How to market your diversity in your job search
April 25, 2023
A diversity hire is a person with a minority or underrepresented background employed in an organization. Though a diversity hire is employed to improve diversity and inclusion in the company, it does not mean that the person is favored solely because of their background; they are also very qualified and have the skills required by the employer.
Most organizations today hire for diversity, not just because diversity and inclusion have become very important workplace trends, but because studies have shown that companies stand to gain more when they have a diverse team. A 2022 study showed that diverse companies make more money, about 2.5 times higher per employee. Another study showed that those with a diverse management team boosted revenue by 19% compared to companies with less diverse teams.
When searching for a job, embracing your diverse background and marketing yourself as a diverse candidate can give you an advantage. Individuals with diverse backgrounds are known to bring unique perspectives or outlooks to an organization, with a wider range of skills, talents, and experiences. You can also better understand and cater to the needs of customers who require your particular experience. There are several ways you can present yourself as a diverse candidate and here we’ll look at some of these ways.
Understand your unique value proposition
As a job seeker, present what you have to offer to potential employers with a great personal value proposition statement. Your personal statement will highlight your skills, strengths, accomplishments, and what’s unique about you. You can talk about how your background as a minority or underrepresented group has helped your understanding of workplace diversity and how your experiences can add value to the organization, especially in its diversity programs or initiatives. Also, do your research about the company and the role advertised, and talk about how you’ll contribute to the organization.
Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your diversity
Your resume is usually your first introduction to the hiring manager. Make sure your resume is ATS-friendly and contains the necessary information about your experiences as well as your background. Talk about how your diverse background has shaped who you are and the skills you have developed, such as problem-solving, crisis management, critical thinking, and other skills useful in the workplace. Take a look at the company’s DEI Statement and mention in your cover letter that you value the diversity and inclusion areas they are paying attention to. You can also use keywords that align with the company’s vision and mission.
Leverage your network
According to a LinkedIn survey, 85% of jobs are filled through networking. Leveraging your network is one of the best ways to find a job. Your network which includes members of your community, classmates, and acquaintances can tell you about opportunities or refer you to places. Your alumni groups and professors can also be helpful when you need references and recommendations. Networking events such as job fairs, career fairs, and seminars that cater to diverse candidates also provide useful information and connections for your job search.
Showcase your diversity in your personal branding
Your personal brand is important to your job search because your brand shows who you are and the values you bring to a workplace. Most people today build a brand online, and you can showcase your diversity with your story, your area of expertise, and your authentic self. You can leverage social media platforms to present your personal brand and share your stories about your background and experiences. You can also share content, events, and information that are related to diversity and inclusion.
Be confident in your interviews
Getting an interview means you have beaten many other candidates who also applied for the position and adequate preparation for your interviews will improve your chances of getting the job. Prepare for interviews by researching the company, practicing interview questions with a friend, and having samples of your work ready to show during the interview. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) to provide specific examples of how you have contributed to diverse teams and situations. Adequate preparation will boost your confidence when you go in for the interview.
As a diverse candidate, your diversity can be your advantage if you present your skills and experiences in a way that will attract employers. You can successfully show that you have what it takes through your value proposition, resume, your personal brand, and during the interview, and ultimately bring value to potential employers.