After analyzing data from more than 141 million of its U.S. members, LinkedIn identified a key difference in the way men and women present themselves in profiles: Women promote themselves and their successes considerably less.
The report suggests that men talk themselves up more, and list more information in general:
When looking at LinkedIn member data, we found men tend to skew their professional brands to highlight more senior-level experience, often removing junior-level roles altogether.
Women are more likely to have shorter profile summaries.
In the U.S., women on average include 11% less skills than men on their LinkedIn profile, even at similar occupations and experience levels.
It’s not the first evidence that implies self-promotion comes easier for men. In 2011, the American Psychological Association published a cover story that explored how men and women differ in their approaches to self-promotion and salary negotiation in the workplace, titling the article “Are men better at selling themselves?”
The answer, in short, is yes.
In a study mentioned in the story, a group of about 200 students participated in a mock job interview, answering questions like “What are some of your best qualities or strengths?” and “Overall, why someone hire you as opposed to another candidate?”
The group was then asked to consider how they came off during the interview by answering questions like “Would you worry that people thought you were too confident?” and “Would you worry about being called vain?”
The results showed that both men and women worried about the consequences of appearing overconfident, however only women let that fear stop them from self-promoting.
“It’s not that women are inherently lacking the ability to self-promote, but it’s a stereotype violation for them,” said study author Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, PhD, a professor at Skidmore College, to the American Psychological Association.
That stereotype – that women aren’t (or shouldn’t be) assertive – puts women in a unique situation professionally
“Women face a double bind. They’re penalized socially for behaving in ways that might be perceived as immodest, and they’re penalized professionally for behaving in ways that aren’t self-promoting,” said Marie-Helene Budworth, an associate professor at York University’s School of Human Resource Management, to the American Psychological Association.
And this seems to be costly, considering that a growing body of research indicates that women are far more reluctant than men to negotiate salaries and job offers. An analysis published in the book Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide estimated that misplaced modesty in salary negotiations cost the average working woman more than $500,000 in lost wages throughout her career.
Self-promotion on LinkedIn
Based on data from LinkedIn and some tips from Inc. and Zippia, here’s what seems to improve profiles for both men and women:
- Include more skills – profiles that list five or more skills receive about 17 times more views.
- Lean toward positive language – “Don’t use don’ts. Rather than talking about the things that your job has kept you from experiencing or the dangers you’ve avoided, bring up the wonderful things about your job,” writes Ryan Morris for Zippia.
- Keep it succinct and stick to the facts.
- Use professional photos (and smile, with teeth).
And if you’re still shy about promoting yourself? Lisa Thomas, PhD, in an interview with the American Psychological Association, relayed some advice that helped her decide to reach out to a potential employer — a decision that scored her a paid internship while studying as an undergraduate.
“Do it anyway. Because I was as scared as the next person.”
Leigh Mitchell is a Female Talent Recruiter/Promoter and Brand Strategist. As founder of Bee Happy HR Co. Leigh manages the client experience and builds buzz for diversity-driven brands. Bee Happy HR is proudly known as the “Queen Bees” of recruiting and retaining women within workplaces. Leigh supports business owners, busy recruiters & HR departments to provide a variety of HR and talent promotion services with a certified team of experts in her Bee Happy HR Hive. Leigh is also the founder of Women in Biz Network, she coaches clients, speaks with influential guests on her Time to Thrive Podcast, curates mentorship initiatives, promotes Women in Biz Network’s vetted diversity-driven career board, and delivers skill-building events to a variety of audiences. Leigh has worked with brands such as Microsoft Canada, SAGE, TELUS, TD Canada Trust, Staples Canada, and Chevrolet Canada throughout her career. Leigh has been featured in the CBC News, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Canadian Living, Wall Street Journal, and a speaker at numerous industry events.
Sara Bibb is a certified HR Leader and our Director at Bee Happy HR Co. She is a professional and certified Human Resources Professional. You will think she is part of your team because she takes pride in serving her clients and getting the best solution to the HR issues they are experiencing in their business. She excels in her superior communication skills and relationship-building skills with everyone she works with. She completed her post-graduate program in Human Resources Management at Seneca College and obtained her Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL) designation in 2009. Sara discovered that smaller companies have the same HR issues as larger ones, but without the professional HR resources to handle them. What else was there to do? She started MKS HR Consulting and became the HR Department for Small Business. Sara is also the HR Mentor for Women in Biz Network.
For more information please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-993-2083.
So at what point do you have the career discussions with your employees. Ideally, this discussion happens with your employee as part of them being incorporated into your company right after they are hired. From there the discussion should happen on a regular basis where you are checking in with your employee to see where they are in their development plan. So you could have regular check-in’s on a monthly basis, and then move it to once a quarter-the most important thing is that you actually check in with your employee on a consistent basis.
Keep in mind that it’s not just going to be this one meeting and then your job is done. This will be the first of a few meetings because once you know what their career aspirations are, how they relate to the company’s goals, you need to create a development plan of how your employee will reach that goal and see if they are on track.
The goal of the first meeting is to let the employee know, that as their manager, you are invested in them growing with the company and in their career and you want to help as much as you can.
