Career Woman

Women don’t brag about their career successes: Study from LinkedIn


The recent LinkedIn study shows that women tend to talk less about their job experience and success than men. While it seems that an equal gender representation is something that has already been accomplished, the data states that there are still some things to work on. When women promote themselves less, they surely limit their career opportunities. Let’s find out why women talk less about their success, what exactly they undersell, and what consequences it may have for career development.

Why women talk less about their success?

While exaggerating the accomplishments could hardly be good, underselling something you have earned may be even worse. Why do women promote themselves less then? An Australian study showed that confidence increases men’s chances for promotion by 3.3 percent. The research also reveals that confidence does not influence women’s chances for career promotion at all.

According to the new book by The Confidence Code by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay, active self-promotion could even be harmful to women’s career. The gender stereotypes make the society believe that women tend to be caring, supportive, interdependent, and less ambitious than men. This view sets certain barriers for women. Once they get beyond these borders, it triggers backlash effect. Assertive and self-confident women could be seen as dominant, pushy, arrogant, aggressive and less likable than men with the same behavior. This could keep them from being recruited or promoted.

As a result, women could talk less about their accomplishments in order to avoid backlash effect. However, as there are more women among leaders nowadays, the stereotypes start to weaken and it is a good time for women to start bragging about their success without any limits.

Top three ways for women to be more visible on LinkedIn

After the data analysis given by LinkedIn study, it became clear what exactly women tend to limit on their profiles. Pay attention to these three factors to boost your profile’s visibility.

  1. Include more skills.

A LinkedIn study states that women list 11% fewer skills than men on their profiles. It significantly decreases their chances to get a job or a promotion. The number of profile views depends a lot of listed skills as they are the keywords used during the search of a specialist. Every view could lead to a message, connection, or a job interview. LinkedIn allows to list 50 skills and it is important to fully profit from this opportunity. Do not be afraid to list all 50 skills. Only three first skills are visible for the visitor unless he clicks to see them all. A full list of skills also allows getting more endorsements and appearing higher in search results.

  1. Make your profile summary longer.

According to the LinkedIn research, women also tend to write shorter profile summaries. The specialists of resume writing service at Resume Writing Lab recommend paying more attention to the summary as it is able to give the reader the information you want him to know. A summary is a chance to highlight the accomplishments, show the impact you make, emphasize your awards and recognition. Shortening the summary that is made to sell you could hardly help career development.

  1. Highlight senior-level experience.

The LinkedIn member data shows that men write more about their senior-level experience to highlight it. In some cases, they may remove junior-level experience from their story at all. It helps to promote their professional brand and evaluate it higher. Women could also focus more on their recent achievements and highlight senior-level jobs to sell their brand better.

  1. Do not be afraid to be a female leader.

Over the last decade, the number of female leaders has increased by 2 percentage points in the 12 industries studied by LinkedIn. Although the number of female leaders grows, the progress is still slow. The number of women in predominantly male industries also increased. Women not only choose such popular among female workers jobs as human resources, marketing, customer service, but also such positions as a software engineer, architect, and construction manager. Women are still underrepresented in leadership roles and in highest-paying industries according to the research. However, the data slowly changes encouraging women to apply for leading positions.

As we can see, women tend to brag less about their success and achievements. This phenomenon is explained by gender stereotypes that create a fear of backlash effect. Although there is a huge progress in closing gender gap, there is still a lot of work to be done for achieving gender parity.

About Miranda Coal

Miranda Coal is a partner and a content manager at the Resume Writing Lab, which provides resume writing services online.

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