/ Job application form asking for religion/belief?

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jjclarke70 - on 29 Mar 2013
Would I be better off putting Atheist or None?
professionalwreckhead - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:

It's just a data gathering exercise to keep tabs on diversity stats for job applications, they can't (legally) use it for any other purpose.

You can always leave it blank if you feel more comfortable.
drunken monkey - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70: Put Jedi
Darron - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:

Always be honest
BigHairyIan - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70: Put 'none', if religion isn't important to the job. If religion is important and you are actively an atheist then have a think.if you are applying for a job that is suitable for you.

As for the legality question: there are many jobs where not being of practising faith can.legitimately remove you from.the running, like for example applying to.be a teacher in a faith school. If you.don't believe me have a look in the TES at teaching post job adverts...
tom_in_edinburgh - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:
> Would I be better off putting Atheist or None?

Atheism isn't a religion or a belief it's a lack of belief in one specific theory.

I'd put 'Not Applicable'

digby - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:

I thought the Pope job had been filled?
Tim Chappell - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:

Nosy questions on forms are a pet hate of mine. Decline to answer, unless you think it's relevant to the job.
Duncan Bourne - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:
For God's sake don't put Cult of Cthulu, it never ends well
Coel Hellier - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

> For God's sake don't put Cult of Cthulu, it never ends well ...

Oh I don't know, I thought it has an excellent ending and is one of Metallica's best tracks! In fact, I might just go and put it on ...

Oh sorry, thought you'd said "Call of ..." not "Cult of ...". (You up for Stockport tomorrow Duncan?)
Jimbo W on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:

In all the jobs I've applied for, I have not been offered an interview once. One of the individuals who was offered the job was a close friend and colleague of mine. I knew her CV and she knew mine. We had identical grades throughout medical school. Both straight A school students. Both did intercalated BScs where I got a first and she a 2:1. Furthermore, I had some publications, she did not. I couldn't understand why I hadn't even got an interview. It seemed to me there were two possibilities: 1) her parents knew the employers with whom we were applying 2) that I'd mentioned in my interests (amongst rock climbing, running, chess, violin, singing) philosophy and theology. I later applied for a different job to the same department, and before applying took my CV along to someone who I knew in the department who immediately said, well I know why you didn't get an interview before, its because you mentioned you interest in theology, you'd have been the butt of their joke if you mentioned that before. So I took that out, and not only got an interview, but got a job. I wasn't sure that that was what had been a sticking point, that was, until I witnessed such discrimination first hand. Someone coming for a technical job, well experienced, with the right skill set was being overtly and openly denied a job, and being laughed about in the open office because he had mentioned an administrative role in his local church on his CV and as a result a very much weaker candidate, without the relevant experience was thus being favoured. This is the only type of "religious" discrimination I have witnessed of any kind, but its enough to say sadly that I would not tell the truth and avoid answering this question either way.
Duncan Bourne - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Coel Hellier:
Sounds like a plan I'll see what Michele is up to
MG - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Jimbo W: I think emphasising anything non-job related unduly will probably put you at a disadvantage. I have seen CVs with half a dozen references to religious activity and I am sure that would often raise eyebrows and be rejected by some out of hand - it implies a lack of self-awareness if nothing else. The same would probably occur if there were a similar number of references to say political activity of a particular sport. However, this doesn't seem to happen so much.

Why mention an admin job in a church if it is not relevant to the application?

Cthulhu on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Duncan Bourne:
> (In reply to jjclarke70)
> For God's sake don't put Cult of Cthulu, it never ends well

I'd quite like to lead a cult.

Oceanrower - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Cthulhu: Didn't do David Koresh any good.........
jjclarke70 - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70: Thanks for the replies everyone. The question is in the section of the application form marked 'For statistical purposes only' so should have no affect on the rest of the application. I'll probably just put none.
Jimbo W on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to MG:

> I think emphasising anything non-job related unduly will probably put you at a disadvantage. I have seen CVs with half a dozen references to religious activity and I am sure that would often raise eyebrows and be rejected by some out of hand - it implies a lack of self-awareness if nothing else.

