Social media platforms like Instagram have recently been letting people feature gender pronouns like he/him or they/them on their profiles. There's proof that listing that kind of information ― regardless of your specific gender identity ― could be helpful in your professional life, too.
A clear majority, 72%, of recruiters believe having clarity about a candidate's self-identification is beneficial, according to a 2021 LinkedIn survey of 1,009 hiring managers. So is it smart to put your pronouns on your resume, business cards, or your LinkedIn profile?
Ultimately, it's a "personal decision," says Nikki Goldman, executive and founder of I/O Coaching, who has seen people include their pronouns in places like Slack and Zoom. It comes down to what you're comfortable with and how you'd like to be viewed and addressed in the workplace. Here's what to consider as you make the choice.
Including your pronouns can be done in the designated field on LinkedIn, and on your resume, in a smaller font next to your name, Goldman says. Doing so is not only "a great way to educate people, to tell them how they can properly address you," she says, "but it's a great show of inclusion for people who might have pronouns that are not part of the 'in group,' like we like to call them."
Including pronouns like she/her or he/him can signal to people who might identify differently that you can "demonstrate respect for other people who are on their own journey around identity," says Andrew McCaskill, career expert at LinkedIn.
At the same time, though more and more companies are adopting inclusive policies regarding gender identity, there's still a chance an employer could be turned off by someone putting their pronouns on their resume, LinkedIn, social media, and so on. "We live in an inherently biased society," Goldman says.
If a hiring manager doesn't react well, that might be a sign that that employer might not provide the accepting and supportive environment you could be looking for. "If your pronouns or your identity keep you from getting a job," says McCaskill, "you probably don't want to be at that organization anyway."
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