Responding to Want Ads, 90% of Women in Israel Omit Their Marital Status

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A recent survey by Yad2 Drushim, the online job search portal, found that 90 percent of women over 30 years of age omit their marital status when sending their resumes to potential employers, convinced that being single and childless will make them more attractive candidates.

The survey included 500 men and women applying for jobs. Many of the women said that they omit this detail in the knowledge that supplying it will decrease their odds of finding work early on, even before being interviewed.

According to Rinat Bogin, CEO of Yad2 Drushim, 40 percent of men also omit their status from their applications, although this is most common among mothers of young children, who fear that employers will disqualify them regardless of their qualifications or previous experience. The survey did not test how many employers are in fact influenced in their decisions by applicants’ marital status, but Bogin believes that most employers prefer unmarried male and female employees.

“An unmarried employee has fewer financial demands and can work at more unconventional hours or on night shifts, as well as being more mobile when work is required at distant locations," Bogin says. "Employers therefore prefer hiring unmarried applicants, as married men are finding out during tough times, causing them to leave out their marital status when applying for jobs."

The survey also shows that 80 percent of older applicants, born in the 1970s or earlier, omit their year of birth when applying for work, in the belief that their age will hamper their chances of being hired. Older participants in the survey believe that employers worry that they will demand higher wages. “This is a common mistake made by employers,” says Bogin, “since most older applicants just need the job and have no ambitions to advance or to receive higher wages.”

Thirty percent of the survey’s participants – 80 percent of whom were women – attached a photo to their applications. This has become common in Western countries and is catching on here as well, in the belief that this makes the application more personal, and likely to be viewed favorably. While resumes in the US and other Western countries generally do not include marital status or date of birth in any case, in Israel resumes traditionally did.

With the growing tendency of employers to seek out information on prospective employees on social networks, 40 percent of survey respondents stated that they refrain from posting personal data on these networks during their job searches, to avoid giving a bad impression. Of those surveyed, 45 percent had a professional profile on LinkedIn, particularly those searching for management positions in high-tech or marketing. Even after finding a job, 90 percent said that they maintain their account on the job search and networking website.

A woman preparing for a job interview. Credit: Dreamstime

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