Personal pronouns on your resume or LinkedIn profile?

You may have noticed that the pronouns (he/him/his, she/her/their, they/them/their, ze/hir/zir) are included in social media profiles, email signatures, and in the job search process in general. Including pronouns can prevent accidental gender errors, saving you from having to correct a hiring manager or recruiter using incorrect pronouns. It might also help you identify an inclusive workplace. There is no general rule/policy that can apply to everyone, and your decision to include your pronouns is very personal.

There are several ways to clarify your pronouns as part of an application process. If you want to include on your CV, you can simply add your pronouns under your name in the header (before your contact details). Another, perhaps less obvious, way to include your pronouns is in your cover letter, under your signature at the bottom of the page. You can add your pronouns in parentheses next to your name, or you can add an extra line below your name/title. Sometimes job applications will ask you to identify your Mr./Ms./Dr./Other salutation.

If you want to include your pronouns on your career documents, there are several ways to do so.

• On the CV, add your pronouns in parentheses next to your name, or under your name. You can also choose to put your pronouns in different colored text to make them stand out.
• On your cover letter, you can include your preferred pronouns under your signature at the bottom of the page. Or you can add them in parentheses next to — or below — your name at the top of the cover letter.
• When emailing a hiring manager or recruiter, you can include your pronouns in your email signature.
• On job applications, there may be a place to select your gender and/or pronouns. If you identify as non-binary or transgender, you can leave this question blank if there is no appropriate choice.
• On LinkedIn, you can add your pronouns to the “Last Name” field (so they appear after your name), or LinkedIn has now added a “Pronouns” drop-down menu to select your pronouns (or enter custom pronouns).

While there can be many benefits to including your pronouns, the sad truth is that there is still hiring discrimination in some circles, so delineating your pronouns on your documents is ultimately your choice. You may have other opportunities, during the interview or after hiring, to share your favorite pronouns.

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Nancy Segal is a federal expert in human resources training and job search. After her own 30-year career in federal HR (much of it at the senior level), she founded LLC Workplace Solutions in 2003 to provide a human resources management perspective to federal managers and astute candidates for U.S. government positions. Nancy has unparalleled federal career management acumen, high standards and respect for people’s time, and her clients use this to their advantage.

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