Though women’s voices are now lower than they were 50 years ago, in order to sound more powerful and dominating, when it comes to what words they use, women and men’s language choices still vastly differ … and not in a good way. Research by the University College London and recruiting platform Oleeo found that the words women use on a resume may be hurting their chances of landing the job.
The study analyzed over 200,000 resumes from around the world in four key job sectors — financial services, IT, management consulting and retail — looking at the lexical, syntactic and semantic differences in the text that distinguish male and female resumes from each other. The results found that 90% of the Top 10 words men used in male resumes are powerful proper nouns and nouns. Interestingly only 68% of the Top 10 terms on female resumes use the same.
How the Top 10 resume words differ between men and women
Male: equity, portfolio, investment, capital, analyst, finance, market, stock, interests, technical
Female: organize, event, volunteer, assistant, social, student, marketing, community, department, plan
Male: php, c, software, Linux, c++, computer, have, developer, engineer, network
Female: volunteer, event, assistant, organize, analyze, plan, student, social, conduct, excel
Male: engineering, sport, investment, finance, analyst, club, cost, financial, technology, technical
Female: volunteer, assistant, event, social, organize, write, community, student, communication, research
Retail and Buying
Male: football, play, sport, business, club, technology, computer, mobile, IT, leadership
Female: art, child, volunteer, shop, assistant, assist, social, design, organize, create
Now we could have a whole “men are from Mars women are from Venus” conversation but the fact that more men work “football” into their resumes is pretty interesting (because most of them probably did not play professionally and if they played in high school, it shouldn’t be on there.)
Women and men do speak differently in their everyday vernacular (women also speak about 13,000 words more than men on average per day.) And on their resumes, women also tend to use more “team player language” which TalentWorks says is something you DON’T want to include. They analyzed more than 4,000 job applicants and job applications and found that using words like “collaborated” and “assist” need to be left off the resume.