How Does Dr. King’s Legacy Impact Resume Writing? Equality

Today our nation celebrates and honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  If you do not know, I am a black man from Memphis, TN., which just so happens to be the place were James Earl Ray shot and killed Dr. King on April 4th 1968.  Memphis is the home of Elvis Presley the King of Rock n Roll but also the home of the National Civil Rights Museum which is a the very hotel where Dr. King was shot, the Lorraine Motel.

Okay, the history lesson is over but I gave you the backstory so you can understand why this day and this man’s legacy in a huge part of my life and impacts my resume work. How does Dr. King’s legacy impact my work? The answer is simple, “EQUALITY”

I do not write white resumes, I do not write black resumes, I do not write male resumes, or female resumes. I write resumes to help my people (those who hire me) get better jobs and career opportunities. In 6 years I have learned that women tend to down play their accomplishments more than men.  I have learned that women tend to have (on average) 2 college degrees while most of the men tend to have just one, sometimes it’s just “some college.”  Men tend to earn more money and most importantly expect to earn more money, while women tend to be paid less and are pursuing equal pay. This is where I try to help by showing them that they have all the requirements necessary to get the job and salary that they desire.

I have had women clients ask questions about changing their names to initials in order to disguise their gender so they aren’t pre-judged during the screen processes.  Others have asked should they shorten their names, for instance, should “Christine” use “Chris” or should “Terikah” use “Terry”.  You may have heard about the Latino man named Jose who dropped the “s” from his name in order to get job interviews and it worked!

There are all kinds of bias in the job market, race and sex are only two of them.  Ageism the biggest concern of all my clients - in fact age discrimination is often the very first time a white male feels judged unfairly in his entire life - It doesn’t happen until he gets older.  And it can impact the resume as well. Because on the one hand you want to show the experience level however you do not want to “date or age” yourself by adding older jobs or degrees or memberships and outdated language - yes, your words can make you seem older than you are.

At the end of the day, I want us all to win.  I want everyone to have a great job (because jobs are sooo, important) and we all need them.  I want equality for all.

That’s how Dr. King impacts my resume work.


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