I work for The Ace Community Survey. I lead a dozen volunteers in running an annual survey with 10k responses. I developed most of our codebase. Our reports attract academic attention. This kind of looks amazing on a resume.
But do I really want to disclose my orientation on a resume? This is a question with no universal right answer, and all the guidance you find on the internet says as much. But I will just explain my own decision and thought process behind it, offering a single data point where currently we have none.
No. I do not disclose my asexuality on my resume. But I do list the Ace Community Survey, and say what I’ve accomplished on the team. I find that people do not know what the title of the survey means.
My rationale is that the attention that hiring managers give to my resume is very precious. I do not want to waste that time with irrelevant information. I am in data science. What I did with the survey is relevant; the subject matter of the survey is not so much. (For positions where the subject matter is relevant, I have a separate activist CV.)
I have also heard that hiring managers will sometimes toss resumes with such identifiers, because they don’t want to deal with the legal risk of being accused of discrimination. Perverse, but this is what I’ve heard.
But here’s the thing: the resume is not the end. There are two other major avenues of information: interviews, and LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn, there is much more space available to give details. So I list out all the publications made by the Ace Community Survey, and I link to our website. Obviously this gives it away if anyone ever looks at it. I do think hiring committees eventually look at it, but they won’t ask about it directly, which is for the best.
During interviews, I have tried it both ways. Sometimes I just describe it as a community survey. Sometimes I say that we’re surveying a queer community, or a sexual minority community. This is always information that I am volunteering, because in my experience, interviewers never ask the nature of the community. Interviewers are not allowed to ask certain questions about protected classes of people, and I suspect they understand that asking about this one is a bad idea. If interviewers did ask me what the community is, I would consider it a red flag about their diversity and inclusion.
The first reason why I think it’s good to mention the subject of the survey in an interview, is that it fills out the narrative of why I’m passionate about the project. Suddenly, it makes sense when I say that I’m working on a study of suicidality in our community.
The second reason, is that theoretically some interviews will have a negative interaction, and that probably means that I don’t want to work for them. In the SF Bay Area, I expect this to basically never happen, but if it does happen, I’ll be glad I found out.
So, that’s my personal policy with regard to sexual orientation on my resume. Have any of you ever had to make a decision about what to disclose on your resumes?