More than you think, they may impact your chances of getting an interview.
Interesting study reported in HBR …
The study investigated whether applicants got invited to interview at highly prestigious law firms (though the findings are probably generalizable to other top-notch professional firms).
Here’s the drill:
Imagine four applicants, all of whom attend the same, selective second-tier law school.
They all have phenomenal grade point averages, are on law review, and have identical, highly relevant work experiences.
The only differences are whether they are male or female and if their extracurricular activities suggest they come from a higher-class or lower-class background.
Who gets invited to interview?
More specifically, the researchers used a technique — known as the resume audit method — randomly assigning different items to the resumes and sending applications to real employers to see how they affect the probability of being called back for a job interview.
All applicants were from 2nd tier schools (where top firms don’t typically do on campus interviewing).
All educational, academic, and work-related achievements were identical between the fictitious candidates.
To test gender effects, the applicants were first-named James or Julia.
To “signal” social status, last names were either prestigious sounding “Cabot” or more common “Clark” … and commonly used and and often required portions of resumes were varied: awards and extracurricular activities:
The experiment confirmed some expectations, but there were also surprises …