Race & Ethnicity

The Career & Professional Development Center supports your racial/ethnic identity through our mission, values, policies and programs. As you pursue your academic studies, our staff are here to help you identify and integrate your skills and abilities to explore careers, participate in internships, and acquire post-graduation opportunities in environments that embrace your identity. The Career Center staff is here to assist you in your search for supportive workplace environments.

  • Should I whiten my resume?

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about whether one should ‘whiten’ their resume or not. “Whitening” means intentionally minimizing or concealing racial cues on a resume that may identify a minority status, such as a name or affiliation with a minority club, professional organization, or association.  Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that ‘whitening’ a resume can increase an individual’s chances of getting an interview (Kang, Decelles, Tilcsik, & Jun 2016, Bertrand & Mullaninathan 2003). Although these findings are very upsetting and unjust, some individuals may wonder if they should engage in whitening their resume to increase their odds of acquiring a job. This is a very personal decision that comes with a thorough assessment of your own personal values and beliefs.  There are several factors in which you might want to carefully consider such as what is important in a work culture to make you feel comfortable, authentic, and safe, how urgently did you need to secure employment, and how will whitening/not whitening your resume affect your morale, identity, and self-confidence. For some people, this is a very clear and easy decision to make, while others really struggle to weigh their options. If you want to talk through this decision some more, come meet with a Career Coach!


  • How do I share my participation in cultural events on my resume?

You may wonder whether to include awards, scholarships, advocacy work, or involvement in student organizations that pertain to your identities. Whether or not to use this information on a resume or cover letter depends on your own comfort level and interest in sharing who you are with others. It is a very personal decision, and as such, there is no right or wrong answer.

However, there are questions to ask yourself to gauge how safe you feel about your experiences.

Ask yourself: is it important for your colleagues to know who you are at work?  Be sure to research your work environment. Is it likely the organization you’re applying to is inclusive?  If you’re concerned they are not, you may choose to highlight the skills you developed but not the organizations you worked with. Is a particular activity, award or experience relevant to the job you are applying for? If the experience does not demonstrate relevant skills you may choose to leave it off at this point.

Sample Resume:

Leadership Experience

Black Student Union                                             Salt Lake City, UT

President                                                                May 2015-Present

    • Recruit, hire, and train 50 BSU members in collaboration with two co-advisors
    • Oversee the annual anti-racism Leadership Summit for 32 East High school students, conducting outreach through Facebook, New York City public schools, and youth organizations
  • How do I know if a company is a good fit?

There are many ways to determine if a company is a good fit for you. To be a good fit, you should match what the company is looking for and the company should match what you are looking for. While you can’t always know 100% what a company looks for in a candidate, you can take steps to research the company and find out as much as you can about it to determine whether you could see yourself joining their team.

  • References


Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2003). Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination. The American Economic Review . doi:10.3386/w9873


Kang, S. K., Decelles, K. A., Tilcsik, A., & Jun, S. (2016). Whitened Résumés. Administrative


Science Quarterly,61(3), 469-502. doi:10.1177/0001839216639577

Campus Resources

The Career Center works in collaboration with other campus offices that provide academic support, help you to develop and expand your awareness of your racial/ethnic identity, and advocate for you while teaching you how to navigate the campus climate. The following campus offices can be supportive resources:

Community Resources

We understand these resources may not cover all of your questions. To talk further about these resources or other topics, login to Cranium Café (ConexEd) to make an appointment with any available Career Coach if you are a current student or login to Handshake to make an appointment with our Alumni Career Coach if you are an alum. We also know that the content we have shared here is not exhaustive and that resources on identity are continually evolving. If you would like to share your comments or suggestions with us to help us improve our content, please email us at careers@sa.utah.edu. We welcome your feedback anytime.


Please contact our team to learn more.