The ‘seat’ I don’t want at the resume table
Why hiding who you are on resumes will only get you jobs you hate
This post was originally published on Medium on May 10, 2020.
Don’t include political or religious affiliations. Stay away from organizations that are historically race-based. Never mention fraternities and sororities. Make your name and email address simple. Do not disclose if you’re a parent. Make sure the work and personal references have names that can easily be pronounced. This is the kind of advice I see on resume writing sites often, especially for Corporate America jobs. I’ve never followed any of it from ages 16 to 38, and I’ve worked for as many well-known companies as I have startups. Here’s why I refuse to hide who I am before the job interview.
Staying away from racial topics won’t stop racist bosses.
I have never had any interest in being in a black Greek organization. But if I was in the Divine Nine, there’s no way in the world I’d leave that off of a resume. (This is a common tip from resume writers.) However, those nine organizations are affiliated with a massive amount of fundraising and charitable events. Why downplay it?
I have, however, worked on political canvassing projects such as sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act. I’ve covered aldermen debates and local government fundraisers for startups. And I have no problem telling hiring managers or clients this. Do I understand why it’s controversial? Certainly. From working with mainstream newspapers, the goal (pre-Trump) was to have an unbiased opinion. So if I’m reporting on a topic all while ridiculing it on Twitter, I can understand the conflict of interest.
What’s not said enough is this: “Why would you want to work for an organization that goes against everything you believe politically, ethically and/or spiritually?” A bleeding heart Liberal is going to be unhappy working with a conservative-leaning team no matter what, just as a FOX News enthusiast will despise Democratic-leaning employees.