Making sure your resume is inclusive


When you’re applying for a job at a nonprofit or charity, it’s especially important to make sure your resume is inclusive. If the people reading your resume feel you don’t understand the importance of considering other people and their needs, they might not want to hire you.

Using inclusive language in your resume can help you stand out from the crowd and show employers that you are a good fit for their company. To make sure your resume is free of potentially insensitive or exclusionary phrases, run through this checklist:

  • Don’t use terms that have been co-opted by mean people and no longer have positive connotations. For example, “master” has been used as a derogatory term for people who are Black, so avoid using it in your resume. Instead of saying “I’m a master of data science,” try something like “I have extensive experience in data science.”
  • Don’t use patronizing or demeaning language. Avoid words like “simple,” “basic,” “elementary,” or anything else that implies the job is easy or not worth doing. Especially avoid any words that could be considered racist, sexist, ableist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. 
  • Check for outdated terms like ‘ninja’, which is commonly used in tech spheres to indicate expertise but is considered cultural appropriation. Words and phrases change over time, so make sure the language on your resume adapts to modern standards for inclusiveness.

Tools like Textio have been helping employers create more inclusive job postings with their AI tools. Textio is able to scan through job posts to find subtle gendered language and other phrases that might turn off diverse candidates. Companies that use these tools clearly care about how language is used, which is why it is important to make sure a resume is also written considerately. 

A free tool created by Whole Whale called can scan a PDF version of your resume and help show where noninclusive or gendered language might be used.

Try out the Inclusivity Tool here!