Should I Put My Race On A Job Application? Read Before Taking Action  

To make ends meet, we all need a job. Most times, you will need to fill a job application from a prospective employer.

This application will allow them to assess your qualifications, talents, and years of experience to determine whether you are qualified for the job.

Sometimes, employers may offer a section where you may fill in the information regarding your race. Many people are hesitant to enter this information for several reasons.

So, should you put your race on a job application?

Should I put my race on a job application?

It is not necessary to state your race while filling out a job application. It is not necessary to state your race while filling out a job application. You can skip it unless it is specified as a mandatory requirement.

It is legal for an employer to inquire about your race, but only during the application process and for legal considerations.

They need this information to prove that they comply with the government’s anti-discrimination law. This information is forwarded to the government’s database to help them certify that an employer welcomes diversity.

Why Some People Do Not Want To State Their Race

Because of racial bias, some persons are reluctant to state their race on a job application. They believe an employer will not hire them if the interviewer or recruiter is a racist.

Companies that make it mandatory, on the other hand, claim that they merely need the information to comply with federal diversity requirements.

When they receive this information, they enter it into their data-collection system to go to a separate database that informs the government about their company’s diversity.

The form is subsequently forwarded to the recruiter without that information, ensuring that no discrimination occurs.

Regardless of these measures, the recruiter can make educated guesses about your origins based on other information provided on your application. Information like your name, college, and societies you’ve been a part of can all be linked to a specific race.

Another reason people find it difficult to choose a race is because one person can be of numerous races.

It’s difficult to know which race to choose if one’s grandfather is of one race, the grandmother is of another race, and current parents are of different races.

Choosing one and ignoring the other is akin to slicing yourself in half. It encourages people to have low self-esteem.

To avoid this, some people change their names from tribal ones to something more English-like. Even on LinkedIn, some people do not put up their profile pictures to avoid racial sentiments.

When Is It Illegal For An Employer To Ask About My Race?

It is prohibited for an employer to inquire about a candidate’s race during a screening or over the phone.

It’s also prohibited when this information isn’t used for the right reasons and instead is used against the employee. An employer is not permitted to exclude a candidate because of their race.

To see if you’re being discriminated against, the employer inquires about your race and begins asking you questions unrelated to the job you’re applying for.

It’s worth noting, though, that some companies demand a specific race for specific objectives. If this is the case, it will not be criminal if you are not hired due to your race.

Why Do Companies Ask About Race On Their Application

Companies ask about your race for three major reasons.

  1. They want to comply with the government’s law against discrimination of any kind, be it racial, gender, or color.
  2. They need the data to send it to the government’s database responsible for tracking Indiscrimination in companies.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) collects an Equal Employment Opportunity Report from employers.

The report does not carry individual names and not the names of unemployed candidates. 

It only contains general statistics of the categories of people in the company and how many per race are employees.

Another government body that requires that information is the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP).

They require reports on both applicants and employees to ensure the elimination of any form of discrimination, either of race, color, sex, disability, etc.

  1. They want to ensure equality. Companies want to be sure no tribe is more employed than the other. They monitor balance.

When Should I Fill In Details About My Race On My Job Application?

Despite these rules, some persons are still hesitant to provide accurate information about their race for fear of prejudice.

Look for either of these two pieces of information on the application to see if you should or should not fill in your race.

Look for a part where it is stated explicitly that information regarding your race will be kept private. Alternatively, keep an eye out for a Non-Discriminatory Notice section.

If you see this on your form, it means that the information you entered will be saved and solely used for legal purposes.

It will not be mentioned in the section of the form that is addressed to your employer. You may now proceed to fill it out.

Can I Lie About My Race To Get A Job?

Getting a job is so difficult these days that some people will not want to lose out on a chance for an interview because of race. They lie about their race, and sometimes, they get the job. Providing false information is illegal.

It is wrong to provide false information on your job application because every action has consequences. Remember your reputation is important. 

Consequences of Lying About Race On A Job Application

If you get the job and it is later discovered that you lied about your race, you will be terminated from your job.  

You’ll lose the trust and relationship you have with your employer, and they can take legal action against you

On the other hand, some employers, probably due to uncertified reasons, may accuse an employee of being from a particular race different from the one the employee indicated.

Doing this is unacceptable, and if proven wrong, you can take legal actions against the employer.

Note: For legal actions against an employee, that employee must admit to lying or providing false information.

Things To Do When Filing A Job Application

  • Be sure you have all your information ready and on hand. You will need your resume to confirm dates and places. If you’re applying online, you may have to start afresh.
  • You can look out for sample job applications and use them to learn how to fill your data.
  • Request for the application form from the company when you go to submit your resume. Take it home and neatly provide the required information.
  • Make sure you dress well when going to pick and return the application.
  • Always be ready for an on-the-spot interview, especially when you are going to apply. Or at least create a good first impression.
  • While filling out the form, make sure you fill it correctly and neatly, following the instructions.
  • Review your filled form before submitting it in case of errors.
  • If it is an online application, ensure you provide them with necessary information because you may not see them physically to correct any error.
  • Questions on race, ethnicity, sex, religion, national origin, disability, marital status, age, sexual knowledge are not supposed to be found in a job application. If it is, you can choose to answer or not.
  • Make sure you inform your references beforehand so that they can expect an e-mail or a call from the company.
  • Some companies give assessment tests, so be prepared for it.
  • It is advisable to read and know more about the company you are applying to and be sure of the vacancies and their requirements before you apply.
  • It is also advisable to look up already filled sample job applications online to ensure you are filling in the right information correctly. You can download and study some of them before you start filling your information.

How To Fill A Job Application Without Any Related Work Experience

You don’t have to give up if you find a job application you want to fill out, but you don’t have any experience. Fill in the blanks with whatever work experience you have.

Fill in the blanks and include the name of the company or organization with which you worked – if you did voluntary work, worked as a nanny, cleaned up the neighborhood, or anything else.

Write down your responsibilities, the length of time you worked, and the amount of money you earned. You may also ask for a private interview with the company’s Human Resource Manager to discuss your job experience.


When filling out a job application form, some employers provide a section for you to fill in the information regarding your race. Many people are reluctant to enter this information.

It is not necessary to state your race while filling out a job application. You can skip it unless it is specified as a mandatory requirement.

It is legal for an employer to inquire about your race, but only during the application process and for legal considerations.

Employers include this information to prove that they comply with the government’s anti-discrimination law. This information helps the governments certify that a company welcomes diversity.

Jake is a passionate entrepreneur and writer who likes to spend a large chunk of his time researching, reading and writing. He aims to keep web surfers engaged with the latest news and articles on a wide range of topics. When he's not writing, he's busy catching a tan on the beach in Florida.


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