Resume Writing and the Minority Student

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Writing is a difficult task for most job applicants, but minority students face unique challenges as they decide what information to present to a potential employer. A minority applicant's name, address, education, work history, extra-curricular activities, and choice of references may trigger unfavorable assumptions by the reader and unfairly influence the selection process. To reduce the chances of "detection" and being eliminated prematurely, some minority students Anglicize their names, use street addresses of relatives and friends in more desirable parts of town, and downplay ethnic-specific education, jobs, and affiliations. Concealing one's ethnic background, however, may be difficult and, more important, may be counterproductive. Minority students should write resumes that are accurate and accentuate the achievements that a potential employer would focus on. Business communication instructors should address concerns about discrimination in selection and hiring as they help all students choose the appropriate resume format and language to present their best selves.


Originally published in Business Communication Quarterly September 2003 66: 39-50, doi:10.1177/108056990306600305

Authenticated users may access full text at http://bcq.sagepub.com/content/66/3/39.full.pdf+html



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