Considering what to include in your CV and what to leave out should be a relatively easy process, you'd think: you obviously need your qualifications, work history, contact details and skills. Whilst working or studying you may have also done some voluntary work or been a committee member of a group or university society – should this be on your CV? Most of the time the answer would be a resounding yes as employers love to see proactivity, volunteering and additional skills. So, what's the problem?
If you were a member of the LGBTQ+ student society at university or volunteered as a steward at your local Pride event, would you put this on your CV? You would've gained lots of transferable skills, so why wouldn't you? Probably because it means outing yourself on your CV. Whilst involvement in these activities doesn't necessarily mean that you are LGBTQ+, it's often assumed. By putting it on your CV you are therefore leaving yourself open to potential, albeit illegal, stereotyping and discrimination.
Your CV is intended as a means to get you through the door and into an interview with an employer. So there are several things to think about:
1. What's the employer's attitude? If you've done your research and seen that they're an LGBTQ+ friendly employer, no problem. But if you weren't able to find out you may want to consider your next move. For example, you could try talking to people who work there to get their opinion before deciding.
2. How much do you want to work for that employer? If you think you may be discriminated against by putting LGBTQ+ activity on your CV, is this an employer you'd actually want to work for? If you have to hide part of who you are, how productive will you be in the job?
3. Is it relevant to the job? If it's a job working for an LGBTQ+ organisation or the role is to do with equality and diversity, then your involvement in these types of activities would be seen as a strength and you'd be silly to omit it from your CV.
4. What transferable skills have you gained? If you do decide to include them, be sure to highlight the skills you gained such as bookkeeping, leadership, teamwork, project management or fundraising.
5. What was your involvement? If you were simply a member of a group or society but didn't have any active involvement in the running of it, it probably isn't relevant and some employers would say it doesn't need to be on a CV. If you were a committee member, as above, focus on the skills.
So, whether or not you 'out' yourself on your CV is your own personal choice, but don't sell yourself short by omitting details on your CV that could help you get a job. On the other hand, if you feel that disclosing LGBTQ+ details on a CV would lead to discrimination, consider whether you actually want to work for that employer anyway.