3 things diverse graduates should look for in an employer

3 things diverse graduates should look for in an employer was originally published on College Recruiter.

Senior year is approaching, and it’s time to search for a job.

With millions of employers to choose from, how do you narrow the search and find the best company for diverse graduates in the workforce?

In this post, we’ll share three things all diverse graduates should look for in an employer when applying for their first job post-graduation.

Let’s dive in. 

An inclusive company culture

When looking for a job, finding an employer that matches your values is essential.

You want to work for an organization that prioritizes diversity, is open to new ideas, and supports personal growth.

An inclusive company culture is one where employees of all races and ethnicities are welcomed and valued as part of the team. It’s a place where you can feel like you belong, no matter what background you come from, the color of your skin, or your gender.

Take Samsara as an example. They’re aware that the IoT industry and fleet-related activities like ELD compliance and driver safety are still a work in progress. But they’re committed to building an inclusive company culture.

To show their commitment, they have created a dedicated landing page on their website where prospects can learn more about their diversity and inclusion initiatives. They even outline their long-term diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals and provide yearly DEI reports showing their progress.

Example of Samsara's diversity program landing page.

Focus your time and effort on applying to companies that are committed to diversity and inclusion.

When you find an employer that meets your specific criteria, give yourself the best shot of landing an interview by using a professional cover letter template. It’ll help you organize each section and write a strong cover letter to submit with your application.

Studies show that 53% of employers prefer candidates that include cover letters with their resumes because it demonstrates motivation. The small details matter when trying to stand out in the hiring process.

Diversity in leadership

Diversity, equity, and inclusion sit in the top five priorities for human resource leaders in 2022.

Sometimes employers advertise a DEI program all over job websites like Salarship, Indeed, and Monster. But it can be a smoke screen to appear more inclusive and diverse on paper than they are.

The key to uncovering the truth is to check for diversity in the leadership of the organizations you want to apply to.

A recent study by the Washington Post found that the top 50 most valuable public companies in the US had only 8% Black executives at the highest levels of management.

To make matters worse, eight companies, including Walmart, Costco, and T-Mobile, didn’t have any Black executives. You should be skeptical about these companies when applying for a post-graduation job.

On the flip side, plenty of organizations continue to make a conscious effort to prioritize DEI programs and make tangible progress toward their diversity goals.

For example, because of the Washington Post study, Chevron’s top human resources officer, Rhonda Morris, and former chief diversity and inclusion officer, Lee Jourdan, recognized the danger of unconscious bias during promotion and job assignment conversations and began using inclusion counselors in the hiring process.

Employers like Chevron, who are making tangible strides towards promoting minorities, are your dream employers.

Rosalind Hudnell, Intel’s chief diversity officer, said it best:

“At the end of the day, I measure success by what’s happening with Black representation in these organizations. If you have a chief diversity officer whose CEO has said, ‘we care about Black lives, and there are no Black lives in the C-suite, success has not been achieved.”

Mentorship opportunities

Don’t forget that once you enter the workforce, you’ll be in a new environment, maybe with a few people of your race or ethnicity. That’s why mentorship opportunities are crucial for successful integration into an organization.

If you have a mentor with whom you can talk about the challenges, it can help you feel less isolated and more comfortable in your new position. Your mentor may also provide vital information about the organization’s culture, including its hierarchies and power dynamics.

Wrapping up

When hiring minority graduates, an employer needs to do more than just advertise that they support diversity and inclusion.

They need to offer you tangible benefits and opportunities to help you succeed in your career.

So when choosing that perfect company to work for, focus on finding employers that offer an inclusive company culture, diverse leadership, and mentorship opportunities.

If you find an employer that checks all these boxes, you’ve struck gold. So tidy up your resume and cover letter, and start applying today!

Ryan Robinson is a blogger, podcaster, and (recovering) side project addict that teaches 500,000 monthly readers how to start a blog and grow a profitable side business at ryrob.com.

By Ryan Robinson - College Recruiter
College Recruiter
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