Q: As a woman candidate, how should you best present yourself for female-preferred positions?

Detailed Question -

When searching for next career options, you find some positions prefer female/women candidates. How can you bring forward [present] yourself as a female by just submitting your CV?

1 Answer to this question

The good thing is that, in this case, the playing field is level. So, you don’t have to worry about waging a potential ‘gender-bias’ battle. In fact, in this case, or even otherwise, you aren’t competing with other women, but only with yourself. That’s simply what you need to do: present yourself at your best, showcasing the right mix of demonstrated capability and the eagerness to grow.

As you’ve specifically talked of the CV, you may refer to this piece that talks about preparing a compelling CV. A few key things to consider are: showing how your talents and experiences are a great match for the opportunity and how your attitude is a right fit with the institute or organization’s culture (in case you’re considering an industry job). Presentation-wise, keep it succinct (within one page) and with a style/feel/template that says ‘now.’ You will find several such templates on the net, specifically for researchers. Apart from that, it may also help to go through these external resources (from the industry body Vitae): effective researcher CVs and examples.

That having said, we would also urge you to look beyond the CV, to the entire process of application and selection. The CV is simply the starting point, the knock on the door. What will help you get inside is thinking of what you will communicate – how you will you present yourself, as you say – at the interview (interviews, in case there are multiple, which is usually the case). It helps to think both of how you can summarize your capabilities and potential to contribute and of how you can discuss them in detail if needed. Thus, we have shared below links each to crafting the right elevator pitch for yourself and to excelling in a more in-depth interview.

In both cases, whether writing your CV or preparing for an interview, it helps to have someone senior review and provide inputs/feedback (for example, through a mock interview), so that you are ready to put forth your best on the actual day.

Finally, opportunities such as the one you are talking about (and presumably, the one you’ve been presented with) are markedly inclusive. So, there’s likely to be an additional sense of comfort, another factor or enabler for you to but your best foot forward. Even then, there may be curveballs, but as this warm, cheery researcher interview story illuminates, they’ll probably be pleasant curveballs.

Hope this helps. And all the best to go forth and conquer!