We’re here with Ask a Progeek, and the questions keep coming. This one is a bit sensitive – and one with exploring.
When applying for a job, there is sometimes a voluntary section about demographic information (where they ask about gender, ethnicity, disabilities, etc). In practice, is it better to fill that out or leave it blank?
This usually isn’t a concern for us Progeeks, but it’s something that bears thinking about.
Let’s face it, these sections are voluntary.
Let’s face it, these sections feel a bit invasive.
Let’s face it, you kinda wonder if this helps or hurts you.
Let’s face it . . . eh, we’re gonna have to address it.
And here’s how I address it:
Really, I have no idea what this may do or won’t do for a company. Or a career. Or an application. I’ve never heard a reason not to do it. I’ve never heard what happens. I really don’t know who cares or anything.
If anything, to me these sections are just a pain because sometimes they have weird options.
So here’s what I do: I fill them out.
I figure it’s this way – this could be bad or good. It could be ignored or used. But really I figure why leave things incomplete. I figure why leave the suspicion I didn’t do things. I figure why really worry and just be honest.
So really, go on and do it.
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach. He blogs on careers at http://www.fantopro.com/, nerd and geek culture at http://www.nerdcaliber.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at https://www.stevensavage.com/.