Streams

When "Coming Out" on Resumes Can Help

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Tens of thousands of gay activists marched to demand civil rights on October 11, 2009 , a day after President Barack Obama vowed to repeal a ban on gays serving openly in the US military. (Maria Belen Perez Gabilondo/AFP/Getty)

Some studies indicate that "coming out" on your resume might help you find a job — especially if you're an African American man. Yitz Jordan aka rapper "Y-Love," a senior developer and contributor to Quartz who identifies as black, gay, and Jewish, discusses what that might mean in the context of President Obama's plan to prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation for federal contractors.

Guests:

Yitz Jordan

Comments [17]

Peg

In the US, black men were given the right to vote before any woman.

Jul. 10 2014 11:21 AM
Adam from NYC

For years I've included a quiet reference to my participation in a gay organization, the CGHAP -- Columbia University Gay Health Advocacy Project. Very few interviewers have ever brought it up, and I think some prefer to avoid it, and others overlooked it -- they didn't look the acronym up. I've explicitly highlighted my involvement in my cover letter to organizations I perceived might see it as a positive -- non-profits, and those with a specific diversity focus in their business, hiring, mission. And, it's helped. I've been made a job offer by a national women's causes organization in part because of my LGBT involvement.

But, I've found the best opportunities have come to me from face to face business networking. I've gotten at least two jobs through LGBT professional networking organizations. I just got a job through an LGBTQI networking mixer, the launch event of the NY chapter of the National Lesbian & Gay Chamber of Commerce.

Jul. 10 2014 11:18 AM
Sherry from queens

Coming out on one's resume by listing your work experience with LGBTQ groups is emphatically not the same as revealing "personal" information. It is simply listing your work history. It is no more personal than listing your work history at any other organization. The fact that is seen as "personal" is a result of normalizing heterosexuality. By framing this segment with the question "should you include personal information?" you are (unintentionally)contributing to this dynamic.

Jul. 10 2014 11:18 AM
Jen

I think working at or having worked at an LGBT-related organization doesn't necessarily indicate that someone is LGBT...

Jul. 10 2014 11:17 AM
Seena from NYC

It's funny how the same people come out to comment on the LGBT topics each and every time. As if they secretly do enjoy this topic...you know what they say - we hate what's closets to us.

To those who say this info is irrelevant -
What if an applicant does a managerial volunteer job at a LGBT/Faith/Race based organization - why on earth should the applicant not list that on their resume. The applicant is Proud of their work and experience and the training they received and believes it makes them a better applicant.
It's relevant information.

Jul. 10 2014 11:16 AM
Sherry from queens

Coming out on one's resume by listing your work experience with LGBTQ groups is emphatically not the same as revealing "personal" information. It is simply listing your work history. It is no more personal than listing your work history at any other organization. The fact that is seen as "personal" is a result of normalizing heterosexuality. By framing this segment with the question "should you include personal information?" you are (unintentionally)contributing to this dynamic.

Jul. 10 2014 11:15 AM
Ryan from Chelsea

It certainly makes sense to list relevant work experience (i.e. working at a LGBTQ non-profit organization), however, in listing your religious beliefs, sexuality and race what are you really alerting your employer to? Your ability to survive in a society that may have marginalized you? Is that a special skill? I'm gay and it has no bearing on my ability to do my work.

Furthermore, I think the interviewee is not the best example of a person to discuss this issue. The people in this country who are looking for work aren't in the "music industry." I highly doubt there are listeners who can identify with coming out in the music industry... How about people who are pursuing work in finance, the tech sector, blue collar jobs, government work?

What are the real world applications to doing this?

Jul. 10 2014 11:15 AM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

The guest has some interesting insights, but I agree with the previous caller - why include information on one's resume that is not relevant to the job one is applying for? Is such behavior intended to be some sort of challenge to the employer? Sexual orientation is personal and I don't see why anyone would make a game of it in the professional world.

Oh, and Manoush Zomorodi ruins every segment.

Jul. 10 2014 11:15 AM
Karen from NYC

Slightly off topic: but if your resume permits an employer to detect your age, you will not be interviewed if you are over 55. I have a gold-plated resume -- ivy league school, great experience -- and had no problem getting interviews and job offers when I was younger. In fact, I have been hired for all but 2 jobs for which I've ever interviewed.

Now, looking for a new job, I have not even been able to get an interview -- and the one interview that I had, which went well, ended up no where when the employer learned my age (I don't look my age).

This is all illegal, of course, but happens all the time. It is impossible to disguise your age on your resume; just leaving off dates is a giveaway.

Again -- off topic -- but age discrimination has left many of us unemployable when we are fully able to work and have many skills.

On topic -- unless I know that no red flags will be raised thereby, I leave out of the resume both the internship at women's rights organization and political volunteering (progressive) that I've done.

Jul. 10 2014 11:12 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I want to know how Mr. Jordan reconciles being gay with being an Orthodox Jew. Does he just not read Leviticus?

Jul. 10 2014 11:05 AM
john from office

Why is this guest qualified for this segment?? Ohhhhh, because he is black, gay and Jewish.

Not becuase he is a scholar in the field.

Jul. 10 2014 11:05 AM
Matt from Jackson Heights, NY

I'm listening to your show as I prepare for an interview this afternoon. On my resume I list Volunteer Experience and the first organization listed is Queens Pride House - the LGBT Community Center of Queens. I'm not sure if it helped, but it definitely did not hurt. I choose to be open about this as I have no interest in working for an employer where I feel I have to hide my sexuality.

Jul. 10 2014 11:03 AM
Keith from Queens

What is this garbage? Any of this information if used during the hiring process is illegal! If I got a resume from someone with their sexual orientation listed on it, whether straight or gay, I'd forward it to legal immediately because it would be a toxic piece of paper, way above my pay grade to deal with.

Jul. 10 2014 11:03 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I would NEVER hire someone who "came out" on their resume because any job that I would have to offer would not be dependent on someone's sexual orientation. Neither would I put my secular orientation on a resume. It just isn't relevant unless a hire is applying for a job as a sex worker.

This whole topic makes me angry because it is difficult enough to find qualified people and putting non-essential information on a resume just complicates things. I am not going to hire you for your sexual orientation or your color or your religion or anything else that is not job-related, but if you were to insist on putting that on your resume, it would wind up in my shredder.

Jul. 10 2014 11:02 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

How can you be Black, Gay and Jewish and NOT get hired? Do you know how many civil rights would sue your company if you didn't hire this candidate?

Jul. 10 2014 10:59 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Black, Gay AND Jewish! Perfect. He doesn't need a skill or profession. His very existence provides a guaranteed income.

Jul. 10 2014 10:54 AM
Seena from NYC

Once they have your city + name they can easily get on the social sites and see what's what.

Jul. 10 2014 10:05 AM

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