As staff and allies, the Career Center strives to: Honor each unique interpretation of self/gender/sexuality to its fullest; Make as few assumptions as possible; Approach every person with a kind heart and sincere intention; Be open to learning and growing a little more every day.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit, and non-binary folks often have some unique considerations in their work-related decisions.
Finding LGBTQ-Related Job & Internship Opportunities
Many organizations that specifically promote social justice and LGBTQ+ causes can be found in the nonprofit, government or education sectors; however, there are companies and many types of postions within the for profit sector as well that directly support this work, so don't artificially limit your search.
Tips for your search
- Many job and internship boards like Idealist.org have a dedicated LGBTQ+ filter for searching jobs, internships, and organizations. If there's no dedicated filter, use relevant keywords to narrow your search.
- Look for postings that specifically encourage LGBTQ+ applicants or reference diversity and inclusion in their company description.
- Networking is essential in any job search. Connect with others doing related work to build your professional contacts, get advice, and possibly discover opportunities. Some nearby organizations include: Outright Vermont, PrideCenter of Vermont, SafeSpace, Vermont Cares, Hopeworks, Steps to End Domestic Violence, and the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, to name just a few. Many of these have hosted internships and even some work-study positions.
Coming Out During the Job Search Process
Outing yourself at any stage of the job search process is a very personal decision - there is no right or wrong answer. A guiding question to help you decide is "How important is it for me to be out at work?" Consider the individual circumstances, your own comfort level, and your interest in sharing your sexuality or gender identity with others.
Considerations while networking
- Research helps. Knowing about the employer's policies and culture may provide insight, but keep in mind the individual might not hold the same values or beliefs personally as an organization they represent.
- Practice helps too. Practicing your elevator pitch and questions for the networker will you give you additional confidence and help steer the conversation the way you'd like.
Strategies for cover letters and resumes
If you decide you do not want to out yourself on your resume or cover letter, there are still several options for you to convey the skills you have gained from LGBTQ+-related activities:
- List organizations by either an acronym or a general name such as “Community Organization” or “Anti-discrimination Organization.” However, be prepared to explain what the acronym stands for or what an “anti-discrimination organization” does.
- Use a functional resume instead of a chronological one to highlight your skills while de-emphasizing where you developed them.
- Simply omit any LGBTQ+ references.
Considerations for interviewing
- Research local employment laws. Protection from employment discrimination varies by jurisdiction. In some states it is illegal to make a hiring decision based on your answer, in others it remains legal to discriminate against people because of their LGBTQ+ identity.
- It is your choice how to answer questions about your sexuality or gender — there are many ways to redirect the conversation or dismiss the question as irrelevant to your employment.
- Prepare, especially for questions that you'd be nervous about answering. Go into the interview feeling confident and prepared to tactfully negotiate questions around your sexuality or gender identity.
While it may be difficult to determine how truly supportive any organization is, researching employer policies and resources can provide valuable insight. You may be able to find publicly available information on the employer's website or by contacting them directly, often through a Human Resources office.
Research whether an employer has:
- Non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity/expression
- Trainings that include sensitivity to LGBTQ+ issues
- In-house support or employee groups, either formal or informal
- Gender-neutral bathrooms
Additional ways to research a potential employer include:
Researching the local environment and laws can play an important role in narrowing your job search. Some key factors to consider include:
- State anti-discrimination laws and policies
- Hate crime statistics
- State adoption policies and laws
- Educational policies and laws
Additional resources to aid your research: