Pronouns including, they/them/theirs, he/him/him, and
she/her/hers, etc. are becoming more common to see in email signatures and Zoom
boxes, but should you put them on your job search documents? There is not one
blanket rule/policy that can apply to all and your decision to include your
pronouns is a very personal one.
There are a few ways that you can clarify your pronouns within a job application process. If you want to include on your resume, you can simply add your pronouns under your name in the header (before your contact information). Another perhaps less obvious way to include your pronouns is in your cover letter, beneath your signature at the bottom of the page. You can add your pronouns in parentheses next to your name, or you can add an additional line under your name/title. Sometimes, job applications will ask you to identify your salutation of Mr./Ms./Dr./other.
Including your pronouns can be a way of preventing accidental misgendering and it could perhaps even help you to find an inclusive workplace. Lauren Easterling, Director of Trainee Services at the Indiana University School of Medicine, shared an article Navigating Gender Identity and Expression in which she writes:
The pronouns that we ask others to use to refer to us can be incredibly powerful — and crucial during a job search. Often a job application and selection process is formal, with many “Mr.” and “Ms.” salutations used in abundance. I include my pronouns in my email signatures and have started to add them on my CV and resume below my name, or in the first line of my cover letter, usually in parenthesis. I want no one to doubt what my pronouns are. This is comfortable for me because I am both out in my organization and a vocal advocate on this topic.
For other people, just putting the pronouns they use on a document can feel intimidating. But including our pronouns — as we are able to — is one way to clearly define who we are in the job search process and reduce potential confusion.
While there can be many benefits to including your pronouns, the unfortunate truth is that there is still hiring discrimination, so delineating your pronouns on your documents is ultimately your choice.