7

    Re: logic and reason

    Ummm, you may wish to bone up on The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 if you're UK based. Your employer will be vicariously liable for that kind of action and is unlikely to take it well when they get hit with a fine.

    I would also point out that you are aligning yourself with the ID brigade, which I find rather amusing. Darwin was a Christian and so it would appear you don't think him capable of coming to a reasonable working hypothesis, so evolution must - by your standards - be unreasonable.

    Careful with that petard in the future...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why would they be hit with a fine?

      When sent accross 50Cvs to churn through there has to be some sort of filtering...If you have had bad experiences with religious types they will be one of the first to be filed in the shreading pile. You can't help it, it's just how things are. You don't have to give a reason for your decision not to interview someone.

      Oh...and Darwin was a self confessed Agnostic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why would they be hit with a fine

        You /do/ have to give a reason for your decision not to interview someone if that someone takes you to tribunal for discrimination. Someone doesn't need to be employed by you in order for them to start an action for discrimination.

    2. Cameron Colley

      Darwin was a what?

      I take it you knew him personally then?

      A quick look at Wikifidler suggests his parents indoctrinated him into religion, he was in the C of E for social reasons and finally admitted to agnosticism when he realised he could without people looking down on him. That's only my guess, of course, but it's probably as valid as yours.

      Can we please stop trotting out the old "but Einstein/Darwin/Aristotle/the guy who invented the zero/Al Jabir/Al Gorithm/etc. were religious" line like that matters or like we actually know what these people really thought about religion and not just which they happened to "be a member of"?

      1. Tim
        Stop

        Have you been to Down House?

        He resisted publication for years because his theory conflicted with his religious beliefs. This is diarised, not made up on Wiki-whatever. Do I need to point out the hypocrisy of your argument?

      2. Oninoshiko

        what we don't know...

        How about Abbot Gregor Johann Mendel? I think it's safe to say, as he was an abbot, we have a pretty good idea of what he thought of religon... I suppose he might just have "been a member of" of an order of monks though....

        And we can stop, about the time we stop with the "religous can't do science" line.

    3. Anonymous Cowardess
      Thumb Down

      twisting his words

      "Darwin was a Christian and so it would appear you don't think him capable of coming to a reasonable working hypothesis"

      That's not what he said. He just said he's wary if a person states his religion prominently on his CV. If Darwin had given the name on his book as "by Charles Darwin, a Christian" then there would be cause for suspicion.

      And another exanple of the religious types twisting your words.

  54. Andus McCoatover
    Flame

    HR? Human Remains^W Resources???

    "To quote the head of HR at another large firm, “my job is to protect the management from being sued by the staff”.

    Erm, I thought the job of Human Resources is to match Humans to the right Resource.

    D'ohhhh. Tw*ats.

    Or, is this just another arse-covering task?

    1. Tim
      Thumb Down

      That's naive in the extreme

      "Erm, I thought the job of Human Resources is to match Humans to the right Resource."

      That doesn't make any sense. Even if that sentence did mean what you think it does, that'd be the job of each employee's manager.

      HR's ONLY responsibility is making sure the company follows the rules regarding all aspects of personnel, from hiring to firing, to ensure that the company does not break any law which leaves it exposed to costly action. Everything else that they do flows from that.

  55. John 211

    Why not...

    attach a photo instead (assuming that this helps - i.e. you don't have a beard longer than the length of your fist! (or a pony-tail, obviously)

    I agree with all commentards who say that putting religion prominently (or even at all) on a CV is a bad idea - it does imply that religion is more important than your work experience/qualifications (hence more important than your job).

    However, I disagree with those who say 'you wouldn't want to work for a company that cares about your name' though, as there may be 1 person who sifts the CVs who has a prejudice - and that is not a basis on which to judge the whole company (in fact it makes you as bad as those who judge a whole religion by a few individuals, doesn't it?)

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Option I've seen employed

    In the personal profile, list some wholesome activities, then drop in a mention of a tipple you occasionally enjoy in social whatnots.

  57. Thomas 18
    Joke

    Priest wanted for service in small rural community

    Due to religious discrimination laws we will now be accepting CV's for priests of any faith including agnosticism and atheism. Salary negotiable, bonus of guarantee place in heaven for 12 years long service.

  58. Paul Hands

    Putting your religion on your CV is dumb.

    It's against the law to discriminate on grounds of race, creed or colour. Thus, the sensible thing to do is not have any such identifiable markers on your CV, unless you're looking for a reason to blame someone else when you don't get the job.....

    Further, the lack of awareness of this, or the lack of judgement to assume that putting your religion on your CV is good, would lead me to avoid the candidate altogether. Where is the line drawn? Do you accept christians and muslims and reject wiccans or druids? They're all equally stupid superstitions.

    Finally, if there could be a conflict of interest (e.g. being asked to do IT support for, a family-planning clinic), then the candidate is going to be weeded out.

    1. Dan Sheppard
      Flame

      Name

      I think the issue raised is that some things it would be odd not to have on your CV, such as your name, well, mainly your name, correlate somewhat with your race, gender, religion, etc.

  59. John 211
    Megaphone

    general advice for CVs that 'I' would give

    Personally I would advise clients never to put anything on a CV that is classified as 'sensitive' information under the Data Protection Act, as this limits the employers' ability to store the information (and hence keep you on record for future roles/vacancies).

    http://www.opsi.gov.uk/Acts/Acts1998/ukpga_19980029_en_2

    Included in this list is Racial or ethnic origin, political beliefs, Religious Beliefs, Trade Union memberships. sexual orientation, health information, criminal convictions.

    Some of these may be relevant to certain jobs and may have to be disclosed (i.e. criminal convictions) but don't add them to your CV.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am a Christian,

    it''s the most important fact about me and the thing that's most important in my life. So I do put this on my CV, it would be dishonest not to. It drives who I am and what I think.

    To me it indicates that the person has a certain moral standing and ethic. If that's counter to the work environment then you don't employ that person, they are probably not the best suited for the job whatever their qualifications. In most cases it's irrelevant so you may note it and move on to what is relevant.

    I know some companies who look for outside work activities and involvement, it indicates someone who is more rounded as a person and who has a life outside the office. I dare say that there are companies who think the opposite.

  61. Hollerith 1

    II've been on both sides of the interview table

    When I interview, I am looking for the candidate's experience and savvy. When I see things that distract me from the story the should want to be telling, i.e. how fabulous they are as a candidate, then I question whether they will have the drive to do the job, or whether their heart really lies elsewhere. So flagging up Christian (or animal rights or folk music) suggests to me that they are more into their identity than into their work, and will spend working hours on their first love. So I wouldn't automatically reject them, but I would have a big, big warning sign saying: be careful with this one, and I would ask more probing questions. They have raised the difficulty and they shouldn't be surprised if I feel I have to deal with it..

    With Christians specifically, I find the ones who 'declaim Christ constantly' without words, i.e. by truly Christian behaviour, are lovely to work with, and those who 'declaim' by bullying, sounding off and getting in people's faces, are 'Christianists' who use the cloak of a faith to do what they really want to do, which is to dominate (i.s. sociopaths). The former seldom put any indication on their CVs of their faith. The latter seldom put any faith in their actions.

    As for AC of 13.51: I find the whiners are not women or ethnic groups, but working class white men. I haven't noticed that white men have been wiped out as a species in the upper echelons of power. In the company I now work for, every single upper management job is filled by a white man save one (a white woman), and save for some HR or 'soft' departments, headed by women. I don't know if these men are middle-class or working-class, but the group 'white man' is only feeling hunted because they don't dominate 100%. As Joanna Russ said in the 1980s, dominant groups believe they are being 'taken over' or 'edged out' when 7% (seven percent) of their colleagues are not like them. So my heart remains unwrung by the plight of working-class men, who need to do so very little to have it all.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    It's a tough world out there

    I'll agree, the banking industry for all its faults and failings has been the most non-discriminatory in my experience, don't particularly care as long as you can and will rake the dosh in or can do the job asked for technical roles.

    Rule 1 is don't put anything on your CV which will cause whoever gets it to view it adversely. A bit hard when fighting prejudice just based on name, perceived religion or race though. Then again, if you are rejected through prejudice, is it a company you want to work for ? Cold comfort if you do.

    One of the real buggers is age discrimination and it's a bit hard to hide age when education and career history reveals it rather well.

    What really cheeses me off is the number of vacancies which demand "red-brick university" - surely that is discriminatory and cannot be legal.

  63. BlueGreen

    My middle-eastern name + my experiences

    my name is almost unique in the UK. It's not immediately apparent as a 'moslem' name but I suppose given my background it is.

    Experiences? It hasn't made a whit of difference jobwise anywhere. The two criteria that have mattered are, can I do the job and how well I get on with people.

  64. frymaster

    Should separate out hiring and stats-gathering

    If HR want these sort of details for stats from the people they've hired, they can ask them after they're hired. If they want them from the agencies, they can ask for a cover letter with all this kind of stuff (religion, ethnicity etc.) so that it can be easily removed from the CV when the candidates are being reviewed.

    personally I'm against gathering these stats for the simple reason that in some mis-managers' minds, they become quotas - "we need to hire more people of special-interest group x" - rather than being used as indicators of a possible deeper problem

  65. JohnG

    Is religion relevant to the job in question?

    I see a CV as a sales document for someone who wants a job. It needs to advertise that person's suitablilty for the role they are applying for - and it needs to do this for people who may have lots of other applicants to consider and very little time. If their religion is not relevant to the performance of the role (like it would be for a vicar) then it should be left out, along with other information of no consequence.

  66. Mr Squirrel
    Welcome

    It's all about you

    You should tailor your CV to meet the requirements set out in the job description. I don't mean lie, I mean emphasise the relevant qualities and remove the irrelevant ones.

    So, if you're applying for a role with links to a particular faith and you're part of that faith, you may wish to volunteer that information. Then again, they may be looking for a more diverse workforce so it may count against you.

    Your CV gets you in the door, it's how you perform in interview that's important. I'd say leave it off your CV but mention it in interview if you think it's relevant.

    P.S. I've been turned down for a job before because of my beard. It's not for religious reasons, just aesthetics. Turns out that means it's not discrimination. On the plus side, the company was nuts, the only thing missing was the Initech sign.

  67. This post has been deleted by its author

  68. David Lurie
    Megaphone

    Perhaps a Q&A

    An an arts graduate (graduated in 2007, first class honours, couldn't get a job, did an MSc Management conversation course) who bitterly, bitterly regrets not studying economics, which I was entirely suited for and went far more sensibly with my background, I'd appreciate the opportunity to ask Dominic Connor some advice.

    How about the Reg takes into account the probably high number of people in similar boats (and I must admit, I've ended up in a reasonably high paying job 18 months out of uni) and has a Q&A session with him? I think you owe your loyal readers that, since articles like this are a little like stabbing us arts graduates (and I'm not the only one reading El Reg) in the eye.

  69. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
    Alien

    Don't think it's necessary...

    unless you're a scientologist.

    <--- make him proud.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solution somewhere

    I think it's safe to say that bar a few bigots, the only thing likely to sway a hirer's (subconcious?) mind is the thought that the candidate (of whatever religion) might be some kind of fanatical pain in the arse. So... I'm sure it must be possible to include something in a hobbies/interests section that discretely shows this not to be the case. Mind you the only things I can think of to include as interests are:

    Falling down drunk

    Getting tattoos

    Eat bacon sandwiches

    Working on Sunday

    Adultery

    So you see my problem.

  71. This post has been deleted by its author

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Feedback

    For about 1.5 years I started and managed an offshore firm in Thailand for a US based company. It was very common for candidates to list religion on a CV. Id say it was about 70% Buddhist, 15% Muslim and 15% Christian.

    The reasons for this behaviour are deeply embedded in the cultural development of the region.

    I would advise any UK/EU/US candidate to omit religion, race, marital status, etc...purely for the reason that it is now socially unacceptable. But in places like Thailand I would advise the opposite, for the same reason.

    There are better ways to stand out on a CV, than do something that would make the HR department uncomforable.

    *And most importantly*, If a company discounts your CV because your name sounds Muslim, do you really want to be working for them anyway?

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The kid had a point

    About 6 years back I was getting no response on a number of applications. All into the financial industry sector and all through the same 3-4 agencies.

    At which point it hit me - I baked a fake CV which was roughly similar to mine, changed the names of the educational institutions to ones from another country, changed employers to roughly their equivalents and put a different name on top.

    I submitted the fake using a different email address, as well as my NTL phone number for it instead. The phone went off the f*** hook for the next week.

    So to put it bluntly - I do not believe a single word about the financial industry being less bigoted. Yeah, bollocks.

