Whitened Resumes: Race in the Labor Market

Contact me for a free copy of the research!

Resumes containing minority racial cues, such as a distinctively African American or Asian name, lead to 30-50% fewer callbacks from employers than do otherwise equivalent resumes without such cues. Minority job seekers might try to avoid discrimination by omitting or strategically presenting race-related information in their job application.

Testing across 16 geographically dispersed US metropolitan areas and 19 industries, resumes with whitened names and experience received higher callback rates than non-whitened resumes. The implicit racism did not differ depending on whether the job ad had a "pro-diversity" message or not.

Millennial minorities are whitening their resumes because it's works. Across industry and location, whitened resumes will elicit more positive response from employers than resumes that reflect a marginalized identity.

Millennials need to understand the systems of oppression that they live in. White institutions have hidden, unspoken rules that make it harder for minorities to succeed. When millennial minorities understand this truth, they are presented with a difficult choice:

Do they decide to avoid resume whitening, if perhaps they have the economic privilege to maintain their true identity Or do they whiten their resume, to try to break their way into the system; the very same system that seemingly seeks to break them?