The Job Search, Sexuality, & Résumé Points

6 Mar

I am and have been knee deep in the most frustrating race I’ve encountered thus far in my 23 years of breathing: the job search.  While I know I’m stuck in a rut just like many other recent grads, my anxiety is growing with the next wave of new graduates looming on the horizon.  However, unlike many other grads and soon-to-be grads I have the fortune of having no student debt hanging over my head dictating all my future decisions.  My lack of student debt allows me to have endless freedom for my future and yet I’m still here working my restaurant job in the meantime until I find something, (almost) anything, that pays a wage I think worthy of a University graduate.  Is that selfish of me?  Possibly.  Does this put me into the category of that “self-entitled 20 something who has no right to be choosy for their first post-graduate job?”  I don’t think so because as I said previously I’m currently working in a restaurant so obviously I’m taking any position.

Résumés are funny because to all the people who are not in hiring positions, they look exemplary.  To all the people you’re sending your résumé to, you don’t fulfill the credentials they’re looking for.  What are they looking for?  I think my résumé possibly lacks “professional” experience but definitely not experience.  The thing listed on my résumé that worries me most is my inclusion on a LGBT committee while I was in school.  I choose to list it because I believe my position in that organization truly helped mould me into the person I am today.    The other day I asked a few people if listing a LGBTQ organization on my résumé was a mistake and I did not hear the answers I was hoping to.  All of them essentially said that leaving it on there could possibly hinder me from obtaining a position with a company.  If shattering hearts were an audible sound I think the entire neighborhood would’ve heard mine.

 It’s inexplicably frustrating knowing that wherever I go in my future that my sexuality could be a factor in determining whether or not I achieve something.  I shouldn’t be too upset I know, because I would certainly not want to even consider a company that has issues with sexuality and gender identity.  However, it is always in the back of my mind whether or not I get denied because of the inclusion of a LGBT organization written on paper.  If I get to the interview portion, the worry then transfers from my sexuality to my race as I am not white.  While we can all live in a fantasy land pretending that prejudice does not exist, the sad truth is that it does and is practiced silently by numerous companies and organizations.

Although it was recommended that I take my position on the LGBT education board off my résumé, I don’t think I will.  I’d rather remain jobless I suppose than have to lie about the things I’m passionate for and what I was involved with.  I can only have faith that the right eyes or company will come across my presence in the world.  Until then I’ll keep on marching along with the rest of the unemployed graduates who may not have my same fears and concerns, but comprehend how defeating the search is; especially when your inbox is filled with at least 3 emails stating “we’re sorry but we cannot consider you for a position” a day.

P.S. if anyone does have any leads to LGBT positions or companies that would appreciate the diversity and perspective, let me know!


4 Responses to “The Job Search, Sexuality, & Résumé Points”

  1. Monica March 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    So…you have the luxury of waiting around for a more acceptable job and it seems like you don’t pay rent or bills if you can work a restaurant job in what seems like a part-time capacity. That’s a HUGE luxury, right there. Honey, most of us don’t have the ability to wait for a job that “pays a wage I think worthy of a University graduate,” we’re forced into 45 hour weeks as shirt folders or baristas: please consider how lucky you are that you don’t have to work your restaurant job full-time and don’t have thousands of dollars of debt hanging over you as well as a three-months behind rent. I really, truly appreciate that you want to have integrity when it comes to your sexuality and the resume question but as a fellow lesbian, I’d say take it off. Whether we like it or not, companies can and will use this as a way to not hire us: yeah it’s fucked up, but you can’t fix it. You can make yourself more hirable, then once you have a more acceptable job, look for companies who are more LGBTQ friendly. Again, you have the luxury of being able to be choosy with this item, but I think if you had some more pressure on you, you’d understand that you’ll work for some pretty backwards people when rent is due and you haven’t eaten in two days.

    • quarternotelife March 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      I appreciate you taking your time to comment. I do realize how ridiculous maybe my statement of “pays a wage I think worthy…” is, as I know that none of us are entitled to anything despite the work we put in trying to progress our lives. Believe me I wake up everyday thankful to every God, force, and entity that I have the luxury of no student debt. I worked pretty damn hard to achieve that status. I have taken the advice of many and removed any hints of my sexuality off of my piece of paper that supposedly measures my worth. I didn’t completely remove the position, but I altered the wording and took off any mention of LGBT. We’ll see if that makes a difference! Thank you again.

    • laurski27 March 9, 2013 at 8:07 am #

      I don’t think it’s wrong to put an lgbt position on your resume if you think it will explain your leadership/personal/any other skills you have that could be beneficial to the position. Just make it clear to them why that position will be important to them in the hiring process.If the position was especially key for “x” reason, then all the reason to include it on the resume. You have to lead with your strong points, as long as you can pull it off, always tweaking it to fit the current position. But then again, where are you from? I’m from Mass so that shit is way more acceptable here than other states. Also, in my experience, people in the 30-40 year range are more accepting of diversity than my parents generation (50s), so it may be easier than you think. Who knows! Give it a try? As for not being white… that’s often very desired in the work place. Companies want to flaunt how indiscriminate they are. Often when given two people with the same resume, they’ll pick the non-white person for diversity’s sake.

      As for the previous comment, I hate to say it, but when you spend four years working your ass off for a degree, you expect a DECENT job. You didn’t pay upwards of 40k/year to work a full time waitressing position, regardless of where that money actually came from. Bottom line, people want and deserve work fit for their intellectual capacity. Now yes, some people may have the luxury of hanging out and working part time to pay/partially pay the bills, and if that’s the case then there is absolutely no reason to settle for anything less than a job you deem acceptable. And I’m not talking about a dream job, but something merely acceptable, lqbtq aside. And if you do not have the luxury of waiting for that job, then I suggest finding a job that can pay the bills WHILE you search for that “acceptable” job, because if you’ve taken the time and money to educate yourself, then you deserve it. I’m going to try and not get all political here, but with a good connection and some hard, serious job searching, I believe anyone can find that desirable first job. It takes fucking work, endless internet searches, and awkward linked-in conversations, but it’s possible.

      Also, solid blog, girl.

      • quarternotelife March 11, 2013 at 5:47 am #

        Thank you so much for your in-depth reply! I wanted to make the point of expecting a decent job after graduating, but I didn’t want to seem like that self-entitled 20 something. Also, I think it’s possible to find that “acceptable” job with some tweaking of levers but it’s proving difficult right now. I have now truly embraced the meaning of patience nowadays that’s for sure. Finally, thank you for the compliment of the blog! I started it because I’ve yet to find that job so I figured maybe if I create some quality content someone might notice me.

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