    1. Tim
      FAIL

      Not really a controlled experiment was it?

      So you changed the names of your employers and your universities and schools, but you seem to be claiming that you were discriminated against because of your name?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not too sure about your point

      If you has just changed your name then this may be relevant - but changing the education establishments and organisations changes things greatly (Diploma from a Thailand College versus Degree from Oxford - I would expect the reaction to be different). This is not necessarily due to UK establishments or companies being better, but simply that the recruiter will have more knowledge about the education and organisations from their own country (I would expect a better response from a US recruiter if I had a cv with recognised US qualifications and a list of known US organisations over one with UK equivalents that aren't well known to a US employer, for example).

      So I think your assumption is very flawed. BUT if you had ONLY changed your name, then that would have been a different matter, and you would have a valid point.

  74. Mike Capay

    Look for the positive

    My advice to a candidate would be that if they're simply declaring a religion because they're proud of it or see it as a good thing then that's fine. I would warn them that I'd be obliged to hide it from many employers. I would also advise them that displaying one religion because they don't want to be assumed to be in another prejudges their prospective employer and might be seen as bigotry in itself and therefore used against them.

  75. Steven Jones

    @Mr Squirrel

    "P.S. I've been turned down for a job before because of my beard. It's not for religious reasons, just aesthetics. Turns out that means it's not discrimination."

    Not sure about that - tried a sex discrimination case? If you are devoutely Moslem or Sikh it's going to fall under religous discrimination (and racial discrimination in the latter case).

  76. Paul_Murphy

    My advice would be to use a covering letter:

    Use the CV as a sales document, put in items that are specifically about your ability to do the job, your education, hobbies and experiences and at the end give your name and telephone number/email as a contact point.

    On an accompanying covering letter you can put things such as your full address, other areas of your personality that you feel important (disability, religion etc. etc.) which you can put forward in a non-CV way, perhaps with more explanatory text than you would on a CV (i.e. 'As part of my social group we take OAPs to Lourdes' or whatever ).

    The point being that you can still inform a prospective employer about further aspects of your personality without appearing to be obsessed by them.

    I personally would see religion on the CV as mildly suspicious, since I don't see it as relevant to the job, so why mention it as a discrete item.

    Hope this helps.

    ttfn

    1. PirateSlayer

      Hobbies

      Why are hobbies in any way relevant to how you will do the job? Employer's have enough of you without delving into your personal life.

      1. Paul 4

        But so many do.

        To many ask for that infomation. Its very annoying.

  77. Joe Montana
    WTF?

    Religion can be relevant...

    Religion is in some cases relevant to people's ability to perform a particular job...

    Consider the recent case where a muslim worker working at a supermarket refused to have anything to do with products containing pork , which the supermarket clearly sells.

    In that situation, a muslim employee is less useful than someone non religious. If all employees at that supermarket were muslim, then they would be unable to sell any pork products, and customers who wanted to buy such products would simply go elsewhere.

    If religion is going to make you unwilling to do certain tasks, then the employer needs to know this up front so they can hire someone who will actually be willing to do the job they're being hired for.

    Religion is a choice, it's not like race or gender that people have no control over, you choose to follow a religion and also choose how strictly you are going to follow it. Religion deserves no special legal protection.

    If you choose to follow a religion that prohibits certain things, then you have made the choice not to take a job that would require you to do those things. It's absolutely insane to apply for such a job and then complain afterwards.

    You made a choice, now you should have to live with the consequences, not enforce those consequences on others.

    1. Adam Foxton
      WTF?

      @Joe Montana

      Yes, Religion is a choice. But it does deserve some legal protection- you shouldn't be forced to adopt another religion to "fit in" at work. As with all choices, it should be protected by law but the protected party should have responsibilities as well as rights- in this case you shouldn't be able to choose the degree to which you follow your religion. It should be wholehearted, devoted following or you lose your legal protection.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the US, It's Illegal to Ask

    However, it definitely makes a difference in some places. In Brooklyn and NYC, there are many companies you won't work for if you aren't Orthodox Jewish, and, in Utah, there are a lot of companies you'll never work for unless you're Mormon. They have ways of figuring it out.

    I have a friend who owns a company, and interviewed an engineer. He hired the guy. The chap shows up for his first day with a Yarmulke, and announces that he'll be taking off every Friday at 3PM. Just like that.

    Other than that kind of thing, it shouldn't make any difference to Whom you pray on Sunday. There's plenty of other things that people can get overzealous about that aren't religious-based. I've heard of some mighty interesting things done by PeTA folks, and by people who worship at the altar of The God Pr0n.

    1. Laie Techie

      Utahn != Mormon

      An anonymous coward said that to get a good job in Utah, one must be Mormon. This misconception is out of date. Currently, only about 55% of Utahns are LdS (the proper term for Mormon). I have worked for companies in Utah where I was the only LdS (over 50 employees total), and would get hazed because I wouldn't use vulgarities or join the guys at the local bar after work, I have worked for other companies which are almost exclusively LdS. They don't wear white shirts and ties, address each other as "brother" or "sister", or any of that religious stuff. There is a fun rivalry between BYU and University of Utah.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Badgers

    As a rule

    The things that go on your CV should be things that are relevant to propsective employers. These include such things as name, address, education, job history and so forth.

    It may be that in the field in which you wish to work your choice* of religion may be of relevance. If that is the case, then by all means include that info. However, I would have thought that any job where it is of relevance, supplying that information would be redundant. I can't see many Jewish folk applying for jobs as the local vicar.

    In any case, if you feel that your religious beliefs are of importance, or may be of interest to those prospective employers, I really don't think it should go on the _top_ of the CV. That should be your name, and address. If it goes on at all, it should go on somewhere around the bottom, probably near the bit that says,'I enjoy reading, alnd long walks in nature, etc.'** This is the bit of the CV that forms the theoretical tie-breaker if there is another candidate with the exact same level of experience, qualifications, pay expectations and personality as you. In practice, it is ignored, as all things religious should be.

    AC, because I may have said some things that some religous folk might take objection to and I am no fan of mob hysteria.

    *Although most religious folk seem to miraculously turn out to have the same religion as the majority of the people in the community they were born into. Fancy that.

    ** Unless you are applying for a job in the good 'ole US of A of course. Then shouting out about how much you love your particular flavour of sky pixie will probably get you the job over other considerations, as long as your sky pixie happens to be of the right skin colour.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Object to...?

