The Revealing Resume performed an experiment by sending two identical fake resumes to “180 unique job postings that were explicitly open to entry-level candidates.” Both featured a gender-ambiguous name, “Taylor Williams.” The only difference between two resumes was the presence of preferred gender pronouns on the test version. The test resume included “they/them” pronouns under the name in the header.

The fake resume including preferred pronouns received 8% less interest than the one without them, and fewer interview and phone screening invitations.

The researchers found this “worrisome.”Ryan McGonagill, director of industry research at, told NBC,

The law makes it clear that you cannot base any employment decision (hiring, terminating, or otherwise) based on their gender identity. It’s incredibly disappointing and unethical that many of the hiring managers in our study would disqualify a candidate for being authentic.”

“Authentic”? Who says, other than LGBTQ+ bullies, activists and zealots, that a single person insisting on being called by a plural pronouns is “authentic”? Nor do I accept the proposition that an employer tossing any resume requiring “preferred pronouns” into the “circular file” is basing the decision on gender identity. I am shocked that only 8% reacted negatively to the “they/them” applications.

I would dispose of “they/them” resumes, not because of presumed gender identity, but because of a number of undesirable characteristics such grandstanding displays. It shows a desire to manipulate others. It suggests narcissism. It demonstrates a tendency to be unduly influenced by fads and peer groups. It indicates the absence of independent thought.

I would also be concerned that anyone submitting a resume like that has a proverbial chip on “their” shoulder, and will be looking for opportunities to run to Human Resources or a lawyer with a complaint about bias.

I think placing preferred pronouns on a resume (or a social media profile) is signature significance for a silly person, a likely jerk, someone with insufficient respect for the English language, and someone I wouldn’t choose to have on my staff.

There is nothing in the law that says I can’t act according to that informed and valid opinion.

17 thoughts on “The Revealing Resume

  1. Meh, the real difference was including or NOT including the pronouns. Plus it’s not discrimination to want to avoid high maintenance employees. Which I would suggest the pronouns indicate.

    • Oh, it’s discrimination, all right. High-maintenance employees are only a few local elections away from being a protected class in major cities – irrespective of the pronouns (in this example), as a symptom.

      Get with the program, Bub. We’re on a new frontier. You should welcome it. So saith we all.

      • And by the way, I tried to put all sorts of sarcasm indicators in that response, but WordPress don’t like people fuckin’ with HTML. I completely agree with your point, Vitaeus.

  2. “The fake resume including preferred pronouns received 8% less interest than the one without them, and fewer interview and phone screening invitations.”

    Only 8% difference? They obviously don’t have an aging Boomer screening their applicants!

  3. I could not agree more with your analysis.

    When seeking employment for an entry level position the candidate has no grounds for making ANY demands about the workplace, let alone bring up issues of sexual preferences. The demand the employer use they, them, xir or other pronoun preference is irrelevant until an offer of employment is accepted.
    Discrimination activists in the 70’s demanded that salutations such as Miss or Mrs be dropped because such references created opportunities to discriminate against married women who might get pregnant or single women who might get married and quit.

  4. That eight percent figure is really, really interesting. Are HR departments that woke? I guess they are. But frankly, I’m surprised that the resumes with pronouns weren’t preferred. I guess I’d assumed those resumes would be preferred. But eight percent is so close to being within some sort of margin for error, I’m not sure the survey means anything. I’d have expected the pronouns to get 35 or 40 percent fewer responses so the people running the survey could have really made some hay out of it and we could have been subjected to, you know, a conversation. The whole thing’s kind of a head scratcher. And I’m being incoherent.

  5. The 8% sounds about right to me sadly.

    Before the Wuhan Flu I would receive 50-60 applications a week for a position advertised almost nowhere.

    Now with thousands of dollars spent advertising the same position today I am exited to get 10 applications in a week.

    My screening standards have dropped to match my need to get warm bodies on the job even if they are massive flakes. We are just flipping a coin and hoping that some of them work out and cut the bad apples loose as quickly as we can.

    They/them, he/zem, ghost/ghostself, whatever/whyever please just apply and show up for work once or twice.

    (Disclaimer, I think the pronoun BS needs to end and I hate it. I just really need employees)

  6. The A/B test is weak. Without testing “he/him” and “she/her,” there’s no way to tell if the resume screeners are biased against nonbinary people or just against advertising one’s pronouns in general. In fact, there’s some support for the latter idea in the managers’ verbatim responses, e.g., “I feel that the pronoun listings, in general, are a little over the top.”

    • Yes, the article is ridiculous, as is the study analysis. They both assume that the only reason the pronoun designation would impeded a positive response is bigotry. Science!!!!

    • The whole test is weak but that’s in line with psychology as a whole.

      Did they send out the same resumes that didn’t include preferred pronouns (in other words, two copies of the exact same resume) and compare those results? There could easily be an 8% swing between two identical resumes, based on an innumerable amount of factors.

  7. I’d just be afraid of hiring someone possessed by multiple demonic entities. I hate hate hate having the break room turned into a lake of fire; the traditional male/female fight over the thermostat is bad enough already.

  8. Adding pronouns to a resume is a good early indicator that you are only going to cause trouble with your coworkers and with your employer. It’s a great quick filtering method.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.