Writing Resumes for Women

What should you be doing differently?

While equality among the sexes has come a long way in the past century, it’s undeniable that women have to do things differently from men. Whether it’s asking for a promotion or communicating with colleagues, women have difficulty following the prescribed methodology. Many workplaces are male as a default, which means that women may have to adjust their workplace strategies. This begins during the application process, particularly in resumes for women. 

I have identified three major things that women should look out for in their resume writing. I have written about some of these items before, but hopefully this short list will help you assess whether your resume is where it needs to be.

Word choice in resumes for women

Word choice is a critical aspect of your resume and if you are a woman, you might be doing yourself a disservice. In the past, I have referenced a study conducted by Oleeo, a recruiting platform, and University College London. This study compared over 200,000 resumes from men and women to determine which words each sex was using.

The study determined that men’s resumes tended to use much more technical and industry-specific language. Consider resumes pulled from the management and consulting sector, which determined that the top ten words on men’s resumes were engineering, sport, investment, finance, analyst, club, cost, financial, technology, and technical. For women, they were volunteer, assistant, event, social, organize, write, community, student, communication, and research.

Just by looking at this list, it is clear that the women’s words are non-specific. Meanwhile, the men’s resumes are technical and complex. Have a look at your resume, and consider your choice of words. Are you really selling yourself in the most specific way that you can?

Accomplishments on resumes for women

Studies have shown that men are much more comfortable bragging about their successes than women are. Women, on the other hand, seem to be uncomfortable bragging and tend to understate their accomplishments. While the quality of being humble may be good among friends, it will hurt you in the job hunt.

According to LinkedIn, women display 11% fewer accomplishments than men of equal professional experience, which puts them at a networking disadvantage. This could come from the fact that women have long been penalized for coming across as assertive or confident. However, when it comes to a resume, women should strive to display all of their most impressive accolades and positions.

Personalizing resumes for women

This is not a distinctly female trait, but many job-hunters try a one-size-fits-all approach on their professional materials, which will not get you noticed. As women tend to use less-specific language and undersell their accomplishments, their resumes can look even vaguer.

In order to personalize your resume, make sure that you strive for the following:

  1. Research each prospective company — Try to find exactly what the company is looking for, then shape your resume to fit what they want.
  2. Write a cover letter — Show off who you are and how you could fit into the company dynamic.
  3. Use your connections — Network, network, network! If you know someone, don’t be afraid to ask them questions or use your acquaintance as an in with the company.

If you are cognizant of your word choice, tone, and knowledge of a company, you will stand a much stronger chance of landing your dream job. And if you aren’t sure your resume is doing you justice, then let Miss CV write your resume for you! Check out her services to learn more.

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