When the time comes to find a new job and prepare your resume, you might wonder whether or not to mention that you are LGBTQ. And this is a tough question with no right or wrong answer.
There’s a big debate in the LGBTQ community regarding this topic. Some people claim you should self-identify and be true to yourself. Others think it’s best to lie low until you get the job and then gradually come out to your colleagues once you know them better.
This is your identity, your career, your life. So the answer is also your personal decision. We’ll try to give you insights to ease you with the choice.
Possible Opportunities to Come Out in Your Workplace
Let’s say this again.
You don’t have to reveal your gender identity or sexual preferences at any moment in your resume or application process. Regardless if using a fancy tool to build your resume or doing it the old-fashioned way, unless you feel comfortable with this disclosure, especially when changing careers. If you go with it, these are your options:
- Hint it on your resume;
- Mention it during the interview;
- Slowly come out after you’re hired;
Maybe the best decision is to combine all three options as this process takes time.
How to Self-Identify on Your Resume
Lots of people have worked or volunteered for LGBTQ organizations. If this is the case with you, then it’s the best shot you got for subtle self-identification on your resume.
Again, you decide how much to disclose. You can list organizations such as HRC, NGLCC, PFLAG without spelling out the whole abbreviation.
Advocacy Volunteer at Organization X
May 2018 – August 2019
- Conducted research for state laws and policies that support LGBTQ youth in crisis;
- Advocated suicide prevention policies in schools;
You might skip the responsibilities depending on how transparent you want to be. This way you leave a potential interview question for the recruiter. If the person asks “Tell me more about your work with Organization X”, then you’ll be able to expand more and eventually discuss the topic.
Our best advice is to be as honest as possible in your resume. List all of your work experience with LGBTQ organizations. Otherwise, you miss the opportunity to include valuable skills and knowledge gained while volunteering.
Should You Use Your Legal Name on the Resume
If you are transgender, you probably wonder if you must put your legal name on your resume or other job application documents.
Both a resume and a cover letter aren’t legal documents. This means you can put your chosen name instead. Or list a combination of the two as presented in the example below.
Example: if your legal name is Amanda Johnson and your chosen name is Steve Johnson, you can write A. Steve Johnson.
Research the LGBTQ Protection Laws
No matter how you self-identify on your resume, find out how your state and potential employer deals with LGBTQ equality.
Do your homework and find information about the company. Check its website and social media profiles to see if there are any LGBTQ policies mentioned. Search for other online resources where people share their experience with the company.
Major online job boards also frequently share updated lists of LGBTQ-friendly workplaces.
Also, learn more about the local legal protections in the area where the desired company is located. Get familiar with the non-discrimination policies so you know your rights and be confident during the job application process.
Trust your gut and disclose as much information as you want in your resume. We advise you to be open and honest. Don’t hide your identity, skills, and experience as you might miss a grand opportunity.
Good luck with the job hunt!