      You sir, are a coward and a troll. Yes, a troll. Saying you don't believe in any god(s) is one thing. Saying you think religion is stupid is fairly objectionable, but still within your rights. But as soon as you start talking about "sky pixies" you are clearly just stirring it and being objectionable for the sake of it.

      If you genuinely think religion is some kind of mental deficiency, ask yourself this: do you call the local mentally disabled kids names? Do you tease them about their handicap?

      Or maybe you think it's an addiction. Do you chant "alkie, alkie" at every drunk on the street? Do you throw pebbles at heroine addicts on the street?

      So what's so special about religion that makes it OK to tease people for sport?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Grenade

        so you're accepting the premise...

        that religious belief can be categorised as a defect / illness as with the above examples?

        i thought the sky pixies reference was great myself.

        ac cos i'm a coward.

        demons! demons!

      2. gct
        Grenade

        Because...

        religion is a choice?

        Having an addiction/being disabled isn't...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @gct

          Having an addiction isn't a choice? Drinking/smoking/injecting are choices, aren't they? Does thinking that "I can handle it - it won't be a problem" and being proved wrong absolve you of all responsibility?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        NOT RELEVANT

        Not a fair or relevant comparison. The handicapped children don't CHOOSE to be handicapped, they are not indoctrinated into the wheelchair.

        Religion is a choice. If you choose to believe in something that is completely substantiated by an old book, then fine. Don't compare it to the handicapped children

        Religion has no place in the work place, any fucker that buggers off early on Friday should have to make up the hours or get docked the pay, same with the magic carpet people who have to go pray every 10 mins or whatever.

        The religious eeejits are getting whatever they want because people are to afraid to offend them. Well here yeee, there isn't anything up there, round there or anywhere. So kiss your carpet/alter/blah blah blah goodbye and do some work you lazy fuckers.

      4. No, I will not fix your computer
        Grenade

        Re: Object to... ?

        You don't give your name and call people objectionable? perhaps it's you who is the coward and the troll?

        "sky pixie" is a non denominational generic description for an imaginary being which is worshipped, it would be objectionable to single out zombie jesus and his many demi-gods or how the abrahamic faiths support incest to create mankind (as adam and eve's children all sleep together), how scientologists made up xenu or the fact that the flying spaghetti monster or pink unicorn might actually be "all made up".

        >>So what's so special about religion that makes it OK to tease people for sport?

        Well, if it's sport then poking fun at peoples "stupid" choices is reasonable, if I believed my cat was the pope then I'd expect some "fun poking" if I went around telling people (if I kept it to myself then there's no issue).

        The other aspect is that unlike a personality disorder people can be "cured" of religion, it's only fair we try and help these poor individuals, although seriously why not just be a good person for the sake of it, rather than for selfish "fear of damnation" or "being saved" reasons? surely if there was a god then they would look more favourably on the altruistic people?

  80. John Savard Silver badge

    No good advice here

    Including one's religious affiliation on a resume is simply not done.

    However, it is definitely true that if someone is not a Muslim, but from part of the world where most people are... since one puts one's name on one's resume, one is identifying one's ethnic affiliation.

    How do you send the message that one is not a terrorist, one does not support discriminating Jews and Christians based on their religion, that one supports the equality of women? For that matter, how does someone in that situation who is a Muslim do that?

    Of course, if the Muslims had never been allowed in the country in the first place, this fellow wouldn't have that problem. But it's too late to fix that, since I really am against discrimination.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Don't make me laugh

    It's a fact that just about all companies have some kind of discrimintion policy, usually (I hope) its unconcious. Try getting a plumbing job with a name like Tarquin Henry-Watts-LLoyd, it ain't gonna happen, similarly, Baldrick Trotter with his certificate from Bilston Poly is NEVER even going to get an interview for a senior role in any company no matter how good he is.

    I'm going to change my name to Mohamed Kowalski, Get a lithuanian passport, change my sex to female, bath in 40 gallons of fake tan and go down the dole office, I will be in a £60,000 a year job with local.gov within a week.

    No offence to all the minorities named above, just making my point

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Religion?

    Let's think.

    Catholics including the Ustase, and Mark Chapman have murdered nearly a million people in the last hundred years, including John Lennon, for daring to suggest "imagine no religion" and "we're more popular than jesus" and forced the conversion of tens of thousands of children.

    The pope also clearly told Gerry Adams to get on with Tony Blair, so they could collude in turning Northern Ireland catholic, and Tony Blair also managed to get millons of Catholic poles into the UK. Gordon Brown's trumped it with tying the UK to the European Catholic block vote.

    Anal rape by some priest seems almost the better option here.

    Islam, on the other hand, has killed maybe a couple of million, and at the last count on any of the websites devoted to tracking Islamic attrocities, is still bumping off hundreds of people a month, with reasons such as "She deserved to die, because he veil was blown up by a sudden wind or she went out without an escort, or they came out of their burning dormitory without all their clothes on, like western whores."

    They doing this because of their adherent's affinity to fairy tales.

    Why would anyone announce themselves affiliated to anything like that? I'd much rather have some guy working for me who had to go home early for his kids three times a year, than some nutter who spends every Sunday indoctrinating his kids with lies, or walks three times a day into a stationary room to kneel on a specially placed carpet.

    The Swiss have it right. We should just ban it.

    The irony is that if we killed as many priests and imams as they've killed innocent people in the last hundred years, we'd have world peace now. We should just shoot one religious teacher every day, until there's no religion.

    It's like some bizarre dream, each opposing group is allowed to massacre the victims of their opposing skyfairy's cult, but they have an moratorium on killing the teachers of it.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Personal details on CVs

    For most public-sector jobs in the UK you complete one section of the application form with your personal details - name, address, religion, ethnicity, any disabilities etc - which are kept for HR and stats (e.g. counting up how (not) diverse the organisation is) and the second section is your relevant qualifications and covering statement. The two are separated by HR during the application process and the people who sift the applications only ever see the latter section.

    This is intended solve the problem of potential discrimination (at least prior to interview - you can't do so much about what people think when they see you, other than having 3 or more people on the panel in an attempt to get some balance) - maybe it would be a good idea to make all organisations, public or private, large enough to warrant some kind of HR/personnel function do this by default? That way the hit-and-miss dilemmas of what to put on your CV are reduced.

  84. Whatithink

    Dross like French?

