QUESTION: As a transgender person, how much LGBTQ community involvement and volunteer work is appropriate for a resume and LI profile? Should I disclose in the cover letter?
If your job target lies within the LGBTQ community, your career documents can freely communicate your range of experience throughout the content. If applying outside the community, add a general statement to the summary about your experience with diverse populations. Confine more specific details to a section for community or volunteer activities with a focus on transferrable skills and results.
A LinkedIn profile or cover letter are great places to include LGBTQ community involvement and volunteerism. Job skills and qualifications should be the first consideration for any resume and if there is room, then you decide how much to include. Authenticity and value alignment are critical elements of job satisfaction, so be who you are, and the right companies will appreciate it.
Is your involvement with LGBTQ non-profits and NGOs central to the job? If not, leave it off your resume. However, list it on if all your professional experience is with LGBTQ organizations. If the company claims to be LGBTQ-friendly, you can disclose your experiences in the cover letter and the interview. LinkedIn can also feature your LGBTQ values, leadership, and community involvement.
Do your research on the company culture. If your research indicates that the company is progressive on LGBTQ issues, by all means, do not minimize your activism. If the corporate culture is less tolerant, you should weigh whether your quality of work life might be affected by downplaying your background to work within a potentially hostile environment once your gender identity becomes known.
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