Mad Gay Skillz

Mad Gay Skillz: Landing a Job

Rumor has it homosexuals are gifted with certain abilities: An innate sense of design, the ability to know the hottest parties in town, a gift for knowing exactly the right relationship advice to give at the right time. Of course, this is total B.S. There are plenty of gays out there who don’t know the difference between Prada or Miu Miu, would rather watch The Sarah Conner Chronicles on a Friday night than go out and are totally out of touch with their inner-Oprah. Still, we have a rep to maintain and to help you out Queerty teaches you Mad Gay Skillz– your go-to guide for staying fabulous.

job-interviewWith unemployment at 8.5 percent, there are 13 million jobless Americans out there. You may be one of them. Fortunately, you have a leg up on a lot of your competitors—you’re gay! While being out at the office isn’t an option for many, that doesn’t mean you can’t reach into your homo bag o’ tricks for a little help. Here are some of our favorite techniques for landing your dream job, or even a job to weather out the storm.

Rely on family.

Most people come to a new city with no friends, but if you’re a gay or lesbian, you need only let a fellow gay know that you’re family and you’ll be in like Flynn. While rumors of the gay mafia are greatly exaggerated (or maybe we’re just being paid to not divulge the details), gays and lesbians have always known how to rely on the kindness of strangers and are often willing to help a brother or sister out. Reach out to your gay friends, let them know you’re looking for a job and, more so, what kind of job you’re looking for—they may just know a guy who knows a guy who may be able to help you. Employers are much more likely to give you the serious look you deserve when you come from a trusted source.

Take a queer eye to that resume.

Your resume really is your calling card and, for the most part, people send the message that they’re dull and boring, thinking that what employers look for is corporate-speak. Give your resume a makeover, not with scented paper or weird fonts (I found this format to be a winner), but by making your resume reflect you. Phrases like “Responsible for”, “experienced”, “team player” and “detail oriented” should be banned from your vitae. Instead, describe your job experience as if you were explaining it to your parents; be specific and say what you actually do. Also, another killer tip: You don’t wear the same outfit for every occasion; tailor your resume each time you send it out to the specific job you’re applying for.

Overdress for success.

Thankfully, casual Fridays have gone the way of The Backstreet Boys. No matter how small your job might be, dress as if you’re applying for vice-president. It sends the message that you take the potential job seriously and that you’re ambitious. If your job is in a creative field, wear a tie with some color in it, otherwise, stick to the traditional reds or blues, especially the very popular light blue made popular by Biden and Obama. A great suit will also help you feel confident, which will come off in the interview. If you’re not used to wearing one, consider giving it a dry run a week or so before, wearing it while you do errands and go around town; it’ll help build up your mojo.

Everyone wins when you’re versatile.

Many people don’t want to hear after losing their job that they should consider a change of careers. They just want to hop back on the same saddle they were on before and keep looking for the closest replacement they can find. Well, your old job is gone; no matter what you wind up doing, it will be something different. Chances are you didn’t love your old job, and with the economy likely to remain in the ditch for the foreseeable future, now’s a good a time as any to consider a new career. You’re not alone. The average American is likely to have seven different careers in their working life. Put another way, you should always be willing to try a new position.

Your interview is your first date.

Many would-be employees think the point of the interview is to impress the potential boss. It’s not. If you got the interview, the boss is already interested in you. Instead of trying to win over your potential employer, get to know them—and the job—instead. You should come prepared with at least five specific questions you have about the job. Not only will you be able to make a better decision about whether you really want the job, you will also be sending the message that you’re engaged in the work at hand.–Japhy Grant

What other tips do you have for landing a job? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Pragmatist

    This is absolutely true. I’ve had job offers from guys before based on nothing but the fact that I was polite, flirty, and could form a complete sentence. So far, I’ve never taken anyone up on the offer, but man!

  • Chitown Kev

    Hmmmm…this can work several ways.

    Networking is important, of course, there’s straight mafia as well as gay mafia and in looking for jobs in the past, I have been surprised at how throwing a little bit of gay in here and there can be an asset with straights. And that can come in handy if it’s about keeping the job that you already have, too.

  • Nick K

    Barely topical, but the Sarah Connor Chronicles have gotten so good recently. I just wish I could convince a single one of my friends to watch them with me. Keep it up with the pos-mens!

  • Jason in WV

    I think the “Rely on Family” angle is so true, especially where the out gay community is small (like here). The more gays there are living in the same town/city, the more fun and more relaxed our neighborhoods become.

  • ggreen

    20 years ago I worked for a clothing manufacturer in SF, famous for its liberal ways and gay appeal. While the company was filled with gays and lesbians I worked in a division that was mostly heterosexuals and dealt with branch offices with very homophobic employees. Things were fine for about 18 months. I got performance reviews filled with praise and increases in salary. Then my partner became very ill and I had to use all my vacation and sick time to be with him and care for him. My supervisor asked me one day if I was gay and if I had Aids. When I told him I was gay and that my partner was gravely ill, everything changed. I was getting written warnings about the quality of my work and my “attitude”. The gays in the office turned their backs on me and I was on my own. This place had over 400 employees and 1/3 were gay yet I was all alone. Being gay might get you the job but it won’t help you keep it. Gay loyalty turns on a dime in the workplace.

