Internship/Job Search

College is a time of learning, both in and out of the classroom.  One of the most important things you can gain is knowledge about yourself.  What is important to you and what do you value?  How do these relate to the kind of work you’d find satisfying and the work environment in which you’d be most productive and comfortable?  The following questions can help you prepare for life beyond Binghamton.

How can I identify LGBTQ friendly employers?
Should I relocate?
What legal protection do I have?
How do I approach resume writing and interviewing?
What benefits are available to me and my partner?
What are some additional resources I can use?

How can I identify LGBTQ friendly employers?
The Fleishman Career Center provides a multitude of resources to help Binghamton University students find jobs and internships.  Using hireBING or other websites, you can identify a range of opportunities in government, not-for-profit, and the corporate sectors.

Once you have identified positions of interest, it is important to research the organization before applying.  Begin by visiting their website where you will typically find the types of benefits and activities in which employees are involved. If the exact details of their anti-discrimination policies or list of employee benefits are not provided, don’t let this dissuade you from applying.  But what you see or don’t see on the website should give you an impression of the employer’s LGBTIQ friendliness.  You can also check to see if this employer made the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org ) list of Queer Friendly organizations.  This nonprofit does extensive research on many businesses and presents its findings in its annual report.

2012 HRC Corporate Equality Index [PDF]

If an LGBTIQ employee group exists within the organization, you may want to find a contact person for that group and inquire about the organization’s culture.  As out employees they may be willing to share their unique perspective.

Should I relocate?
You may decide during your search that you will relocate for the job itself, a new environment, or a change of pace.  This decision can be a difficult one and there are several things you should keep under consideration:

  • Is the area in which you would live gay friendly?  Are there chances that you could be seriously hurt, harassed, or discriminated against?  Would having a gay sticker on your car or something you wear influence the way you are treated?
  • Check out the local newspapers.  Do they appear gay friendly?  Are there instances of attacks or problems that LGBTIQ people have encountered?
  • Google the area, using key words such as ‘gay organizations’or ‘gay friendly’.  Are there organizations in the area that would assist you in meeting new people, locating appropriate real estate, or answering questions that you may have?
  • Visit malls, stores, and restaurants in the area in question to observe people.

Overall, the decision to relocate should be carefully considered. You may decide that the pros of a more conservative community outweigh the potential drawbacks.  Making a pro/con list can help in your decision making process.  Review the Lavender Road to Success: The Career Guide for the Gay Community, available in the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development for more information regarding relocating.

What legal protection do I have?
While there is no federal law protecting employees from discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, some states do offer basic rights to targeted groups.  It is important that you research the area in which you will be living and working in order to have a sense of the laws in place to protect you.

How do I approach resume writing and interviewing?
When deciding whether or not to be out on a resume, job application, or in an interview, it is important to consider what is most comfortable for you. Some individuals may choose to use their resume as a way to screen out non-supportive employers, and therefore may explicitly list their affiliations with LGBTIQ related organizations. Others may prefer to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity once they are hired, if they choose to do so at all.

There are ways to list your skills and experiences while still not naming the organization with which you worked:

  • Disguise the fact that it is an LGBTIQ group. Instead of writing out "Queer Alliance," use "QA"; however be prepared to be asked in an interview what QA stands for.
  • Describe the nature of the organization rather than naming it. For example if you coordinated all of the publicity for your LGBTIQ organization, you may represent this with an entry such as "Marketing Coordinator for an anti-discrimination group"
  • Consider a skills/functional resume format in which you emphasize your strengths and skills without necessarily disclosing where you gained them.

No matter what approach you take, remember that employers ask questions during an interview about items listed on your resume. Anything you list on your resume is ‘fair game’ for an employer to ask about. Your level of disclosure in answering is up to you. However, it’s important to anticipate the types of questions you might be asked in an interview and practice your answers.  

You can use the interview to further assess the organization's policies and climate. You may decide to ask the following questions:

  • Will my partner be covered by my health insurance?
  • Are there company policies on discrimination?

Or you may choose to be more discreet and rely on your own research to get information about the employer.

What benefits are available to me and my partner?
An ever-growing number of both public and private employers, including the majority of Fortune 500 organizations extend benefits to GLBT employees and their families by including an employee's same-sex partner and the partner's children. The Human Rights Campaign maintains a list of Private Sector Employers With Domestic Partner Benefit Plans as well as Federal Laws Impacting Domestic Partner Benefits

It is important to contact the human resources department before or after a job offer has been made to determine whether domestic partnership benefits are available.

What are some additional resources I can use?

Job Search Issues for Diverse Students

LGBT CareerLink - Unique job search and employment networking system.
http://www.lgbtcareerlink.com/

Human Rights Campaign – Search for organizations that are LGBTIQ-friendly, discover which states offer civil unions, get advice on what you can do to get involved, research state laws and policies, and read articles about the transgendered community.
www.hrc.org

Pro Gay Jobs – Seek “safe” employment, post your resume, find jobs that offer domestic partnership benefits, conduct diversity training programs, sponsor LGBTIQ employee resource groups, and donate to LGBTIQ charities.
www.progayjobs.com

OUT for Work – A nonprofit dedicated to educating, preparing, and empowering LGBT college students and their allies for the workplace.
http://outforwork.com/

Out for Work is posting jobs looking for LGBTQ applicants.
http://outforwork.jobamatic.com/a/jobs/find-jobs

OUT for Work LGBTQ Career Center Library - To access the LGBTQA Career Resource Library on our website, please go to http://outforwork.org/resources/career_center/library.asp. (Username: outforwork, Password: cccp2013)

Out Professionals – Leading gay and lesbian professional networking site.
http://www.outprofessionals.org/

Transgender: Employment and Transition – A web site of transgenderist issues that includes a section on transitioning and employment.
http://www.firelily.com/gender/sstgfaq/tstg.html#transatwork

National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education – Includes job listings for college and university positions.
http://www.lgbtcampus.org/

US Gay Relocation - Listing of LGBTIQ Real Estate Agents
http://www.usgayrelocation.com/

Victory Congressional Internship - http://www.victoryinstitute.org/vci
The Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute's Victory Congressional Internship is developing the next generation of out public leaders.
The VCI program will prepare young LGBTQ people to become informed decision-makers and influential leaders who can change their communities and our world.


Global Experiences - Well known for their long time commitment to Human Rights and LBGT related issues worldwide. A variety of career areas are still available including family adoption, event planning, community relations, communications/marketing, and peer education.
http://www2.binghamton.edu/ccpd/pdf/LGBTfriendlyINTERNSHIPS-WorldWide.pdf
http://www2.binghamton.edu/ccpd/pdf/LGBTplacements-WashDC-DublinIRE.pdf
http://www2.binghamton.edu/ccpd/pdf/GE-newInternationalFlyer.pdf

Multiple Sites for Job Listings http://botw.org/top/Society/Gay,_Lesbian,_and_Bisexual/Workplace/Employment

Resources Available in the Fleishman Career Center
Brave Journeys: Profiles in Gay and Lesbian Courage
The Rights of Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, and Transgender People
Lavender Road to Success: The Career Guide for the Gay Community
Straight Jobs, Gay Lives
Poisoned Ivy: Lesbian and Gay Academics Confronting Homophobia
Sexual Orientation in the Workplace: Gay Men, Lesbians, Bisexuals & Heterosexuals Working Together

The website of the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development at Binghamton University contains links to other websites as a convenience for its users and is not responsible for the contents of any linked site.

Last Updated: 8/19/14