The Job Search for the LGBTQIAP+ Community

Personal Preparation

Think about what is most important to you at this stage in your life. Is it to be fully yourself at work? To secure your dream job? To access specific benefits? Identifying your priorities before you start the job search can help narrow which employers you consider.

Find a supportive crew. The job search is hard for anyone, but it can be especially isolating if you face additional hurdles. Enlist cheerleaders who encourage you and offer you counsel.

You get to choose whether you come out. Identify what conditions would lead you to feel prepared to come out during the interview, if at all. You can also change your mind. Ask fellow queer jobseekers for advice or about their interview experiences to learn from them.

Legal Name or Preferred Name on CV/Resume

  • The name you put on the CV is based on your comfort with disclosing any aspect of your sexual orientation and gender identity. Options include listing your preferred name, abbreviating your legal first name to one letter, then listing your preferred name and last name (ex: A. Lee Martinez), or using your legal name.
  • The formal job application is often considered a legal document, so you will likely be required to provide your legal name when completing the application.

Employer Research

  • Research the laws and social norms of the country or territory where the employer is based. Research LGBTQIAP+ healthcare and facilities available near the employer and laws related to partnership, gender expression and family formation.
  • Look for inclusive signals on the employer’s online presence, such as diversity statements, employee demographics, inclusive benefits, targeted recruitment efforts, inclusive marketing efforts, pronoun sharing, community partnerships, etc.
  • Check networks (LinkedIn, alumni list serves) for connections to the employer. Ask for an unfiltered perspective if the culture and policies match information online.
  • Check LGBTQIAP+ job boards and ratings for LGBTQIAP+ inclusive employers.

During the Interview

The questions you ask may depend on whether you choose to be out in the interview process.

  • How is professionalism defined at this company? What is the dress code?
  • How does the company approach cultural competency / DEI initiatives?
  • If you are comfortable being out in the interview, you can ask explicit questions: Are there all-gender toilets? Can you tell me about LGBTQIAP+ friendly policies? Do email systems, logins, employee directory, and business cards allow for legal and chosen names? What type of inclusivity training do managers and employees receive?
  • Notice the interviewer’s attitude. Even if they do not have all the answers, if they are trying to develop more inclusive policies, this can signal willingness to learn.
  • If you have an on-site visit, observe carefully for all-gender restrooms, flyers for diversity initiatives, and look for diversity among the employees. While they may not represent the organization fully, you can assess the company through small cues.

Healthcare and Benefits to Look For

  • Check if there is an LGBTQ+ employee resource group: This indicates a support structure and may suggest a baseline degree of acceptance at the company.

  • How to access the healthcare benefits details: Ask the human resources department for the healthcare plan information, then call the provider directly to ask questions as a prospective member. You can also ask a friend to call on your behalf or use a different name to avoid disclosing your identity during the hiring process.

  • For trans healthcare and policies: Check the exclusions policy and complete terms of coverage because some plans exclude trans healthcare services. Look for evidence of gender transition policies and practices or if the company uses terms that suggest a spectrum understanding of gender, like “gender identity,” “gender expression,” etc.

  • If you are or plan to become a parent: Check if family formation benefits (fertility support, adoption, etc.) are limited to heterosexual employees. Check if parental and family leave policies provide the same benefits for adoptive and non-birth parents.

  • Check if benefits are inclusive of domestic partners and dependents: Check if healthcare is included for domestic partners and if bereavement policies include benefits for a partner or partner’s family. Check if company policies do not discriminate in access to benefits based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or biological or adoptive status of dependents.


Burry, M., & Gould, H. (2022, October 20). How To Tell if an Employer Is LGBTQ+ Friendly. Harvard FAS | Mignone Center for Career Success.

Fleenor, S. E. (2020, June 19). Job Searching While LGBTQ: How to Find a Truly Inclusive Place to Work. The Muse.

Mossier. (2020, October 5). LGBTQ Interview Questions. Mossier.

Resume and Interview Tips for LGBTQ Students. (2017, August 9). Indiana State University Career Center; Indiana State University.

Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace: A Toolkit for Employers. (2016). The Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

You’re Here, You’re Queer, and You Need a Job. (2023). Out & Equal.

Torres, M. (2023, June 14). 5 Questions LGBTQ+ Job Seekers Should Ask To See If An Employer Is Inclusive. HuffPost.


For recruiters and employers:

Alm, N. (2023, February 3). LGBTQ Inclusion in the Workplace: Trends, Opportunities and Challenges in 2023. Mossier.

Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace: A Toolkit for Employers. (2016). The Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

For job seekers:

Many of you asked about a website that shows different countries’ laws related to sexual orientation. See below for an interactive map that can show different types of rights available to you in different countries:

Drexel University in the U.S. has made their LGBTQIA+ job search module slide decks publicly available here. Some content may be tailored to undergraduates or specific to the U.S., but there is still valuable information.

LGBTQIAP+ Academia Job Boards and Networks – you can find them by searching online, but some tips include researching scientific professional associations first, then checking if they have LGBTQ groups within the association. You can also research specific universities to see if they have a DEI division or a specific LGBTQ support group (example at Johns Hopkins University).