  • m2mswva

    1. NEVER show up to apply for a job with your best buddy. It makes you look like a package deal and there may only be one position open. It also makes you look like you can’t stand on your own two feet and need someone to hold your hand.

    2. Many companies have an online employment application process. Keep a digital copy of your updated resume and upload it through the website if that’s what they require. Don’t whine about the application process to the employee explaining the process to you. This is someone you may be working with in the future.

    3. For god’s sake no matter what you wear, put some thought and effort into it. Don’t show up looking like you just rolled out of bed.

    4. More employers are checking out the MySpace and Facebook pages of job applicants. Is there anything there that you don’t want them to see? If so, take it down!

    5. Check your credit report and make sure you can explain any problems. All large companies check your credit report and criminal records and do drug testing. They don’t like surprises.

    6. ALWAYS remember that when a friend recommends you for a job opening, his/her rep is on the line. Don’t fuck it up!

  • Berry

    I’m in the midst of hiring several people and keep thinking about what not do to. My advice would be to remember that you’re auditioning for everyone you come in contact with at a company (the receptionist, the admin coordinating the interview, the person in the bathroom or who you pass in the hall). Be warm and professional to everyone. This probably applies most to a small company. If you are difficult to work with or are fun and engaging it will probably get back to the hiring manager.

    Also, I would be careful to not overprepare for an interview since you don’t want to sound scripted or boring. This especially applies to researching the person(s) you’re interviewing with. I always get creeped out with applicants who have obviously memorized a google search on me. But that might just be me.

  • thisismikesother

    i like how these actually apply to everyone looking for a job, not just the gays. aside: i wish this link existed when i came out to my parents and they told me they were wasting money on my education because i would never get a job being gay.

  • glen

    I interviewed a guy (cute, set my gaydar off, lived in the “gay ghetto”) who kept hinting that he knew me from somewhere, had seen me around; probably true, I did hang around in the gay bars.

    and still, I didn’t hire him

    In the end, I wanted someone competent, knowledgeable and mature. While I would have enjoyed “dating” the gay guy, just being gay wasn’t enough. After all, whatever the new employee couldn’t do, I had to.

  • HomoWithNoJob

    I interviewed for this sales manager job at a new start up company, I referred to my partner several times. They finally caught on to the fact that I was gay (they were pretty dense my outfit was really queer) once they figured out that I was a homo they got all giddy and excited talking about how i was going to bring “diversity” to the office and be able to reach the “gay community.” I got the job offer.

  • Queerky

    I once auditioned at a bathouse for an older man who was impressed enough to offer me a job. The understanding was to have private meeting in his office whenever his urge commanded. Once I got the job, I ignored his come-ons and impressed the rest of the staff with my work. Whenever he hinted that he could fire me, I simply asked how his wife was doing.

  • Smokey Martini

    I don’t understand why you would call that layout a winning design, Queerty. It blows.

    No wonder the redesign of your website blows too.
    You guys obviously fall under the ‘taste-less’ gays.


  • eric

    This is a helpful discussion! Thanks to all!

  • dgz

    i applied to a major city department at a gay job fair, and my follow-up interview had been happily stacked with power lesbians by the gay mafia — i think i actually got kudos for asking if it was a gay-friendly workplace. so, i’d advise not skirting the issue, so to speak.

    but know your audience! it’s no fun working someplace that’s not friendly, but it’s worse to not eat. (unless you’re on the cleanse.)

  • tavdy79

    The British intelligence services routinely advertise for gay employees because we’re better at deception. Think about it: how many gays are there who keep their sexuality hidden from their friends and relatives for years, sometimes even throughout their entire lifetimes?

  • Bitch, Please!

    Its all good if the “gay one” lives in NY, SF, or some other gay enclaves like that. For that matter, even in NY one has to be in Manhattan and, mind you, not all of Manhattan either. Because around Midtown and in Wall Street area I have seen gay couples, walking together, were harrassed and ridiculed like they were African Americans in a KKK rally.
    Also, as it was mentioned by many here already, hopefully the job is among TRULY gay-friendly people, for the most part at least. Let me tell you one of my experience: I was hired by a multi-national company for a customer service position. They are, at least in their policy books, gay friendly. However, I was shocked at how the CEO’s face hardened as I shook his hands and introduced myself as a new recruit–I guess it was my gay look! I also came to hear of how “queer jokes” were thrown around freely during management pow wows. I always carried myself professionally and kept my profesional and personal life separate. Yet, it did not help me any! I still quit the job because I was uncomfortable, despite their policies. At least from my experience, it is really the attitude of the co-workers and the management, and not so much the policies, that either makes the job bearable or unbearable .

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