Resume Writing Tips for LGBTQIA Job Seekers

This post builds on my piece on LGBTQIA job hunting concerns, and is a place for me to share information I’ve learned from webinars and events I have attended.

Resumes are often one of the first chances you get to make a good impression, and you should always give serious thought to what information you are willing to provide. You want to make sure you are showcasing your personality as well as your work, and this balance can be a challenge to strike (which is why you have us to help you).

There are four resume writing steps that I would recommend to any student who identifies as LGBTQIA:

  1. Pinpoint what is the “identifiable” information on your resume that references your identity as LGBTQIA (examples include student groups, projects, and awards).
  2. Assess the different aspects of your identity and how salient each is to you. Elements to consider are your sexuality, gender, religion, etc., and think about their importance in your life and how those factors may guide your company research.
  3. Conduct company research. If you strongly identify with a salient aspect of your identity, try to find out if the company provides support and/or positive information.
  4. Revisit your resume based on the information you find from your research. You can adjust as you think necessary to determine what content to include, but also consider if the company is still a good fit for you.

Remember, the decision about what you put on your resume is ultimately yours. All that we can do is give you advice and offer suggestions on what to think about, but you are the one who needs to be happy with the finished product.

There are a few things for you to think about while reviewing your resume and job hunting:

  • Discrimination is legal in some states. Find out what is going on in your state here.
  • Resumes are conversation starters – whatever information you provide is up for discussion. If you are uncomfortable discussing anything on your resume, you may be better served leaving it off.
  • Your resume may lead to an interview, which may lead to your workplace. You want to make sure that you are portraying yourself honestly and realistically.

Rayna Anderson* says “you shouldn’t be any less yourself on your resume and in the interview than you plan to be in the workplace”, and she is absolutely right. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, and you want to make sure you are true to yourself and your values, while making sure you are honest about your qualifications, so that the person that shows up to work on that first day on the job is the same person portrayed through your resume.

If you want to discuss these issues in relation to your resume/job search, visit the CCPD. The staff doesn’t bite (I promise!) and wants to help you feel comfortable when you go out on your job search that you are as prepared as possible to show the world how awesome you are.

*Rayna Anderson presented a webinar entitled “Resume Writing Strategies for LGBTQ Students”  that was hosted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Editor’s Note: This site was hacked and the original content lost in 2014. This article, originally published in 2013, was recovered form a draft version and updated. #lost&found