Trans Lifeline Library:

Job Searching…

Job Searching

How you search may mean all the difference!


How to show up…


  • Never underestimate the power of Google! Searching terms like “(Name of business) job interview” will often lead you to resources that let you know what to expect from the hiring process, what questions to prepare for, and what answers the interviewer may be looking for.

  • When it comes to dressing for an interview, it helps to think about what the typical work uniform will be. For example, showing up to a fast food interview in a 3-piece suit may make you look overqualified or out of touch with the reality of the job you’ll be doing, even though it’s a professional outfit. Plain slacks or khaki pants, a nice button down or polo, and plain accessories are often sufficient for most entry-level interviews in retail and food service. For clothing retailers, incorporating some pieces from their store into your interview outfit will demonstrate a familiarity with the brand.

  • Etiquette and good manners will open more doors for you than almost anything else. The importance of a good handshake, a thank-you email shortly after the interview, and being kind to all staff that you encounter cannot be understated. In some cases, those little touches, especially thanking your interviewer for their time before you leave, can be the thing that gets you the job offer even if you weren’t the most qualified interviewee that day.

  • Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from most places you apply–many positions receive dozens or even hundreds of applications for each job opening. It may not have anything to do with you or your resume, so much as it’s just not reasonable for them to interview that many people before making a hiring decision. However, if you’re consistently not hearing back, consider swapping some language on your resume with some professional buzzwords to help get your resume past the algorithm–many larger companies use AI to filter resumes. 

  • It’s okay to pace yourself when you’re filling out job applications. It’s better to take your time and do a thorough job than to miss out on an opportunity because you were too burned out or exhausted to put your full effort into an application. The old advice was to spend 8 hours a day searching for jobs in the thought that that would be how many hours a day you’d be working if you had a job–if you can only do a good job filling out applications for 2 hours instead, that’s better than nothing!

  • Don’t harass potential employers–again, the old advice was to call regularly, hit the pavement, stop in, etc.. These days, it may only be appropriate to send a single email shortly after your application to express your interest and desire to work there, and possibly one email to follow up if you haven’t heard back from them after the time they stated they’d get back to you during your interview. For many employers, being overly eager and repeatedly contacting them will actually disqualify you.

  • Network! While this term may conjure a mental image of cocktail mixers or professional conferences, you can network anywhere at any stage of your career. Talking to your LGBTQ+ friends about what they do for work, if they like where they work, and if their company is currently hiring can be a good way to find new opportunities that you may not have known about before. This is also a good way to find out if an employer is friendly to transgender and queer individuals.

Trans-Friendly, Entry-Level Employers

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