    There's an opinion which tells me something about why my bank goes into panic at the first sign of having to deal with a cross border payment. What do bankers do - shout at foreigners in English?

  85. Andy Livingstone

    Simple in Scotland

    The casual question "What team do you support?" does it all.

    1. Dave Murray Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Except it doesn't always work

      As you can see to the left my name is David Murray, I also live very near Rangers stadium so you'd expect me to be one o them. But, I was brought up a catholic and most of my family support Celtic. If you ask me "which team do you support?" I'll say Fiat Yamaha with a big grin on my face. Then when you look totally confused I'll explain I don't pay any attention to football coz it's all shite and I watch MotoGP (among other 2 wheeled motorsports).

      Plus everyone knows that question is an attempt at subtle discrimination so you're still open to be sued if you ask it in an interview.

      So where would your casual question get you?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Colours

        As a kid in the sixties, I was asked who I preferred, Rangers or Celtic, by a Scot selling the souvenirs in the street outside the Houses of Parliament. I said 'Celtic' and he was well pleased. I always liked Celtic because they wore green and white, while I hated the Rangers shade of blue. I didn't really appreciate there was religeon involved until Gascoigne stuck his oar in.

        I really must find out if wearing our tartan would give me the right to kick Gordon Brown's balls into his throat! Though I guesss I'm too late anyway.

    2. Rab Sssss
      Flame

      hehehehe

      And watch their heads explode when the anser to what team do you support being "Scotland and who ever is playing against England"

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @'I am a Christian'

    A good moral attitude and ethics are definitely positive traits.

    Unfortunately, it's difficult not to draw the inference from your post both that you expect most (all?) Christians to share the same ethics, that your views are rather fixed and that you consider atheists incapable of constructing their own considered moral framework. In my experience devout Christians tend to look down on anyone with less common lifestyles, especially those who are not of a vanilla sexuality or in non standard relationships.

    I would suggest that if you genuinely do believe most Christians meet a certain moral standard, there may be a severe disconnect between your viewpoint and how Christians actually act in real life.

  87. JohnA 1
    Black Helicopters

    either or

    If the guy has a lot of talent, then tell him to take it off. Any place that will hire him because of his religion will not be a good place for a talented person to grow.

    However, if he is run of the mill, maybe a good schmoozer, some place where religion and politics rule might be a better fit, so he should leave it on.

  88. Jacqui Smith's DVD Collection!
    Dead Vulture

    If they are so smart...

    Let them decide which is the best option!

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    "Mein Herr, I want employers to know that I am not a Jew."

    >I want feedback on what advice I should give to the increasing number of people who want employers to know they are not Muslims

    Presumably HR personnel and recruiters faced a very similar dilemma during the 1930s in Germany. But it's not actually a dilemma at all, it's a moral issue and a test of character, and the answer is obvious simple and crystal clear. You do not collaborate with or collude in oppression in any way. Full stop.

    >I simply do not care if [ ... ] or whether [ ... ] I want to give the sort of good honest advice you would want to get if [ ... ]

    Sorry, your premise is invalid. There are overriding social reasons why you may not ignore this situation, keep your head down and carry on regardless. There is a *duty* on each and every one of us towards society. It was expressed best in Pastor Niemoller's most famous work.

    It's not just a theoretical issue. It's a real danger that is happening to us right now and every one of us must work to prevent it. That means making actual decisions, and taking a stand when confronted by obvious wrongs, not sticking your head in the sand but actually being willing to do what is right even at some trouble or expense to yourself. (Need I remind you of the vast international crisis recently caused entirely by everyone in the banking industry blindly considering nothing other than their own personal gain and career paths? You destroyed all your own corporations by acting in your personal interests and against the interests of the firms you were working for. Perhaps a few of you should have had spines then too.)

    And you're overrating your own importance in the way you phrased the question. If you tell someone that doing that is wrong, and they don't like your advice, it won't ruin their life, you aren't the only recruiter out there, they can always go and find someone else who will tell them what they want to hear.

    But if you won't speak out for all those Mohammeds you said there were in your industry, you said you were so proud of, but you won't say a word to defend them, what will they think of you?

    And who will speak out for you when it's your turn?

  90. Bucky 2
    Stop

    Not Religion Per Se

    When you're trying to select a candidate for a position, determining whether the person is academically qualified for the job is comparatively easy. You have things like education and work history which you can evaluate qualitatively.

    What's difficult about the hiring process is identifying some of the more difficult-to-quantify attributes of the candidate. Which is to say, are their individual eccentricities going to be compatible with the team they're going to be working with?

    If one were applying for a teaching position in a Catholic school, and one were Protestant, it might be wise to add that to the CV simply to avoid wasting time or getting into unpleasant conflicts down the road. If I were reviewing the application, I might consider it a thoughtful addition.

    On the other hand, volunteering information which is personal, and irrelevant to a particular occupation (e.g.: religion, marital status, Macintosh user ;-)) can sometimes be an indication that the applicant has a chip on his shoulder or a neurotic sense of entitlement. Nobody wants to come to work and deal with the daily ramblings of a drama generator.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A different slant

    I'm a buddhist but I'm going to church every Sunday to get my kids into the one really good school round here. 99% actually I'd say the ethical premises match up anyway, but I do have to bite my tongue sometimes. Plus I gotta let the kids suck it up and 'fix' them later. Don't get me wrong I'm not going to tell them to forget it and be buddhist like me (Buddhism is non-evangelical anyway), I'm gonna tell them to make up their own minds.

    It's interesting that schools are allowed to discriminate like this though. So top of the list is 'do you have siblings already at the school?' then geographical location as the crow flies, then 'Are you a dedicated Christian family at this church or one of the following churches (or provide a letter from your own church)?'

    But the catchment area is always full (this school takes just 50 kids a year - hence it's so good) so it always comes down to church attendance.

    Before you all flame me for living the lie - the other schools that we fit into the catchment of are truly shocking, and I can't afford to put all my kids in private and I'm not gonna pay for just one of them - how unfair would that be?!

    Sorry I know it's not totally on topic, but I thought it relevant in a twisted way.

    Anon for obvious reasons.

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You answered it yourself

    Greed is the enemy of bigitory, the candidates skills will sell themselves. In the multinational / multi-ethnic market place in which they are applying there is no need to qualify their religion.