Sure, relevance is key in what should be a short punchy easy to read document. However, in medicine, very often very little separates people by academic merit, and thus other achievements become important. In a 3 page CV, there was one word in mine that referenced religion, which was the word "theology", sat next to the word "philosophy", in a final brief section:

Extracurricular Activity:
Music: Violin (grade 8), piano (grade 8) with teaching experience. Singing as a bass-baritone soloist.
Sport: Rock Climbing, mountaineering, sailing, and fell running
Other Interests: Chess, public debating, philosophy, and theology


> The same would probably occur if there were a similar number of references to say political activity of a particular sport. However, this doesn't seem to happen so much. Why mention an admin job in a church if it is not relevant to the application?

Well, the guy had mentioned it because there was an administrative component to the job, so he thought it might be relevant, and so he'd included a sentence to make that point and using it as an opportunity to expand on tasks/skills he had. Anyway, what I experienced happening to this guy was clearly discriminatory according to the clearly prejudicial viewpoints of the interview panel and piss-taking after the interview.
Dave Perry - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:

Good practice in job application forms normally means a separate sheet is included with equal opportunity monitoring stuff on it, like religion, race and so on.

What normally happens is these forms - which don't have applicants names on - are separate on receipt and kept on file. The person/s doing the interviewing or shortlisting never see that bit.

In smaller or tiny organisations you may find that is is unavoidable that the interviewer will see these forms. They must not use any of that information to screen applicants.

That said if I saw an applicant's form with 'Jedi' on as a religion I'd reject the person as I;d not really want someone who at this stage of the relationship can't deal with request this in a serious manner or way. And despite what I've said I'd not be guilty of any unlawful discrimination because being a Jedi is a recognised religious believe in so much as employment law is concerned.

So if you don't want the company to monitor such things just leave it blank.
MJ - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Sport: Rock Climbing, mountaineering, sailing, and fell running
Other Interests: Chess, public debating, philosophy, and theology


Your mistake was mentioning 'Rock Climbing' and 'Public Debating'. They put two and two together and assumed that you'd be spending your whole working day on UKC...

Steve John B - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to jjclarke70)
>
> In all the jobs I've applied for, I have not been offered an interview once. One of the individuals who was offered the job was a close friend and colleague of mine. I knew her CV and she knew mine. We had identical grades throughout medical school. Both straight A school students. Both did intercalated BScs where I got a first and she a 2:1. Furthermore, I had some publications, she did not. I couldn't understand why I hadn't even got an interview. It seemed to me there were two possibilities: 1) her parents knew the employers with whom we were applying 2) that I'd mentioned in my interests (amongst rock climbing, running, chess, violin, singing) philosophy and theology. I later applied for a different job to the same department, and before applying took my CV along to someone who I knew in the department who immediately said, well I know why you didn't get an interview before, its because you mentioned you interest in theology, you'd have been the butt of their joke if you mentioned that before. So I took that out, and not only got an interview, but got a job. I wasn't sure that that was what had been a sticking point, that was, until I witnessed such discrimination first hand. Someone coming for a technical job, well experienced, with the right skill set was being overtly and openly denied a job, and being laughed about in the open office because he had mentioned an administrative role in his local church on his CV and as a result a very much weaker candidate, without the relevant experience was thus being favoured. This is the only type of "religious" discrimination I have witnessed of any kind, but its enough to say sadly that I would not tell the truth and avoid answering this question either way.

I'd bin it if you didn't use paragraphs, nothing to do with religion.
Jimbo W on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Steve John B:

> I'd bin it if you didn't use paragraphs, nothing to do with religion.

Read some Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or better still, come back after you've read Proust's "a la recherche du temps perdu".
Jimbo W on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to MJ:

> Sport: Rock Climbing, mountaineering, sailing, and fell running
> Other Interests: Chess, public debating, philosophy, and theology
>
> Your mistake was mentioning 'Rock Climbing' and 'Public Debating'. They put two and two together and assumed that you'd be spending your whole working day on UKC...

UKC seems to be more rhetorical exercise these days.. ..but I take the point, though the extremely very highly wonderfully fully controlled experiment (same CV was used a year later minus the word "theology") -> got the job, or actually a better one.
Eric9Points - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to MJ)
>
> [...]
>
> UKC seems to be more rhetorical exercise these days.. ..but I take the point, though the extremely very highly wonderfully fully controlled experiment (same CV was used a year later minus the word "theology") -> got the job, or actually a better one.

I'm a little surprised you took the job after that experiment.
ice.solo - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:

C of E.

just lie. religions do, and apparently its not allowed to matter.
Fat Bumbly2 - on 29 Mar 2013
I am currently as of yesterday, unemployed. What race, sexuality and religion will do the trick?

