Career Advice for Job Seekers

Tips for diverse candidates looking to optimize their job search

Sean Kelly
November 30, 2022


Finding a job is, more often than not, a lengthy and difficult process. When you’re competing with hundreds of resumes from applicants of different backgrounds, it can be frustrating to say the least. For Black and Indigenous people and people of color, it has historically been extraordinarily difficult. BIPOC job seekers have long been at a disadvantage and continue to face disparities in the job market. Though there has been progress made in some areas, recent studies have actually shown that employees are seeing an overall lack of positive change in regard to creating an equitable workplace for people of color.

While diversity has become a larger factor of consideration when it comes to things like representation on television, it can be discouraging to know that we’re still not where we need to be in regard to workplace inclusion and equity in the hiring process.

That said, navigating the job market as a BIPOC job seeker is not always easy, but there are certainly ways to optimize the process and stand out as an employee. 

One of the best ways to stand out is to tell your story, as long as you feel comfortable doing so. Highlight your achievements professionally and be sure to talk about how you got on the career path you’re following.

Your cover letter is a great place to do this, as is your resume. Speak from a personal place and try to convey as best as possible why you’re not just the best person for the role, but also the kind of employee that will add value to the organization.

It’s also helpful to get familiar with certain employment policies relating to diversity and inclusion so you have an idea of what you’re entering into. It’s important that you’re able to recognize when a company is employing unfair hiring practices to seek out candidates and call these things out when you notice them.

This will go a long way in helping you find the right job because, ultimately, finding the best role for you isn’t just about getting someone to actually hire you; it’s about finding a company that is inclusive, has a healthy work culture, and doesn’t discriminate against its employees in any way.

When it comes down to it, you shouldn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary or jump through hoops to be given the same chance as applicants who aren’t BIPOC. But asserting your strengths, telling your story, and developing an awareness of the right and wrong kinds of hiring practices will help you learn what kind of environment is the best for you as an employee. It will also significantly help you to stand out and be given a fair chance at landing the role you want. Ultimately, being forward and confident in your job search will be what sets you apart, and knowing what your worth is as an employee is an invaluable thing.

— Article by Sean Kelly. In addition to being an analyst researching the latest industry trends for College Recruiter, Sean Kelly also co-founded a nonprofit local news publication in Savannah, GA called The Savannahian.

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