- In order to give that help, it’s the employee’s responsibility to communicate with you what they want their career to look like.
- What areas are they interested in?
- What are their strengths? What are some areas, they need to grow their skills and expertise in?
- Once you both have that laid out, create their development plan, the action items needed to execute the plan, milestones they need to hit and by what date, and of course regular check-in’s to see the progress they are making.
As always we are here to help. Reach out anytime by viewing our information below.
It’s common knowledge that job seekers today do their research on a company before they apply for a job vacancy. They will see your organization’s job posting, Google your company and then learn about you.
Yes, your website is a great resource to tell them what your company does, the customers it serves, but it’s very focused on your potential customers to engage with you. You want your potential employees to engage with your company based on the career opportunities you have. And what better place to showcase that than on your website.
In addition to your website, they will also look at reviews about your company-so what other employees (current or past) have to say about what it’s like to work there. These reviews come up in places like Glassdoor and even Indeed. On both Glassdoor & Indeed, employers can have a Career page, which again is where job seekers will check your company out before applying.
So what does your Career page need?
Here is a checklist of the information that must be included in any of your Career pages:
- About Us – a brief snapshot of your company, what you do, the products/services you provide, location, number of employees, industry, social media links (examples LinkedIn company page, Facebook page, Instagram etc.)
- Why Work for you – this is the most important area on your Career page. The same way you hook your ideal clients to buy from you, you need to hook potential job seekers to learn more about why they would want to work for your company. This is where the rubber hits the road and where the better this section is, the more likely you will get top talent to apply to your jobs, but also get the right applicants to them. Here is an example of TD Bank’s Indeed Career page, specifically their “why join us” section. You will notice here the use of videos to send out the message of why someone would want to work for them
- Reviews – now on sites like Indeed & Glassdoor it can be challenging to manage the negative reviews that come out. However, there are times when you, the employer, can respond to those comments, and how you handle them will give your job seekers an inside look into the company. Now one thing you can do is ask your existing employees to review your company on sites like Indeed & Glassdoor-a great way to be an ambassador of your company!
- Job Openings – here you will want to have a list of current job openings, all hyperlinked to where candidates can directly apply. This HAS to be made easy for job applicants because if after reading your career site, a job seeker wants to work for you, and it’s not easy to apply to your job, then they will quickly move on. Think of it in the same way you make it very easy for clients to buy from you. That hyperlink can take them to your ad on Indeed or another online job board where you have posted the role
Feeling a little overwhelmed about where to start for your company’s Career page? We can help. Reach out via the information below.
I wish Horrible Bosses was only a movie, that being overworked or asked to do things you’re uncomfortable with was only a bad dream, that you didn’t have to choose between your child’s education and your employer’s unwavering expectations at work, and that all employees in similar roles were paid equally, regardless of race, gender or religion. I’m sad to say, in speaking to many of you, these situations are still far more common than they should be.
Workplace trauma is real. You might think that it would be on the decline as we’ve moved primarily remote workplaces, but the stats say otherwise, as the boundaries between work and home life have become more blurred. Employees are scared to lose their jobs in a challenging job search market, or they are burning the candle at both ends, trying to appease an employer that has no sympathy for their current situations.
There’s no easy answer, but here are some things that can help:
- Seek mental health help. Find a therapist you can discuss your situation with. Betterhelp.com is an affordable option, allowing you to even text with your therapist exactly when you need it.
- Record everything. Keep a record any time you experience discrimination or unjust treatment. You can present your case to HR if you’re comfortable, hire a lawyer or file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
- Build a support system. Tell a trusted group of friends or turn to a private professional networking group that can offer guidance and support, like our private tellent Facebook Group.
- Take a leave. Take a job protected leave of absence. This is a totally acceptable option. Some provinces in Canada are offering a caregiver benefit that allows you to claim a monetary benefit if you have to take a leave from work to care for a child or other dependent. If you can’t manage things as they are, take some time so you can look at the situation from a fresh perspective. Is your job salvageable? Do you have to stay in a holding pattern until the rest of your life becomes more manageable? Is it time to move on?
- Create an exit plan. I know looking for a new job can feel so taxing in itself. If the workplace situation you are experiencing is relatively new, there may be something that can be done to fix the issues. If it’s been happening for some time, it’s time to plan your escape. If it’s absolutely toxic, get professional advice on how to get the heck out.
Obviously, this topic is so nuanced and complex, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Know that that are some things you can do to alleviate the stress of your situation. There are fair and just employers out there. There are options. There is hope. You aren’t alone.
Guest Post By Jennifer Hargreaves is the Founder and CEO of tellent.
tellent is a diversity recruitment and social impact company striving to close the talent gap in the new work economy. We work with women seeking flexible work and businesses to make work, work better for everyone.
Jennifer’s professional experience spans three continents across brand strategy and international market development. While her primary school teachers didn’t appreciate her questions challenging “why”, she now embraces that curiosity and the perspective that comes with challenging the status quo to create impactful and lasting change.
Get in touch with her at Jennifer@wearetellent.com.