    Besides, in parts of the UK (N.Ireland) you are legally not allowed to pass on that information. In many ways, due to the troubles, N.I has gone a long way down the road of introducing legislation to prevent discrimination.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    absolutely

    yeah I come from a secular family who are not religious, i got my MSc. before 9/11, went on holiday, by the time I came back after Sept and graduated in Dec the graduate placement with British Airways that I had been offered vanished, after I changed my Deed Poll (uk name change) in April the following year it was much easier to find work. funny that

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Don't

    Recently applying for jobs I've found some applications will specifically state that you should not include any diversity information on your CV, including the years for any prior education (so they can't simply infer your age from secondary etc). It's interesting to hear how this varies across cultures though.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Does it really matter?

    Okay, maybe it is needed, necessary and required to do some serious hand-wringing in public or at least a subset of "public".

    But given the "jokily" example of 90k+ GBP doesn't it really say that there is a metric of sorts but it is nothing related to public aesthetics or public morals and everything to do with making private fortunes? And that, to me, seems far, far closer to the events observed over years made public in recent times.

    Perhaps something along lines of:

    Ah, we cannot make mega-bonus on this model with these parameters so we will adapt the model and rewrite the parameters with an end assumption of mega-millions bonus?

    Elaborated to: ah well, the candidate naively broadcasts some allegiance to a faith group (neither worrying nor attracting) but have you seen the income level of immediate and extended family? Get said individual in-house and inducted soonest, and make it sweet - head spinningly, ego flatteringly, pressing-the-family-flesh nauseatingly sweet?

    Nor do I take the line "buy talent cos your enemy will use it against you" (paraphrased).

    Perhaps a greedy pig snout does not perceive religion as an observable but merely a conduit to either greater or lesser wealth?

    ps - thanks for the opportunity to rant. Please post another article soon :-)

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh dear

    I seem to have arrived at a strange bastard child born (in an unholy manner I must add) of Have Your Say and the Daily Mail.

  97. jake Silver badge

    Please! Do include your religion on your CV!

    If you think it is that important, that big a part of your life, please, by all means, do include your religion, and all your religious activities on your CV!

    Gives me one more thing to filter on, after bad spelling and grammar, h4x0r 5p34K[1], use of colo(u)red ink[2], ransom-note fonts[2], including pictures, logos & monograms[2][3], .DOC files attached to email[4], and poor layout.

    I am currently consulting for a California-based Fortune 150 which is looking for a new senior SysAdmin, reporting directly to the CTO. To date, we have received in excess of 4,000 applications, from all over the world. Having filter criteria is a good thing ... About 50 contained religious background. They went into the shredder without any further processing.

    [1] I kid you not ... This is a position that pays over US$85,000, WTF are the idiots thinking?

    [2] Yes, it does make your CV stand out ... and say "shred me, oh, please, shred ME! Can I please, pretty please, be the first into the shredder?". (Yes, there are three [2]s in there ... )

    [3]No, I am NOT likely to be bribed into hiring you with a photograph of your kitty, and frankly, I don't really care what YOU look like, either; this is a technical position, not a beauty contest. Nor do I give a rat's ass that you have a need to affect a personal logo or monogram, it has no bearing on the matter at hand ... and to the freshly minted BSc coed who seems to think that printing her resume on pre-printed MyLittlePony[tm] stationary is a good idea, here's a hint: It ain't. Likewise all you idiots who sent in CVs and resumes on Thanksgiving themed paper ...

    [4] Just paste the text into the body of the email, you nit-wits! I'll probably reject it anyway, because we specified FAX, snail mail, or online-form applications only, but at least you'll save a little bandwidth!

    1. Andus McCoatover
      Troll

      Ransom-note fonts?? Leet-speek??

      I didn't understand the first phrase - OK, I thought I did, but self-denial kicked in. Fortunately, Google fixed it for me.

      REALLY? For a job paying over $85K??? Are you advertising in the wrong place, like children's magazines, or porn sites? Mental hospitals? Microsoft Monthly? Or TheRegister, with an "Only Trolls And Lunatics Welcome" logo (attached, natch)?

      Gobsmacked. Utterly.

      Now, I gotta get a wheelbarrow to take my jaw home. It's dragging on the floor at the moment.

      1. jake Silver badge

        As I said, I kid you not.

        We were advertising in all the normal places IT professionals advertise.

        When you get 4,653 resumes, there are always a few nutters. Humanity works that way. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's headscratchingly odd, and sometimes it's just plain sad.

        "Gobsmacked" works nicely for the ransom note, though. Was a first for me.

  98. Bruce Jackson 1

    CV

    I've had people interview for a job and when I tell them that their skillset is not a good fit they would blurt out that they were a Christian and then tell me why that would make them a better employee than better qualified non-Christians. That argument didn't go very far with me since I'm not a Christian but I assume that these Hail Mary moves do help them at times. I've even had it suggested that I join a Christian church just for the business connections.

    In any case, I really want to know as little as possible about the personal lives of applicants; generally after they are hired we get talking about politics and religion but by then we are usually friends and can disagree without thinking less of each other.

    My ex-brother-in-law devised a system for disclosing his religion, politics and sexual orientation because he knew potential employers could not ask. For example, he would mention going to mass so the interviewer would know he was Catholic if the interviewer was familiar with Catholicism and knew Catholics called their worship mass; he would mention volunteering for a left leaning group that few conservatives were familiar with so if the interviewer was liberal he would score points; and would mention that he doesn't have any kids "that he knows of." to make it obvious that he is straight.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Define White

    Having spent the last six months looking for a job, mostly on line, I have had to fill out quite a few EEOC questionaires. If your ancestry is from the " Cradle of Civilization" , i.e. Europe and the Middle East, you are considered White. So an Arab is not part of a protected class and is free to be discriminated against. Now religion might be a different story but saying you can' work Saturday because it is the Sabbath isn't going to work.

    And if you are South African with European Ancestors you are not "African-American". I am curious what the U.K. Considers to be "White".

    1. jake Silver badge

      It gets worse ...

      All of my ancestors are Suomalainen (Finns), most from north of the Arctic Circle ... Even though I'm as white as the driven snow, there is absolutely zero Caucasian blood in my system. Yes, I was classified as a "minority" when I was at school, at least according to the fine folks in the .gov who payed my way.

      As usual, I have no answers ... Just muddying the waters a little more :-)

  100. Dominic (The Pimp) Connor

    The writer responds

    I did have one well known figure in banking ask me if my firm could filter out people who believed in Creationism...

