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What is an appropriate but subtle way to indicate my non-binary identity on a resume?

I've decided on adding my pronouns (they/them) to the header, but was wondering if anyone had any other ideas!

#lgbtq #nonbinary #gender #resume #student #job-interview #interview-skills


Hi Abby, is there a reason why stating your non-binary identity would be beneficial for you to state on your resume? Maybe I'm too idealistic, but #lgbtq status shouldn't harm or help you gain employment. Dexter Arver

Hi Dexter! Yes, I want to be sure that my future employer will be accepting of a non-binary individual and use my correct pronouns. Abby L.

A really great resource for educating folks on they/them pronouns is the short comic book, "A Quick and Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns" by Archie Bongiovanni. You can buy it here: https://www.powells.com/book/a-quick-and-easy-guide-to-theythem-pronouns-9781620104996 Whether or not there is already someone in your workplace who currently uses they/them pronouns, I recommend taking a proactive approach to allyship and inclusion in the workplace (or any community!) This book is great to leave on the break table (whenever we are back to in person workplaces again). Or to send out to everyone on the team if you're in a workplace that is working remotely. Shaina Woolley (they, them)

Hi Dexter, I agree with Abby - as someone with a disability who feels a similar type of anxiety about new positions, I know that while something like LGBTQ shouldn't affect the *hiring process, it would be extremely challenging to find out after being hired that the work environment is not accepting of you (and then have to either respond to that challenge as a new employee, or endure an unfriendly environment that you could have avoided.) Alexandra Carpenter

Hi Abby, I think there are multiple ways you can address this. First, you can simply just place your pronouns directly next your name in the header of your resume. The other option I would suggest is to consider adding that information to your cover letter. Also, in the initial conversation with the recruiter you can share this information with them directly on a more personal level. Shivam Tickoo

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Shaina’s Answer

Hi Abby!

I think it is a great idea to state/imply that you are non-binary on your resume to ensure you find a job with a team that is not transphobic and ideally, with a team who is already doing the work to provide a safe, comfortable, and supportive work environment for trans people. As a non-binary person who also uses they/them pronouns, I know how important it is to be respected in the workplace, which includes that at the bare minimum everyone knows and uses my pronouns.

I think putting your pronouns next to your name is the most obvious way to indicate your gender on your resume and could be a totally sufficient way to do so!

Since you are looking for more ways, here are my ideas! If you have any past work or volunteer experience with the LGBTQIA2+ community, you could include that to show your involvement in the queer community. If you don't have any past work or volunteer experience you can add, you could add a small portion called "Interests." This section could include something like "transgender activism", "gender theory", "queer theory", "queer art" or something related to queerness or transness to further express your queer identity and how that is something that is important to you and a central part of your life. In the interests section, you could also put whatever else you are interested in, not related to gender/queerness, because I always thinks that is a nice and easy way to have a prospective employer get to know you beyond your past work experience and accolades.

Thank you so much, Shaina! These are excellent ideas. It can be hard to feel seen in the professional world, especially when authenticity can so easily be suppressed under the guise of professionalism. It brings me joy to hear from a fellow non-binary person :) Abby L.

This is great! ★Phillip Alvarado★

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Anna’s Answer

Hi there! This is a great question, and I've polled a few of my colleagues to come up with a few pieces of advice:

- Just using "they/them" on your resume is a great start, and could be enough for a resume. I like Shaina's suggestion of adding LGBTQ-related volunteer experience to your resume if you want a little bit of extra depth/perspective, and if it's applicable to your experience.
- One possibility is adding Mx. before your name, if you feel it fits you.
- With your pronouns clearly displayed on your resume, I think the next "hurdle" would be sharing your pronouns during the interview process. Ideally anybody interviewing you will have reviewed your resume and seen your pronouns, but you can't necessarily rely on that. The most direct way to handle it is sharing your pronouns right off the bat in an interview, but that can be nerve-wracking. I've been in maybe one or two interviews in which the team by default shares pronouns, but that is rare. But if you feel confident enough in doing so, sharing pronouns at the beginning of the conversation during an interview when you're introducing yourself may be an important first step. I sometimes rehearse some of the key things I'd like to say about myself during an interview, and this may be something you want to rehearse, if it is something you plan on sharing in an interview.
- One positive about many activities being remote is that you have a display name in video chat programs. For example, if you have interviews on Zoom, you could change your display name to "Firstname Lastname (they/them)" so your pronouns display alongside your video.
- Another colleague mentioned that wearing a large sticker or pin with your preferred pronouns during an interview can be helpful as well.

I know my answers go beyond your question that centers around your resume, but I do see a resume as a precursor to an interview, and an interview as a bit more of a tricky area to navigate when it comes to sharing your preferred pronouns. I hope this has been helpful, and that you have a positive experience during your job search!

Anna recommends the following next steps:

Consider getting a they/them pronoun pin or sticker to wear - https://www.etsy.com/search?q=they%2Fthem%20pronoun%20pin
Saved!
Consider adding "(they/them)" in your display name in any Zoom interviews you have - https://teaching.nmc.edu/knowledgebase/changing-your-name-in-a-zoom-meeting/
Saved!
Consider adding "Mx" as a gender neutral title for yourself - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-neutral_title
Saved!

Thank you for all these ideas--I hadn't thought of including a gender neutral title! I really appreciate the time you took to crowdsource this advice on the whole interview process. I'm definitely going to take all this with me as I continue down my career path. :) Abby L.

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Quinci’s Answer

You can also for a resume add they/them included in your summary as what you prefer after you put your name when your introducing yourself on your resume summary.

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Randi’s Answer

Hello!

It is great that you reached out with this question. It is unfortunate that this is something that would matter when it comes to employment. If it is important to you to express this about yourself, using pronouns would be a good indication on the resume or within the cover letter. Please remember that a job should not be dependent on your life style.
~Randi

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Lara’s Answer

Hi Abby,

It is incredibly important to be respected in the workplace and that entails at the bare minimum that the people you work with know and your pronouns. I think that one way you can address this is to place your pronouns right next to your name in the header of your resume and cover letter For instance, "Lara Nural (She, her, hers )".

If you get an interview, introduce yourself with your pronouns in the beginning. For instance, I could say, "My name is Lara and I use the pronouns she/her/hers." Then you can ask them for their pronouns, which will show that you didn't want to assume theirs!

I hope that this helps! Best of luck to you.

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Raquel’s Answer

Hi Abby! Super proud and happy that you are asking this-- from an employer standpoint though, this shouldn't affect your application OR your culture once hired -- but that is in a perfect world. I would say if you are comfortable with your pronouns being out there (add to your LinkedIn too), definitely share those, but also at the end of the day, employers should be basing their hiring off skills and experience. Showcase those things-- as you get further in your career you will want your future employers to look at those way more than your personal preferences. I'd say, more importantly, seek out companies who outwardly share that they embrace the LGBTQ+ community (not just from a page on their website, but by their involvement and support in the community - big difference!).

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