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7 top tips for LGBT grads launching their careers

6 Oct 2016

On the back of its ranking of inclusive employers operating in Ireland, the gay and lesbian equality network GLEN has created a list of seven interview and job seeking tips.

Produced to highlight job opportunities with “inclusive employers”, GLEN’s recruitment guide provides advice for people preparing for a job interview or deciding which company to work for.


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Highlighting things like positivity, CV curation and knowing who you’re applying to, GLEN’s guidelines hit on many core themes people often overlook when applying for jobs.

Stating all graduates, “including LGBT graduates”, would ideally like to work for a “progressive and inclusive” employer, Eimear O’Reilly, senior lead workplace diversity at GLEN, noted valuing employees as a key attraction and something people should actively seek out.

“LGBT employees want to work for an organisation where they can be themselves, where they can thrive and succeed, and where their sexual orientation or gender identity will be fully respected and welcomed,” she said.

Calling interviews “sales pitches for both the candidate and employer”, Bryan Durkin, head of legal with HRM Recruitment, highlighted how critical information can be attained from the applicant in these generally stressful encounters.

“We spend a phenomenal amount of time with our colleagues, probably more time with our colleagues than with anyone else,” he said.

“You have to want to work with them. At interview, you want to find out if you have a shared sense of values with the interviewers and potential colleagues; are they individuals with whom I click?”

GLEN’s seven tips for getting a job are:

  • Know the inclusive organisations

“See if they are diversity champions or if employers are proactive about ensuring their workplaces are inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Compare employers to see which companies are the most inclusive and forward thinking. Be open-minded and look at opportunities in all sectors – many sectors you may not expect are now making great progress on LGBT inclusion.”

  • Upgrade your CV

“It is time to review your CV. Your CV should be no longer than 1-2 pages. Tailor your CV to the job description and highlight your relevant skills. Link your achievements and experience with the job requirements.

“If you have experience working in the LGBT community, don’t forget to add it. Maybe you volunteered for an LGBT organisation at college or at events, perhaps you wrote some LGBT themed articles for a website. How did this enhance your skill set? Did you learn anything about managing people, organising events or contributing to the LGBT community?”

  • Impress at interviews

“Impress at interviews by researching each company you are applying for thoroughly. Asking questions shows you have spent time researching the organisation.

“It is also a great way to engage interviewers. It displays your interest in the organisation and that you have a good sense of the sector.”

  • Be positive

“Employers want to see positive, confident candidates who are excited about their organisation and the possibilities to develop skills and contribute to their business. Be positive in what you say and how you act.

“Don’t apologise for your sexuality or gender identity. An employer wants to see confidence and enthusiasm. And remember the law forbids discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

  • To be ‘out’ or not to be ‘out’

“At GLEN Diversity Champions, we work with companies to ensure they are inclusive so, you can be out if you want to be. We believe that coming ‘out’ is a personal decision for you to make.

“Very positively, 90pc of people report no negative impact after coming out at work. So, if you have been ‘out’ at college, there is no need to change that in an inclusive workplace.

  • Share your unique skills

“If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, your experience has allowed you to develop valuable skills which you can use to your advantage. ‘Being out’ involves taking risks and displaying leadership.

“You will be attuned to people’s diverse backgrounds and are experienced at relationship building. You may also have strong leadership skills and experience influencing people by dealing with preconceptions in a positive way. All of these are qualities which employers value.”

  • Networking

“Networking is a great way to meet people working in the sectors you are most interested in. You can get great advice about what it is like to work in a sector or organisation and who are the best people to contact when looking for a job.”

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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