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Does It Hurt or Help to Declare Race on Job Applications?

Luke Visconti’s Ask the White Guy column is a top draw on Visconti, the founder and CEO of DiversityInc, is a nationally recognized leader in diversity management. In his popular column, readers who ask Visconti tough questions about race/culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability and age can expect smart, direct and disarmingly frank answers.

Ask the White Guy Luke ViscontiQuestion:
When I apply for a job, should I put my ethnicity? Especially in places like California that don’t have affimative-action policies? When I write my race, is this hurting my chances to find a job? I have an engineering degree, with good grades, and 8 years’ experience, but I can’t find a job. I wonder if it is because of my race.

Your race may be an asset at companies that appreciate diversity. I would check our DiversityInc Top 50 list and the Career Center. Apply for jobs in companies where you know that diversity is a priority.

You may wish to ask a professional friend for an informational interview. They can check your résumé and interview skills to see if there are some areas of opportunity for you to improve how you position yourself.


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