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A female applicant strongly raises her chances of getting hired if she gives out personal information, finds a new study, contradicting the conventional theory that if a woman wants equal footing professionally, she should not share any personal information.
The findings showed that female candidates who gave personal information clarifying her resume gaps raised their chance of being hired by 30 to 40 percent, compared to a comparable female candidate who provided no personal information.
"Our study provides the first-ever evidence that women who conceal personal information dramatically lower their hiring prospects," said Joni Hersch, professor at Vanderbilt University in the US.
Employers overwhelmingly preferred to hire female candidates who provided information to explain a resume gap, regardless of content.
"If we start to encourage honest conversations between employers and employees on an official level, it could lead to meaningful change in the quality of applicants, particularly in industries that have been so resistant to providing family-friendly work policies," added one of the researchers Jennifer Bennett Shinall from Vanderbilt University.
For the study, the team included 3,022 people who acted as "potential employers" and had to choose between two job candidates, described as mostly similar except for their openness about a 10-year gap in their job histories.
The gap was explained with information such as taking time off to raise children or a recent divorce as the reason for leaving and wanting to re-enter the workforce.