When I work with women who are looking for new positions they are extremely capable, well educated, and qualified for the positions they’re seeking. From my experience, women professionals tend to underestimate their capacities and will not apply for a position or promotion unless they believe their profile matches 100%. Men, on the other hand, don’t worry as much about meeting profile requirements and push for positions that they may not be 100% qualified.
When sitting face to face with women comparing their resumes and job descriptions, it’s common for them to doubt that their experiences have afforded them the capacities to take on new responsibilities. I am often asked, “I have never done that before. Are you sure I should apply for this position?”
I am tasked with helping my clients to look at what they have achieved in a new light so that they may apply their experiences in such a way that the fundamental capacities and transferrable skills for the new responsibilities match. The goal is to take a look at the new responsibilities and apply the understandings taken from the past with fresh insight.
Looking back at achievements also involves taking credit for the work one’s done. It’s hard for women to take a look at their work, especially when it was a group effort, and take credit for their contributions. While it’s great to have a sense of humility in our work, failing to play up one’s personal accomplishments on the global scale can lose out on opportunities for advancement.
Taking a constructive look at one’s profile to gain a new perspective on past experiences is a part of developing the necessary confidence to communicate value and apply it to new opportunities. Additionally, being our own “hype man” during interviews without feeling modest and bashful about our accomplishments in the greater scheme of team projects is essential in conveying the confidence hiring managers need to see as they envision you, the candidate, for the job.
So, ladies, while your profile may not match the job description you’re going after 100%, it’s OK if you can confidently communicate the applicable transferrable skills and experiences that can help your interviewers or superiors envision you for the position.