Why Do Some Immigrants ‘Whiten’ their Résumés?

Over at the NCCR on the move blog, there’s a summary of research undertaken jointly with Eva Van Belle on CV Whitening. The blog post takes a step back and embeds considerations of CV Whitening in broader research on ethnic discrimination in the job market and the correspondence tests we use to measure discrimination.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

In Western countries, we observe that some employers discriminate against people with a name indicating that they are from a minority group. Research has shown that if you have a name signalling that you are an ‘immigrant’ or belong to an ‘ethnic minority,’ the chances of being invited to a job interview are reduced. Factoring in the potential discrimination, some immigrants and members of ethnic minority groups have been observed to adopt strategies to hide details that show their minority status from their applications.

Correspondence tests have highlighted systematic discrimination in the labour market. In a correspondence test researchers create fictitious applications and send them to real employers and landlords. The applications are constructed in a way to highlight discriminatory practices in cases where minority applicants are invited less often to interviews. On average, applicants from non-neighbouring countries find it much harder to be invited to a job interview.

Considering the discrimination, ‘immigrants’ and members of ethnic minority groups have a clear incentive to hide details from their applications that make their minority statuses apparent. On the contrary, if an employer cannot tell that the applicant is an ‘immigrant’ or belongs to a minority group, the chances of getting invited to an interview have been noted to increase.

Read on >>

Ruedin, Didier, and Eva Van Belle. 2022. ‘The Extent of Résumé Whitening’. Sociological Research Online. Forthcoming. https://doi.org/10.1177/13607804221094625.

Some reflections on MIPEX in German over at the NCCR blog

Together with Gianni D’Amato and Denise Efionayi-Mäder, I have written up some reflections on the new MIPEX results for Switzerland (in German):


We highlight the comparatively poor protection against discrimination in Switzerland, despite growing attention to Black Lives Matter and racism. We encourage policy comparison not to copy and past policies, but to encourage local solutions to do more.

Incidentally, the new results from MIPEX present nothing new — Swiss immigrant integration policies have been stable in the last few years (though historically they have changed much).

Should we come across as criticizing Swiss policy, let’s not forget the innovative and positive policies on health care in Switzerland (ranked “favourable” by MIPEX).

Migration, mobility and COVID-19 – A tale of many tales

S-SAM grantee Amanda Bisong wrote up some initial thoughts on migration and Covid-19. Read the blogpost here.

The crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic has overshadowed existing migration debates in Europe, yet is inextricably linked with mobility and movement and its governance within the EU and globally. The current situation reveals the complexities of migration debates, pushing aside current, unearthing old and raising new questions.