The Main Way Men and Women Write Resumes Differently May Shock You

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Kayla Heisler
Kayla Heisler1.16k

Research university University College London and recruiting platform Oleeo teamed up to reveal the major discrepancies found between resumes written by men and resumes written by women. Overall, their study of more than 200,000 resumes worldwide showed that women tend to downplay their personal accomplishments while men play up their experience taking charge in the workplace.

Men use more proper nouns that demonstrate their expertise and ability to lead while women use language that focuses on family, helping and working as a team. Women are also more apt to emphasize their educational backgrounds than men are. The analysis of lexical, syntactic, and semantic differences revealed the significant discrepancy: only 68 percent of women use assertive proper and common nouns in their top ten resume words, while for men the number jumps to 90 percent.

Here are the top ten words used by each gender in four sectors:

Financial Services

Male: equity, portfolio, investment, capital, analyst, finance, market, stock, interests, technical

Female: organize, event, volunteer, assistant, social, student, marketing, community, department, plan

Information Technology

Male: PHP, C, software, Linux, C++, computer, have, developer, engineer, network

Female: volunteer, event, assistant, organize, analyze, plan, student, social, conduct, excel

Management Consulting

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


Should your resume be a little less "humble" and a little more "brag?"


Kayla Heisler is an essayist and Pushcart Prize nominated poet. She is a contributing writer for Color My Bubble. Her work appears in New York's Best Emerging Poets anthology.