Normally I do not answer these intrusive and to me sinister questions.
MJ - on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

C of E.

Isn't that one of the reasons why the UK is still seen as being religious i.e. Ask someone their religion and the default answer is C of E, whereas in reality, they're probably Athiest/Agnostic/Ambivalent.
Tony the Blade on 29 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:

Tell them you worship at the Temples of Syrinx, and look for the nods of recognition (and the faint waft of patchouli oil! :-)
stroppygob - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to jjclarke70)
>
> In all the jobs I've applied for, I have not been offered an interview once..... that I'd mentioned in my interests (amongst rock climbing, running, chess, violin, singing) philosophy and theology.

Ah, so people aren't intersted in employing a risk taking, fitness fanatic, nerdy, fiddling, god botherer? Colour me surprised...
stroppygob - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Fat Bumbly2:
> I am currently as of yesterday, unemployed. What race, sexuality and religion will do the trick?

Tell them you are a Zimbabwean, burka wearing, disabled, Moslem, lesbian, and you're well in....

It just means you'll have to wear a Burka all day to work, and limp.

JayPee630 - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

You really are a nasty bit of work aren't you?
ads.ukclimbing.com
andrew breckill - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70: interesting question, I have no religious leanings in that I believe or go to church. I am however interested in theology as it is such a long standing constant in human development. So I find the subject fascinating. Quite funny then to think I could be discriminated against and to be thought of as a Christian. I wonder if there is a fundamental conflict in any science based academia towards people that believe?
The New NickB - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:

I think you are still far more likely to be descrimimated against for not being Christian, be that Jew, Muslim, Atheist or something else.
RCC - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:

Surely anything that you feel the need to put on a cv is something that you expect to be discriminated on. That, after all, is the point of the document!
owlart - on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to andrew breckill:
> I wonder if there is a fundamental conflict in any science based academia towards people that believe?

Well, there is one science based academic on here who has stated on record that if he found out someone was a Christian he would immediately consider them to be of lesser intellgence and morally corrupt, so yes, there is a certain level of prejudice that occurs and is explicitly admitted to.
Jimbo W on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to RCC:

> Surely anything that you feel the need to put on a cv is something that you expect to be discriminated on. That, after all, is the point of the document!

Depends what you mean by "discriminated". I would have thought that any assessment of a CV would be an examination of whether the skills and qualifications are suitable for the job, rather than the sense of discrimination where an "unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things" is involved.
Jimbo W on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

> Ah, so people aren't intersted in employing a risk taking, fitness fanatic, nerdy, fiddling, god botherer? Colour me surprised...

Au contraire: as I said, only one job application for which I've not been offered an interview, and the only one I've not been offered a job.
Jimbo W on 30 Mar 2013
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I'm a little surprised you took the job after that experiment.

Beggars can't be choosers. Twas a step up from commuting to Aberdeen everyday, besides which I chose to see it as their problem, not mine, and I knocked the anti-religion thing on the head when I showed the buggers how religious they are with respect to football. It's never been raised with me again.
DancingOnRock - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70: I didn't think it was illegal to be discriminatory over someones religion.

We had a real problem in our place where we operate a shift system. All the Muslims wanted to swap shifts so that they got their holy days off. Then when it came to Christmas and they were rostered off they wouldn't swap with the 'Christians'.

Funny how everyone suddenly becomes religious when it suites them.

It was solved the following year by fixing the roster so that people with kids got Christmas day off and people without kids got new years day off.
Steve John B - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to Jimbo W:
> (In reply to Steve John B)
>
> [...]
>
> Read some Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or better still, come back after you've read Proust's "a la recherche du temps perdu".

I've read Proust, thanks! I wouldn't give the lazy git a job either ;-)
stroppygob - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to JayPee630:
> (In reply to stroppygob)
>
> You really are a nasty bit of work aren't you?

What is nasty about what I said, you humourlessness git?

Duncan Bourne - on 31 Mar 2013
In reply to jjclarke70:
I think the bottom line is go with the norm. Do your research, find out what counts as normal in your society and tailor your CV to fit in with it. Expunge (is that a word) anything that shows you up to be weird or slightly off kilter. Unless of course you don't give a flying monkeys about the job then just let your creativity rip.

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