September 2014 – A new study by sociologists at University of Connecticut revealed that it may be best for job hunters to leave any religious affiliation off resumes and applications. The finding came as researchers sent 3,200 nearly identical resumes to 800 employers around two major cities in the South. The only noticeable difference between resumes was the religious affiliation of applicants. Religions included evangelical Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Atheism and a fictitious religion called Wallonian.
During the course of the study, the control group, those not mentioning religion at all, received a form of communication from employers 18.2% of the time. If religion was mentioned at all, the percentage dropped to 13.5%.
Researchers were surprised to find Jews were the least discriminated against. Michael Wallace, a co-author of the study and a sociology professor at University of Connecticut, said, “The negative consequences of open religiosity did not seem to apply to Jews.
Although Jewish applicants received slightly less feedback from employers than applicants who made no mention of religion, this discrepancy was not enough to be statistically significant.”
Evangelical Christians received feedback 16% of the time. The religion most discriminated against in the South, according to the study, is Islam. Only 12% of Muslim applicants received feedback. Atheists, Catholics and Wallonians saw a 13% feedback percentage.
Authors of the study said the findings “suggest, ironically, that religious discrimination in hiring is most prevalent in regions of the country where religion is most passionately practiced.”
scu.sagepub.com; religion.blogs.cnn.com, 7/2/14