    I flatly refused, even though my contempt for such people is so great that I use "Creationist" in casual speech as a term of abuse when I see something as stupidly dishonest.

    I serve a higher ethic in my work, I do it for the money.

    The discipline here is that I have a certain power over people's lives. If I don't send your application on to the employer you don't get the job, with absolute certainty, regardless of your ability.

    The effect of that can be pretty large, and for those who say I should exercise my power to some social purpose should ask themselves "Do I want Dominic to use this power against me" ?

    Statistically, a reader of this piece may hold political views I dislike, or come from a country that has done something bad to mine, or belong to an ethnic or religious group that has done something bad. You may smoke, a habit I regard with utter contempt, or eat eggs, the smell of which makes me feel sick.

    You may wear clothing that covers you more than I find "normal", or you may wear less, want me to act on that against you ?

    I can fuck with your career.

    I have a *huge* database of decision makers in banks, and can whisper in their ears.

    You want me use that power against "bad" people, you had better check you're not someone I think is bad.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Somehow, I doubt it ...

      "I can fuck with your career."

      No. You cannot. I categorically reject that you, personally, have ANY power over my career. May I humbly suggest you re-think the way you are trying to communicate this concept?

  101. Dominic (The Pimp) Connor

    More responses from the author

    A few % of the CVs I read mention some religious activity as part of "Interests", and I usually don't care, except for few who I counsel that the "Interests" section is so large it questions your commitment to work, though this happens more often with sport than religion.

    My own name is highly religious and often Irish, and I recall some trade unionists getting upset about me taking "British" jobs.

    I see French as a bit like learning MS Access. Useful occasionally, but very few people get any sort of decent job by knowing it and nothing else. But in many ways French is like Java, so many people get taught it, than the career value is severely degraded. 95% of the world is not Francophone, but 95% of British kids get taught it.

    I get accused of pigeon holing people

    Yep, that's my job.

    The race of "evil people" is not specified because I don't use identifiable names in my public career writings, except for IBM HR of course.

    Yes, HR people often make sure there is nothing "bad" in a CV, but some do not.

    Also, the majority of CVs we send in go directly to managers, some are copied to HR, but as you can imagine, my job is to get the CV to the right target. So HR filters are not a guarantee.

    There is no excuse for incorrect spelling or grammar on a CV. None. About 1/3 of the people we deal with aren't native English speakers, and we are actually harsher on them. That's because it is better to get a note from me saying "fix the spelling" than to be seen as sloppy.

  102. Andus McCoatover
    Joke

    About the "Jewish Question"

    I remember my manager hiring an Orthodox Jewish chap as a sales engineer, and my manager told me beforehand. David was his name - naturally we changed it to "Dave Yid". He preferred "Forby" - as in "4 by 2". Think about it, it'll come...

    Expecting dreadlocks and a black hat and coat, I was surprised that he was as normal as me (OK, even that's pushing it a bit ;-)

    Superb bloke, good at his job.

    Naturally, being Jewish, his tendency to offer discounts "You seem like a nice boy, I can go 10%..." got him more sales than me. Dammit. (Hence the joke alert icon).

    Only time the issue came up was when we were on a joint sales trip - his geographical area, but my expertise - and he was driving back later than expected on Friday. He pulled over, and simply asked if I'd do the driving, as Sabbath was imminent. No problem.

    When we were at a hotel, I remember ordering a yummy kipper for breakfast as a mark of respect , as it was "Yom Kippur" that day....

    Worked with a devout Muslim, too. Apart from his need to "nut the concrete" a couple of times a day, most tolerant bloke in, er, Christendom?

    Me? I'm a Theist. Bit like saying "I support the football team that wins the cup. Whoever that turns out to be."

  103. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You are all cuckoo

    It doesn't matter what you put, as long as you are selling yourself the way you want to.

    Add a religion it could get you a job, don't add it and you might not get a job because of that.

    There is no objective standard whatsoever, if this is the first time you have realised this then welcome to the human race, life doesn't come with a manual.

  104. Andus McCoatover
    Grenade

    Well...

    ..if I was applying for a job as a vicar...

    Slightly more seriously, by girlfriends's sister (She has 6 siblings. No condoms in Finland 50 years ago "There's a war on, and put that red bedroom light out!") is a deacon in a Lutheran church. Paid job, amazingly - and declared in her job application she has a live-in lover, who's also a very pleasant - girl.

    Got the job, of course.

    Slightly less amusing is the writer's rather arrogant attitude.

    The "I have control of your life" bits I find annoying. Sure, he could be good at his job, but - he must be a 'merkan to brag about it all the time. It detracts from the story. If, indeed, there is one any more.

    (Did like the shredder bit, however. Damn good folder for his future articles. BOFH can assist, natch)

  105. No, I will not fix your computer
    Grenade

    On the flipside

    What's the liklihood of being an american president if you "admitted" you were an athiest?* Bush v2 wouldn't have been the man with his finger on the button without his post alcoholic religious convictions and Obama got in enough trouble with his separation of church and state revival.

    *give you a clue, zero (OK, that's not actually a clue as such)

  106. Dominic (The Pimp) Connor

    The writer yet again...

    Andus, I never said I controlled your life, I said I could screw with it.

    As it happens I am a Brit, in fact I don't say I am good at my job, merely that the position enables me to do bad things, if I wanted to.

    That is a far from unique position of course, between you and a job, there are several people like headhunters, HR, etc. Several people seem to want us to use this power of veto to "improve" society, and since you clearly are not a fan of mine, I hope you will agree that you will agree with the idea that I shouldn't use it much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      You can see why

      he aint a fan if im honest. You appear to be a bit of idiot, and you clearly need to take your rose tinted specs of. I mean come of it, using 'bank' and 'ethical' in the same sentence is just plain wrong in todays financial climate.

      WTF is the point of this article

      1. Dominic (The Pimp) Connor

        The writer writes back

        I wonder if I might ask you to re-read what I said with a little more care ?

        I did put in the part about their fear of litigation as a driver for behaviour.

        The "point" of the article was to research how a tricky problem should be addressed, I'd welcome any constructive input you may have.

        1. jake Silver badge

          It's not a tricky problem. Don't complicate things.

          "I did put in the part about their fear of litigation as a driver for behaviour."

          Yes, you did. But to the thinking (wo)man, it's a non-problem.

          "The "point" of the article was to research how a tricky problem should be addressed, I'd welcome any constructive input you may have."

