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Career Resources for LGBTQIA+ Students

The Office of Career and Professional Development is committed to supporting LGBTQIA+ students at all points of the career development process. Below are helpful resources specific to this population of students, including tips on seeking LGBTQIA+ friendly employers, job search tools, and disclosure suggestions.

What is an LGBTQIA+ Friendly Organization?

An LGBTQIA+ organization can be friendly in different ways. They could make donations to nonprofit organizations that support and affirm the LGBTQIA+ community (GLAAD, The Trevor Project, The Human Rights Campaign, etc.). They could be friendly by encouraging a conscious work environment, such as offering pronoun pins or training specific to being mindful of LGBTQIA+ coworkers. LGBTQIA+ friendly organizations can also just be organizations where you feel comfortable with the expression of yourself without mistreatment. In the case that mistreatment does occur, you would feel secure with the appropriate avenues (HR, your direct report) to address the issue. 

What should I consider before applying to any company?

Identifying LGBTQIA+ Friendly Employers

The Human Rights Campaign offers a yearly report of companies who received a score of 100 for being the ‘Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality. You can find the list for 2021 HERE.

Additional Considerations

Even if they are not on the aforementioned list or you are not in an area where any of these employers are, you still might have an employer in your area who supports your sexual orientation and gender identity. Search online for any interaction the organization has had with the LGBTQIA+ community.

Additional Job Search Resources

You can also ask the local Pride or LGBTQIA+ Center in your area if they have a list of LGBTQIA+ friendly organizations, or know of anyone who is currently hiring. Organizations that work directly with LGBTQIA+ organizations such as this are often the most friendly to the community, so you might be able to cut out the middleman of a tedious online search.

What interview questions are illegal for an employer to ask?

It is illegal for an employer to ask about your sexual orientation, gender identity, relationship or relationship status, or home life. Some questions might be asked to receive this information in a roundabout way, such as asking about your hobbies. These questions are permitted. However, be mindful that an answer such as, “I enjoy going to the movies with my boyfriend on the weekends”, might provide information you did not plan on divulging. If you are asked any questions regarding your sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other question that is not related to your ability to do the job in question, it is within your right to contact the HR department of that company and report this information.

When should I come out at work?

If you don’t feel it is a safe environment to come out in, you are not required to! As you begin or continue your job search, one of the first questions you may face could be whether or not to ‘come out’ on your résumé or in the interview process. While it is a personal choice and there is not a right or wrong answer to that question, there are some things to remember that may help you make the decision that is right for you.

  • First, any LGBTQIA+ organization or work/volunteer experience listed on your résumé should be applicable to the job to which you are applying. If you do include these experiences, they should not only be listed, but should showcase the leadership, skills, or other qualifications that you gained.
  • Doing your research on a company ahead of time can give you an indicator of the culture of the workplace. Still, despite their policies and your qualifications, anyone at the organization may access your résumé, and because of this, some individuals decide not to disclose these sorts of experiences on their résumés. If you chose to keep this information off, you can utilize the interview to ask questions about the culture of inclusion at the company. Asking questions about diversity initiatives or employee resources groups may help you get a sense of the culture, and whether or not you wish to disclose some of your LGBTQIA+ related experiences in the interview.
  • Remember, as you seek a position, your primary objective on a résumé and in an interview is to show that you are a qualified candidate. Convince the employer that they want to hire you before asking questions about culture and policies.

Additional Resources 

  Majors specific to LGBTQIA+  
  Student Organizations & Resources  
  External Resources  

Last updated: 9/20/2022