We are moving towards a culture where gender-inclusive practices are becoming the norm. This is true even within our workplaces! We see people adding their pronouns to their email signatures and even their Zoom profiles. Another way to practice gender inclusivity in the workplace is to share your pronouns on your job search documents if you are comfortable doing so. Adding your pronouns to your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profiles can help build gender-inclusive workplaces. Learn how and where to add your pronouns to your job search documents.
A major component of a resume is the letterhead which contains your name, contact information (phone number, email, etc.), and any social media accounts you use in your professional image (e.g. your website, your LinkedIn profile URL, etc.). In addition, it is recommended that you create a unique, personal letterhead for all your job search documents and include your pronouns next to your name!
There are two places you can add your pronouns on a cover letter. The first option is to copy and paste the same personal letterhead from your resume that includes your pronouns on your cover letter. The second option involves adding your pronouns next to your signature at the end of the cover letter.
When addressing the hiring manager in your cover letter, ensure you are not assuming or guessing the honorifics (e.g. Mr., Ms., Mx., etc.) they use based on their name or the pronouns they use. Instead, we recommend that you address the hiring manager using their first and last name. Unless the hiring manager has clearly specified their honorifics beside their name (e.g. on the organization’s website or the job posting), there is no other way of knowing what honorifics they use.
You can now add your pronouns to your LinkedIn profiles using their new optional feature! You also have the ability to control who sees your pronouns if you choose to display them. To add your pronouns, click the ‘Me’ icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. Then click ‘View Profile’ and the ‘Edit’ icon in the Introduction section. Scroll down until you see the ‘Pronouns’ field. Now you can enter your pronouns and even select your preferred visibility option. Click ‘Save’ once you’re done.
Using pronouns as part of your professional image is one way we can help promote safe and inclusive workplaces for the LGBTQ2S+ community. It is important that you don’t make assumptions about someone’s gender identity or expression. Pronouns are tied to everyone’s identity! Using the wrong pronouns to address someone can be insulting and harmful, even if it’s done without ill intent. Let’s support talking about pronouns in the workplace to create a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for everyone! The best way to know someone’s pronouns is to ask. Visit the Importance of Pronouns Resource Page from SFU’s Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO) website to learn more.
Thank you to Taegan McFarlane (she/her or they/them) for helping edit this blog.
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