Religious activities on resume?

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shinobi99
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Religious activities on resume?

Postby shinobi99 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:46 pm

I am actually non-religious, but ended up volunteering at a church for several years. Should I put this volunteer experience on my resume? Or would religious activities turn off adcomms?

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nickb285
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Re: Religious activities on resume?

Postby nickb285 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:50 pm

If the volunteer work was helping out in a soup kitchen, put it. If it was protesting abortion clinics, don't.

bdm261
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Re: Religious activities on resume?

Postby bdm261 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:50 pm

It probably depends on what your volunteer duties were. If you were feeding the homeless or helping with food/clothing drives, I'd certainly put that on there. As long as it wasn't handing out pamphlets on religion to convert people or something, I don't see why it would turn off ad-comms.

MrNiceGuy35
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Re: Religious activities on resume?

Postby MrNiceGuy35 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:55 pm

shinobi99 wrote: Or would religious activities turn off adcomms?


Isn't that technically illegal to discriminate an admission applicant because of religious affiliations? Does this really happen?

shinobi99
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Re: Religious activities on resume?

Postby shinobi99 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:48 pm

Well, I wasn't actually working at a soup kitchen. Nor was I handing out fliers to force people to come to church. I was actually helping with the ongoing maintenance of my local church, in terms of handling the tech stuff, e.g., projector, powerpoint slides, sound engineering, etc., and managing the youth group. I would help the kids with their homework and sort of counsel them on the college admission process. Although I'm non-religious, I was interested in learning about what the church had to say, so while I was there I decided to help them out in ways I could. Wonder whether any of these are worth mentioning in my resume.

I don't know if law schools discriminate applicants because of their religion (I'm sure it's illegal in some way), but IMO picketing against abortion clinics and gay marriages doesn't seem to give a good impression either. Luckily I was never part of those controversial activities...

09042014
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Re: Religious activities on resume?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:53 pm

For law school, absolutely leave it on. Americans are overwhelmingly Christian, do you really think you'll get discriminated against. Jesus, the persecution complex is strong. It's been like 1800 years since the lions.

For real resume, only if it involves actual useful skills necessary for the job, or unless you think doing church work will help you with that employer.

MrNiceGuy35
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Re: Religious activities on resume?

Postby MrNiceGuy35 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:49 pm

Desert Fox wrote: Americans are overwhelmingly Christian, do you really think you'll get discriminated against.


Yes, discrimination for religion still happens. It happened to me last year at the workplace and resulted in a year-long legal case. As to whether it happens on law school applications, I don't know. I hope not.

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LSATSCORES2012
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Re: Religious activities on resume?

Postby LSATSCORES2012 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:53 pm

I'd personally leave it off just because I think the benefit will be little at best, but if you have an admission officer who just got back from lunch and was having tracs shoved in his face then there might be a bit of a backlash.

It does, of course, depend on the school. If you're applying to Notre Dame, definitely put it down. Ultimately, though, I'd be much more inclined to put down an activity associated with a church than an activity associated with a secularist organization because the latter is much more likely to result in harsh consequences (see: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/rel ... 51777612/1)

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sabanist
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Re: Religious activities on resume?

Postby sabanist » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:37 am

shinobi99 wrote:Well, I wasn't actually working at a soup kitchen. Nor was I handing out fliers to force people to come to church. I was actually helping with the ongoing maintenance of my local church, in terms of handling the tech stuff, e.g., projector, powerpoint slides, sound engineering, etc., and managing the youth group. I would help the kids with their homework and sort of counsel them on the college admission process. Although I'm non-religious, I was interested in learning about what the church had to say, so while I was there I decided to help them out in ways I could. Wonder whether any of these are worth mentioning in my resume.

I did something really similar for my first two years in college with a religious organization. I did the same technical stuff you did and ran a weekly group for college freshmen that basically functioned as a support group. I briefly mentioned the support group in my resume because it was a huge time commitment and an official leadership position within the organization, and I listed both roles in applications which required listing extracurricular activities.
Even though I left the group and am not religious at all now, I was much more worried about adcomms thinking I twiddled my thumbs for two years than whatever impression they might have had of me being religious. I just downplayed the evangelical aspect of it (I always hated and avoided it anyway) and emphasized the technical skills I learned and how much I enjoyed working one-on-one with people who needed emotional support (I want to be a public defender, so it's relevant).

I very seriously doubt this will make or break you either way, but I think including it would be a positive. It shows that you're willing to dedicate time to other people. I've got my personal hang-ups with organized religion (if you're a queer southern baptist, you're gonna have a bad time), but if I were sitting on the adcomm, I don't think I'd be so concerned about where a person volunteers so much as whether they do it at all.
Okay, maybe Westboro Baptist is an exception. But I'm rambling now. You get the picture.




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