While we now use online job boards and Zoom meetings in place of classified ads and formal handshakes, one thing remains the same: A good resume can speak volumes about you, before you even open your mouth. Your resume is the very first way most companies, recruiters, and hiring managers will come to learn about who you are.
This can make any hopeful applicant a little anxious. What kind of picture does my resume paint? Am I giving the impression that I can do this job well? This is a lot of pressure to put on a one- or two -page document.
I get asked a lot about layout on resumes. Do I include my address or just the city. Should I use my nick name or legal name. What about putting my photo on my resume. Now job seekers are asking if they should put their personal pronouns on their resumes. The best advice I’ve come to give my clients is that everything you choose to include on your resume is a personal decision, but it’s better to be upfront if it feels safe to do so.
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/his, and she/her/hers (and more)
Pronouns help 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, that is one way to avoid any accidental misgendering later in the interview process.
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 eliminate this stress. It’ll allow you to feel safer going into the job interview, so you can focus on your qualifications and work experience- not having to potentially correct someone who misgenders you.
It’s an essential step toward inclusivity
Whether your cisgender, transgender, or non-binary, listing your pronouns on professional materials is an important step toward workplace inclusivity.
Where should I put pronouns on my resume?
If you do choose to include your pronouns on your resume, my suggestion is to include it in your header, after your contact information. This keeps it top-of-mind for readers, without adding clutter or distracting from your experience and skills.
Avoid putting your pronouns directly after your name at the top of your resume as this may not populate correctly when your resume is scanned by an applicant tracking system(ATS).
Why you might decide to leave your pronouns off your resume.
I want all my clients to have a positive job searching experience, so I’m always transparent that sharing your pronouns isn’t a decision you should take lightly. If you’re interviewing with very formal companies or companies with more conservative values, you may make the personal decision to leave your pronouns off your resume. There’s nothing wrong with not being ready to be out at work, or not wanting to put additional pressure on your application materials.
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.
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.
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