QUESTION: Should a transgender job seeker mention their LGBTQ-related volunteering and activism on their resume or LinkedIn profile? If so, how should it be listed? What impact could this have on their job search?
I would recommend mentioning it. If you are transgendered, you want to work for a company that will be welcoming of you and everything you are. So if you have done activist or volunteer work, it’s the perfect opportunity to test the waters. List it as you would any volunteer work on your resume and LinkedIn profile, with as many quantifiable achievements as possible!.
As with any volunteer or social activity, LGBTQ-related volunteer work should be listed if it is relevant to the job being sought or reveals a character trait that is an asset to the job. Listed as Volunteer Experience or Community Activities, it could have positive impact on the right job and employer; in some settings, in spite of legal mandates, the reality is that the impact could be negative.
For a long time, I advised omitting content that could be controversial – political, religious, and LGBTQ activities were examples. But today, such information – in a “Community Involvement” or “Volunteer Leadership” section – can potentially be helpful as more organizations seek diversity and inclusion. Each person’s unique situation and job target should influence how to approach this question.
Only if it’s related to the job. If not, whoever may discriminate against transgenders may do that. You have to protect yourself. I certainly would NOT put that on LinkedIn. As always, research the company, the job, and individualize the cover letter and resume.
Mentioning LGBTQ-related volunteering and activism on your career documents is 100% a personal choice. Consider who you are trying to attract when deciding what to share on your career documents. By sharing, you may deter companies with values that are not in alignment with your own. However, in that same light, you are also making space for those companies with values that are in alignment.
It depends on your goals, field, and comfort zone. There is an evolving continuum of acceptance today. If you are highly career-focused, in a conservative field, seeking career advancement, leave it off, recognizing activism can transform from within. If activism is central to your goals, and you’re in a more open field, then put it in the volunteer section like any other volunteer work.
Anything you list should be related in to the role. It should add relevant value. It depends on the job you are seeking. If you’re in the nonprofit sector, such experiences probably are valuable. But if you are an accountant, that might not be the case. Do your research on the culture. And remember: The only purpose of a resume is to get you invited for an interview. Consider this when deciding.