Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Nathan Bowling (Committee Member), Gary Burns (Committee Chair), Corey Miller (Committee Member), Tamera Schneider (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Awareness of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community has exposed these individuals to unequal treatment in the workplace. One area where this mistreatment occurs is in the job application process. As a result, it is important to examine the job seeking behaviors of the LGBTQ community that are associated with this process. Student leaders of LGBTQ-focused groups face a unique challenge in the application process in regard to whether they should include their leadership experience on their resume, possibly exposing themselves to discrimination and bias. Only one study, to current knowledge, has focused on resume construction behavior of student leaders from LGBTQ-focused organizations. Kirby (2006) conducted a small study consisting of qualitative interviews examining potential factors that might influence student leaders' resume construction. In the current study I expanded upon Kirby's study by incorporating a larger sample size and collecting information from other sexual orientation minorities as well as gender minorities and allies. I also examined additional factors that could potentially affect the inclusion of leadership experience on resumes and the nature of these relationships. One hundred and seventy-one student leaders of LGBTQ-focused organizations from various colleges and universities across the United States completed the study. Student leaders completed a survey assessing several factors and resume construction behavior. Results suggest that student leaders' perceptions of helpfulness of including leadership experience on the resume, fear of discrimination from disclosure, and the need for recognition of leadership experience had significant direct effects on their inclusion or planned inclusion of leadership experience on their resume. Additionally, student leaders' perceived experiences of discrimination and perceptions of workplace discrimination had significant indirect relationships with inclusion or planned inclusion of leadership experience on their resume through fear of discrimination from disclosure of their actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity. These findings support some findings of Kirby and other studies within the minority disclosure research. Additionally, the findings of the current study provide a more nuanced examination of these factors and their relationship with inclusion of leadership experience that has previously not been examined. Student leaders of LGBTQ-focused groups and other individuals who help these students with their resume construction can gain insight from these findings. In addition, the current study can provide context for future studies examining other stigmatized groups. For example, future researchers should examine the factors that affect leadership experience inclusion of student leaders of LGBTQ-focused organizations in the context of other stigmatized minority organizations (e.g., student Muslim organizations).

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded