Welcome to the LGBTQ+ resources page. Here you’ll find information regarding resumes, disclosure, job search and interview resources, and more. This information is tailored specifically to help our LGBTQ+ students, and we hope you’ll reach out to our office with any questions you may have. 

Resume Considerations

When building a resume, it’s natural to wonder how much of your identity to disclose, how to shape previous experiences, and other considerations that may impact an employers view. 


Being out at work is a personal choice. Some people may want to be out in all areas of their lives, whereas others may choose to keep their personal lives and identities separate from the workplace. Your safety and comfort should always be your first priority. Be sure to research employment laws in the state you wish to work in to ensure that your rights are protected regardless of whether or not you choose to be out at work.

Here are some considerations and tips: 

  • Names: Chosen or preferred names may be used on resumes and cover letters.
  • Pronouns: Personal pronouns can be added to personal info, but may not be the norm for some industries.
  • Previous experiences: LGBTQ+ club membership or leadership positions may be stated directly, or you may choose to refer to those experiences more vaguely if there are concerns about being outed on your resume.
    • Leave out any experience you wouldn’t want to be asked about during an interview. 
Job Search Resources

Preparing to enter the job world is exciting but may also be overwhelming. This section is devoted to aiding you in your job search through research tips and instructions on how to use JMU’s job search platform, Handshake. 

The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index is also a great resource to use at the start of your job search. They outline the best workplaces for LGBTQ+ individuals, release yearly equality indexes, and provide resources and information on key issues concerning the LGBTQ+ community. 

How to Research Employers

Researching employers on your own is a great way to discover what different companies offer and what you’d like to see in an employer. Below are questions to get you started. 

  • What benefits are offered? Are they inclusive? 
    • For example, do they offer trans inclusive healthcare, spouse and partner benefits, adoption leave, etc.
    • Does the company have a transition procedure in place to support employees that are transitioning or would like to transition?
  • Are there any employee resource groups? What kinds of groups are offered?
  • What are the company values? 
    • Consider researching the employer’s history regarding social responsibility.
    • Look at a company’s non-discrimination policy to ensure they include those in the LGBTQ+ community
  • Are there any openly LGBTQ+ individuals serving in leadership positions?
  • How do your favorite employers rank? Which criteria are most relevant to your needs and identity?
    • Talk with current employees, not just the recruiters, to get an inside look at what the company culture is really like.
    • Understand that some recruiters may not be aware of all the LGBTQ+ friendly policies at their organization.
  • Where is the company located? 
    • Research the geographic location and its political and community climate. 
    • What are the state and local laws surrounding the LGBTQ+ community?
    • Are there local community organizations or centers, pride fests, queer clubs, businesses, or programs? 
Using Handshake

Handshake is JMU’s job search platform that provides students with access to internship and job opportunities, on-campus interviews, career fairs and workshops, and more. 

  • Notice: listing a gender on Handshake is optional.
    • The dropdown menu includes Female, Male, and Custom, which opens a text box for your own response—this also applies for ethnicity.
  • Pay attention to privacy settings to understand who can see what.
    • For example, a public resume versus a private one, profile information, etc. 
  • Use keywords to search for employers with LGBTQ+ friendly focus, values, and diversity statements.
  • You can change your name in Handshake.
    • Change information with JMU.
      • Update any changes in information with JMU in your Handshake account as well.
      • Be sure to email Handshake staff at handshake@jmu.eduto ensure changes are made in a timely manner. 
    • Edit information in Handshake. 
      • Complete any edits in the personal information category.
      • Email handshake@jmu.eduso that we can ensure this change is not overridden by the system.
Interview Resources

Interviews may be a source of stress for some, but they are a great opportunity for you to show off your skills and qualities and evaluate the company you’re interviewing with! Take note of the suggestions below to make the interviewing process successful and comfortable.

How to Navigate Interviews 

  • Dress in gender affirming clothes but be sure to adhere to the company/industry norms.
    • If a company’s culture includes a more conservative dress code with clear expectations for traditional gender roles and attire, this may be an important factor in deciding whether this is the right work environment for you.
  • Take a look at the graphics below for assistance on how to dress in a way that honors your identity in a professional setting:




Additional Resources

Below are some additional resources to help you along the way. 

National Resources 

JMU Resources 


Contact our Liasion to SOGIE Programming, Michael Rybak rybakmt@jmu.edu with questions.

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