Michelle* graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from an esteemed university in New York City four years ago. After sending out over forty resumes to prospective employers, she only received two calls for interviews. Michelle was smart. She was the President of the school’s Black Student Union, a member of a historically black sorority and had graduated cum laude.
Perplexed by the lack of calls (mind you, this is pre-recession), Michelle sat in front of her computer screen. A friend suggested she make a few changes: get rid of any organizations that scream, “I’m black”. Delete “Black Student Union” and delete “Delta Sigma Theta.” So she did. And after another round of emailing resumes to prospective employers, Michelle was pleased with the response: 12 interviews and a number of immediate job offers.
I have to say that the further along I’ve gotten in my career I’ve removed some indicators of my race but mainly because I’ve simply run out of room on my resume. It wouldn’t take much to figure out I’m black, since I went to an HBCU.
Have you had to downplay your ethnicity in order to get an interview???