These days, it’s common to see people listing their preferred pronouns on everything from email signatures to Twitter bios. But what about your resume? Will listing pronouns affect your chances of getting an interview?
We surveyed 1,000 hiring managers to find out if seeing pronouns on an applicant’s resume affects their decision to interview the applicant.
- More than one-third of hiring managers are more likely to interview applicants who list their pronouns
- Around half say listing pronouns does not influence their decision one way or the other
- However, close to 1 in 6 say listing pronouns will make them less likely to interview the candidate
- 41% of hiring managers say pronouns are at least ‘somewhat’ of an issue in the workplace
Over One-Third of Hiring Managers More Likely to Interview Applicants Who List Pronouns on Resume
When a candidate lists she/her or he/him pronouns, 38% of hiring managers say this makes them more likely to interview the individual. Additionally, 33% of hiring managers say they are more likely to interview candidates who list they/them pronouns.
“Pronouns have become much more common on LinkedIn and are gaining traction on resumes as well,” commented career consultant Stacie Haller. “It’s important for managers to quickly adapt to a changing environment that makes it increasingly more difficult to attract and retain talent in order to grow their organization.”
Diversity & Inclusion Drives Hiring Managers to Interview Those Who List Pronouns
Of this 33% who say they are more likely to interview applicants who list they/them pronouns, 56% say this is in order to meet diversity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace, 55% say they believe the candidate would mesh well with company culture, and 47% say they have a personal preference for people who state their pronouns.
Close to 1 in 6 Hiring Managers Less Likely to Interview Applicants Who List Pronouns on Resume
Although the majority of hiring managers either favor applicants putting pronouns on their resumes or are not affected either way, around 1 in 6 respondents said pronouns would be a negative factor when deciding to interview a candidate.
14% say they would be less likely to interview candidates who list she/her or he/him pronouns, while 16% would be less likely to interview candidates listing they/them pronouns.
Hiring Managers Express Fears of Cancel Culture and Wokeness
Of this 16%, 44% attribute this decreased likelihood to concerns with cancel culture in the workplace, 42% have concerns about “wokeness” in the workplace, 40% believe the candidate would not mesh well with company culture, 29% have a personal aversion to stating pronouns, and 29% also have a personal aversion to using they/them pronouns.
“For those managers who do see it as a negative, the concerns are regarding their company culture and their own political beliefs or aversions, which are most likely stemming from a lack of understanding of how to integrate pronoun usage into their existing culture,” continued Haller.
“From a candidate perspective, if the company’s managers hold these beliefs, it’s in the best interest of the candidate not to pursue opportunities there, as clearly there is not a good cultural fit,” she said.
Write-in responses to this question included statements such as, “Not professional to put on a resume” and “Don’t even want to put myself in a position where I accidentally use the wrong pronoun”.
Additionally, 58% of hiring managers say that they know of other hiring managers who are less likely to interview applicants who include pronouns on their resumes.
4 in 10 Hiring Managers Say Pronouns Present Issues in the Workplace
Despite the growing popularity of stating pronouns in the workplace, 29% of hiring managers say pronouns present ‘somewhat’ of an issue in the workplace, while 12% say they are a ‘major’ issue. Of this group, write-in responses included sentiments such as:
- “It’s a touchy subject”
- “I think it leads to discrimination”
- “People not working as a team”
- “Some management makes it an issue when it should really be about the skills of the individual”
- “It’s caused arguments during meetings”
- “Bigotry and name calling”
Many Applicants Include Pronouns on Their Resumes
Despite these issues, it would seem that many job applicants are already including their pronouns on their resumes. When asked how often they review resumes with pronouns listed, 41% of hiring managers said ‘somewhat’ often while 33% said ‘very’ often.
“The use of pronouns as a hiring measure, or not integrating pronouns well within their own company culture, will only leave some organizations lacking the ability to attract all the top talent that they seek to hire and will only serve to reduce their candidate pool,” advised Haller.
While there’s no doubt that pronoun use in the workplace will continue to be a hotly debated topic, based on survey data, the vast majority of hiring managers are either unaffected or positively inclined toward applicants including pronouns on their resumes.
This survey was commissioned by ResumeBuilder.com and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish from October 5 to October 6, 2022. In total, 1,000 participants in the U.S. were surveyed. All participants had to pass through demographic filters to ensure they were age 18 or older, currently employed for wages or self-employed, and directly manage at least 50% of the hiring at their workplace. For full survey results, please contact [email protected]