As you know, we still have to deal with gender discrimination in some careers typically dominated by men. Especially when it involves physical work, women are still turned down as being too weak or unable to do the job – even before any eye contact or medical examination that could prove it (as if they actually could).
If you have to face this reality, you must be wondering how you can get your resume prepared in a way that a human resources manager will take it into consideration. And despite your being a woman or not – yes, we know that there are laws protecting us against it, but there is very little that can be done about what happens in people’s minds.
So let’s discuss six tips that can help you.
1. Forget You’re a Woman
First of all, you’ll need to stop the self-sabotage process so common among many women when it comes to this topic. Gender discrimination is still real, unfortunately, but a lot has been done and changed about it. So, yes, there is a good possibility that your resume will be accepted and analyzed in the same manner as those sent by men.
Start creating your resume without being overly concerned that you are a woman. Just have in mind the great professional you are, how lucky this company will be if you decide to join them (and not the other way around), and make your skills shine on the page.
2. Remember You’re a Woman
On the other hand, it is also interesting to consider the fact that you are a woman in this situation — but not as a disadvantage — as an advantage instead, and a big one. It’s the truth that, in many cases, it doesn’t really matter if you are a man or a woman, and this is how it should be.
However, if there is a possibility that being a woman can become an advantage for you, then go for it. For example, it could be useful in IT or engineering environments where companies want to hire more women but just can’t find many available.
3. Show that You Can Do the Job
When you start describing, your work experience and skills, make sure you prove them and show that you can do the job as well as any man. Without the need to compare, let them know that you have done the same tasks before and succeeded.
And don’t worry if you’ve never done it before. You can still prove with words that you know what you are talking about. Alternatively, you could try a short-term internship or volunteer work, so you have facts and figures and leave no doubts in hiring managers’ minds.
4. Write a Cover Letter that Will Stand Out
Your cover letter is your best opportunity to make your case. As you know, resumes follow a format that you need to follow, but your cover letter can have the content of your choice. So make sure you get the most out of these four to five paragraphs.
Yes, it is okay if you get straight to the point and mention that you understand that you are dealing with a typically male industry. However, don’t be defensive or aggressive here. What you want is to show your passion regardless of any adversity. Tell the company why you chose this line of work and any challenges you had to go through to fulfill your dream.
5. Add Some References
Better than saying that you can do something, is when someone reliable says it. If there is anyone you can ask for references that can attest that you can do the job, go for it. It can be a former employer, an expert in your industry, or even a former professor at your college.
The only important thing here is that the reputation of who is referring you is solid, and they can truly confirm your skills and experience. Try to find as many references as you can, and add their contact details to your resume.
6. Do Not Accept Gender Discrimination
If you feel that you are being discriminated against because you are a woman at any moment, take action without thinking twice. If job ad or description has any insinuation of the kind, you can certainly consider legal action. Anti-discrimination laws exist to prevent unfair treatment even during the application process.
Of course, it isn’t like you are going to get the job if you take the company to court even before being hired. However, you would not want to work for this kind of company anyway, right? Just bear in mind that there are a few occupations that do require a particular gender, such as new staff for single-sex hospitals and prisons, and there is no gender discrimination about it in these instances.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, it is possible to create a perfect resume that will stand out in a typically male industry. All you have to do in the first place is stop feeling sorry for yourself and being defensive even before any discrimination has happened to you.
Then you will do as any other job applicant have to do. You will try to prove that you can do the job and that you are the best choice for the company. You will prove that you are passionate about the role and that you believe the company is the best place to spend around eight hours per day.
Good luck on your job hunting!
About the Author
Sylvia Giltner is a writer for ResumesCentre.com. She has already helped many people write perfect resumes and land desirable jobs.