          As an IT consultant who is often asked to screen new hires for Fortune 500 companies, I have no issues shredding any resume/CV/application I run across, for any reason I see fit. If I'm ever called before California's version of TheBeak by someone who claims I should have hired THEM over somebody else, all I have to do is say "Who the fuck are you? I never heard of you" ... and the problem instantly goes away.

          As a side note, I have no issue whatsoever hiring a religious person. If, based on their CV, I decide to haul them in for a face-to-face and/or working interview, and the subject of religion crops up, I won't hold it against 'em, unless they get into my face about it ... HOWEVER, if they see a need to put their religious activities into their CV, in my experience it will become a hindrance to their day to day job performance.

          Try to remember, the object is to fill a position ONCE ... Fit the right body into the slot, with minimal friction as far as existing staff are concerned. Hiring and firing until you get it right just isn't an option ...

    2. Andus McCoatover

      Fan?

      Actually, the more I read, the more I liked. With reservations.

      It's your subsequent postings, rather than the article I had objections about, but I did like the shredding ransom-notes and coloured text a lot. Happened to me, too. As a recipient, I hasten to add.

      Not exactly a 'fanboi', but there's sense in there. Someplace ;-).

      However, arrogance doesn't suit. Keep it off _your_ C.V., please...Same with jake. Is it a requirement of a headhunter? It's a trait I'd rather not assimilate, no matter how much money it might make me. Screwing with other peoples lives isn't something I'd be proud of.

      Changing peoples lives for the better, a big fat YES!!! Just wish I knew how to.....

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Andus

        "However, arrogance doesn't suit. Keep it off _your_ C.V., please...Same with jake. Is it a requirement of a headhunter? It's a trait I'd rather not assimilate, no matter how much money it might make me."

        First, I'm not really a headhunter, nor do I particularly enjoy that aspect of what I do for a living. Unfortunately, if you hang about in IT for a third of a century, chances are that it is a hat you will be asked to wear more often that you would like..

        Second, there is a difference between arrogance and self-assuredness. Sometimes it's hard to differentiate between them on paper (not all of us have the writing ability of the Bard of Avon ...), but in person, it's obvious.

        Third, somewhat sadly, when you boil it down, it's always about the money ... live, learn, adapt, grow within your field. It's the only way to get on in life.

        1. Andus McCoatover

          @Jake

          "Third, somewhat sadly, when you boil it down, it's always about the money ... live, learn, adapt, grow within your field. It's the only way to get on in life."

          Yep, been there, done that.

          I was General Manager of a UK software company for a couple of years, until we finally realised DEC had stopped making the VAX.

          Probably got the T-shirt somewhere.

          But as I'm now unemployed, I'm loving it!

          As someone once said, "If you win the rat-race, you're still a rat".

          Nothing personal by this, or indeed the last post, but I disagree it's only about money. If I could find a way to build toilets for villagers in third-world states (not talking London Docklands ;-), I'd do it. In fact, I was chairman for "Poor Shepherds Orphanage" in Kenya for awhile, until my mind decided to take an unscheduled excursion.

          Starfish. I'd love to have that on my CV (http://www.starfishdifference.com/)

          BR

          -Andus

  107. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me ...

    A nice Jewish boy from the 'burbs. If ANYONE asked my religion, they would be dead before their sad arse hit the floor.

  108. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    I vote "no"

    "Several firms now send questionnaires directly to applicants, quizzing them on sex, race, etc. This is in an effort to check they are getting diverse applicants from agencies, and show they are trying hard to avoid discrimination.

    When one bank gathered its recruiters to its HQ, this was met with a surprising degree of hostility, voices were raised. Apparently in some countries this information is used to weed out the “wrong” people; such discrimination not only being legal, but sometimes compulsory. The emails do not get a good response rate, whatever country they get sent to.

    "

    Well, I refuse to answer these too -- hiring is supposed to be "color blind", and tracking what races, sexes, etc. were hired, some institutions here in the US will find "oh we are not diverse enough" then try to even it out... the punch line.. by introducing race-based preferences during hiring.

    As for religion -- no I would not put my religion into a CV. It's not work related and is rather irrelevant unless I plan to work at a religious institution. The places here in the states that have HR departments will probably be made pretty uncomfortable by having that info on the CV, they aren't allowed to have it influence the hiring process so they would likely be much more comfortable if it wasn't there.

    I should add, I'm not surprised overtly christian christians are persecuted -- I know a few overt christians that are pretty jolly... but in general, I have 'em try to recruit me, they put up religious stuff all over the place, and here in the US tend to be the crazies that want to get "that filth" (whatever they don't like..) off TV, complain about rap or even still rock'n'roll, etc. etc., in general real sticks in the mud, anything THEY I mean, one guy at my work is Jewish, if he was quoting the Talmud all the time and telling me I can't eat pork and shrimp it'd get old. Instead one day at lunch I see him eating a chinese shrimp & pork combination plate hahaha.

  109. frankg778

    Two observations

    Dominic,

    I enjoy your posts on linkedin and this one is interesting too.

    I would say two things. First as you mentioned Mohamed is the most common first name in your database the majority of bankers in the city. So whatever bias exists against hiring Muslims clearly it is not impairing them from finding employment. So maybe he should just take his religion off his resume and instead focus on differentiating his skills and experiences.

    Secondly though the CV/resume is a personal document so if your candidate feels it is important to correctly convey his cultural identity I can certainly understand his attitude. Unfortunately he is getting himself enmeshed in the politically correct legal morass that is bound to offend someone because his strategy is too blatant.

    If he wants to diffuse the religious issue it calls for more subtlety. A better strategy for your client would be to add or delete details to avoid creating the false impression that he is a Muslim. It is tricky because the candidate risks the perception of deception if details are omitted clumsily.

    Without knowing the details it is hard to say how I will just throw out some ideas. He could for example replace his first name with his initials and perhaps use his middle name if it is less culturally associated with Islam. Another approach truncate the first name to Moe the cultural baggage becomes ambiguous is it Moishe, Moses, or Mohamed? Obviously when he does his application and the background check he will provide his full legal name, but by this point he will have hopefully met people and made a good impression.

    Chinese candidates in the U.S. have a similar issue, because Caucasian (and most other ) Americans do not know how to pronounce their names properly. Also there is the issue of translating Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet. Some of my Chinese coworkers have addressed this by choosing "American" names that are easy to pronounce for their colleagues.

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