In Denmark, companies often hire based on personality in addition to your skills, which means that companies are also interested in your personal life as well as your previous career. A CV can, therefore, contain information about your hobbies, interests and your family.
A young LGBT professional in Denmark recently contacted us after meeting with a career counselor to get feedback on her CV and job applications. She recounted the story:
“When we sat down to start the actual career counseling, the first thing he pointed to was my ‘civil status’, where I wrote I was married to a woman. He had highlighted it in red, and said that I ‘should probably consider excluding this, as a company could see this as unnecessary and would throw away the application’. At first, I just accepted his career advice to improve my CV, but afterwards I felt offended that he expressed, how I might not get a job, if I am openly lesbian.”
So what is the etiquette about including a registered partnership on your CV? One should consider the following:
- By writing your civil status, you are of course “outing” yourself, and this is a personal decision. However, this is no different than a heterosexual saying they are married to an opposite sex partner which is completely acceptable and even expected when applying for a job in Denmark.
- One is stating that they are in a committed relationship, this reinforces your personal life as stable and can establish someone as trustworthy. This is not to say that the opposite is true of single people, only that these are some traits normally associated with a person in a long-term, committed relationship.
- If the recruiter reads between the lines, you are offering the idea that you will never have an “oops” pregnancy, which gives the company a possibility to plan ahead in case you are planning to have a child. This can be especially important to women between the ages of 25 - 35 when being considered for a position.
The goal of an application and CV is to present yourself in an engaging manner so the employer invites you for an interview. Therefore, the best advice is to write what you are comfortable with so you feel confident when sending your resume. However, if a company lets your sexual orientation overshadow your skills, and they would consider disqualifying you for being open, is this a suitable workplace for an LGBT person?
As innovation becomes increasingly important to a company’s profitability and sustainability, recruiting a diverse talent pool is paramount. Therefore, including your civil status on your resume could actually increase your chances of being considered for a position. Talent and experience will always be the main drivers for a company’s hires but if you are equally matched with another candidate your relation to a diversity group could prove to be an advantage. After all, no one was ever hired for being exactly like every other candidate.