The use of pronouns is becoming more of a common practice, and you may have noticed this on social media platforms, like LinkedIn. Using pronouns in signatures and social media biographies is a personal choice, but it does tell people that you are not going to assume their gender. You are trying to be inclusive and for people that have been misgendered in the past, using their pronouns helps ease an anxiety that some may have surrounded this subject. Simply being open-minded and allowing people to be who they are is still a problem in the workplace for some.
It is an important step to real inclusivity at work and in society as a whole. If you are able to create a healthy and safe space for people to work in, you are one step closer towards achieving this. So simply including he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs etc. in your documents can help someone and yourself more than you may know.
Why include pronouns?
To start, including pronouns can prevent accidental misgendering, whether you are someone that has had this happen to them before or not, using these in applications can help you avoid having to correct a hiring manager or recruiter for using incorrect pronouns.
Also, it can help you identify an inclusive workplace. It’s likely that you want to work for an employer that is open-minded and ensures that you can be yourself at work, taking this step and including pronouns on documents like your CV and social media pages can help you rule out employers that take no notice of this. It also:
- Avoids misgendering of yourself or people around you
- Can help you feel more comfortable in the workplace when people are aware of this
- A good step towards inclusivity in the workplace, whether you are an employer or a job seeker
Where can you include your pronouns?
Ultimately, it’s up to you where you include your pronouns, and it really is what makes you more comfortable. Your job search is about you, and you shouldn’t have to feel anxious about being misgendered for example. You should include your pronouns in places like:
- Your CV – Under or next to your name. You can use a different font or colour to help these stand out. Employers should be paying attention to this.
- Cover letter – Under your signature.
- Email Signature – Just like any typical email signature, you would have your full name, job description and organisation name. Add in your pronouns.
- 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” or the correct gender that applies to you
- LinkedIn – You can add your pronouns to the ‘last name’ field, so they show in your name when people search you. Alternatively, you can add it to your bio, which can be edited on all social media platforms.
- You can also ask your references to refer to you with your pronouns. A simple ask and they should be happy to oblige.
There's no right or wrong answer when it comes to including your pronouns on your CV or other professional materials. If it helps you feel more comfortable, then you should be taking steps in your job search to ensure this and help put yourself at ease. Overall, gender shouldn’t matter when applying for roles, employers should be open to diversity. But it can negatively affect someone to be misgendered, so it helps all parties involved.
If this isn’t something you want to do in an application process, don’t feel pressured. You can make the employer aware at interview stages if this is more comfortable for you. Again, this is about you and how you feel about the job seeking process. Employers should make it their mission to help you feel included and safe throughout an application process. Take the steps that you feel are necessary.