This article was originally published on TopResume
Written by Carson Kohler
Putting your pronouns on your resume is a personal decision, but here’s what you’ll want to consider.
In the past couple of years, you may have noticed more email signatures and LinkedIn profiles listing gender pronouns, including they/them/theirs, he/him/him, and she/her/hers (and more).
But should you put your pronouns on your resume?
However you identify, here’s what you should consider first.
Why you might want to disclose pronouns on your resume
There are several reasons you’d want to disclose your pronouns on your resume, LinkedIn profile, or email signature, including:
1. It helps prevent accidental misgendering
When you include your pronouns on your resume, you’re heading off any potentially uncomfortable phone screen conversations or interview situations where you may feel pressure to correct an interviewer or potential employer when they make a mistake by using the wrong pronouns.
Chances are people don’t want to get your pronouns wrong; if you list them on your resume, this is one way to avoid any accidental misgendering later in the interview process.
2. It’ll help ease any anxiety you feel
If you feel anxiety going into an interview or professional situation about potentially having to clarify your pronouns and gender identity, listing them on your resume is one way to elminate this stress. It’ll allow you to feel more safe going into the job interview, so you can focus on your qualifications and work experience — not having to potentially correct someone who misgenders you.
3. It’s an essential step toward inclusivity
Whether you’re cisgender, transgender, or non-binary, listing your pronouns on professional materials is an important step toward workplace inclusivity. Max Masure, the co-founder of Argo Collective, an organization that helps workplaces build inclusive cultures, says including pronouns in your professional materials is a great way to show someone you’re an LGBTQ+ ally.
“Normalizing the usage of pronouns is a concrete, impactful way to show your advocacy for LGBTQIA+ individuals,” they write in a Medium article. “However you identify, be proud of your pronouns and encourage others to as well! It helps more people than you think.”
4. It’ll help you find an inclusive workplace
Although some people will argue listing your pronouns on your resume can lead to discrimination (more on that below), there is a major benefit: It can help you weed out non-inclusive workplaces. If a company sees you’re completely qualified for a job and identify as non-binary but refuse to call you up for an interview, then that’s likely not a company you’d feel comfortable joining.
If you’re just starting your job search and you’d like to apply to jobs at inclusive companies, start with the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s list of more than 1,000 of the country’s largest businesses dedicated to LGBTQ equality and inclusion.
Why you might not want to disclose pronouns on your resume
The unfortunate fact is, there’s still a lot of discrimination when it comes to hiring. Even if a company advertises an inclusive, trans-friendly culture, unconscious bias in the workplace is still a very real thing.
Or let’s say you have a unisex name, like Carson, and want to clarify your pronouns are she/her/hers — you could risk gender discrimination.
Depending on where you live, it can be difficult to take legal action against discrimination before you get hired by a company. If you want to wait to disclose your pronouns or gender identity after you’re hired, you have more ground to stand on. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has some solid resources to help you better understand your rights.
How to include pronouns on your resume or other professional materials
If you decide to include your pronouns on your resume or other professional materials, like your email signature or LinkedIn profile, here are some tips to help ensure you do it the right way.
On your resume
If you want to include your pronouns on your resume, you can simply add these under your name in the header. Include it before you list your contact information. If you’d prefer to not add more information to your resume, you can always clarify this in your cover letter, beneath your signature.
In your job applications
Online job applications may ask you to select your gender. In that case, you can select “genderqueer/nonbinary” if it’s an option. If not, select “other.”
Also, you can always choose not to disclose that information.
In your email signature
Adding your gender pronouns to your email signature is a simple move to help avoid misgendering and promote inclusivity. The LGBT Resource Center at the University of California San Francisco provides a number of examples of what this may look like.
You can add your pronouns in parentheses next to your name, or you can add an additional line under your position and contact information with your pronouns.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to including your pronouns on your resume or other professional materials. At the end of the day, it’s important to choose what makes you the most comfortable going into your job-search process.