Advice for employment agencies

Are you a an employment agency (such as the RAV)
or private recruitment consultant and are currently supporting a trans person in finding a job? We have compiled for you the most important questions and answers about the topic of trans@work. Do not hesitate to send us your personal questions via the contact form, should they not be covered in our list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do trans people have special needs that the RAV has to address?

They have no special needs. Trans applicants are often discriminated against in the application process. In order to ensure equal treatment with non-trans job applicants awareness is essential.


Is it not better for trans people in transition to apply under their old, official name?

During written application process, this can be advisable in exceptional cases as this prevents discrimination on the basis of a person being trans. Assuming the person is able to imagine returning to the wrong gender. For many, however, life in the inappropriate gender is an unreasonable or unbearable burden.


Can existing certificates be changed?

Yes. Certificates may be adapted before an official name change is made. This is permissible because the person concerned has provided the attested request.


Does it make sense to mention that you are trans in the job application process?

There are two cases in which this may be useful: The first case is when it is advantageous for the job that a person is trans – then the applicant can decide if they want to mention it. The other case is when a short explanation is almost necessary because certificates and applications have different names.


How can deviations between names in cover letters, curriculum vitae and certificates be justified?

A short sentence, which refers exclusively to the change of name, has proved its worth. (‘In the testimonies you can find reference to my previous name. This has been changed in the meantime/will soon be changed to first name last name.’)


Officially, the person is called Thomas Meier, but she wants to be addressed as a woman. Can I do that?

Of course. Addressing a person as they want is a matter of respect. Also in letters you should address her as “Dear Ms Meier”. It is only in the communication with authorities that the official name must be used.


Are there any professions that are not suitable for trans persons?

Very few. Some professions have curious rules regarding the individual’s representation. For example, Catholic priests must be sterile. Nevertheless, there are professions that are not ideal for trans people. Since no two trans people are alike, this would have to be assessed in each case. There are, for example, very successful trans women who work on a building site, while others would seek a less sexist and man-shaped profession.


What about occupations where employees have customer contact during their transition? Are there any special challenges?

That depends on the individual. Trans people who are self-confident can also have customer contact at this time. Others may prefer not to encounter many strangers at this time.


Can I ask questions about operations or other gender-related measures?

No, intrusive curiosity is inappropriate. Trans persons have the same right to privacy as everyone else. In the rare cases where the body is relevant, this can often be asked differently. For example, if the client was once a lifeguard you might clarify if they would be happy to work again in this occupation.


The job search for trans people who are in transition and trans people who are visible as trans is a complex subject area. Let us advise you personally! Write us at