How Women Can Master Resume Tailoring From Startups To Enterprises

The need for tailoring resumes to different company sizes is not specific to women; it applies to all job seekers, regardless of gender. However, it’s worth noting that women, like other underrepresented groups, may face additional challenges in the job market. In 2023, with an increasingly competitive job market, women must consider how their resumes present a quick, yet comprehensive picture of their skills and experiences.

For women in the workforce, the process of tailoring resumes becomes important not only for fitting into different company cultures but also for challenging stereotypes and biases. Gender-specific biases might influence the perception of skills and qualifications, making it crucial for women to strategically present their accomplishments and experiences on their resumes.

“Reformatting your resume to appeal to companies of different sizes involves tailoring it to match their unique cultures, structures, and hiring processes,” explains Jassmine Rabii, career strategist and consultant. Rabii’s expertise in resume writing, job search strategies, and interviewing led her to launch Career Crew in 2020. She has conducted career-building workshops for marginalized groups at companies and online communities.

Rabii agrees that highlighting achievements, leadership roles, and impact can help counteract potential biases and showcase candidates’ suitability for various organizational sizes. She recommends women reformat their resume as follows when applying to startup, midsize and enterprise companies:

  • Innovative and Creative: Startups value out-of-the-box thinking. Get creative with your resume while maintaining professionalism.
  • Flexibility and Rapid Adaptation: Highlight your ability to adapt quickly to change and thrive in fast-paced environments.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Emphasize entrepreneurial endeavors and roles where you initiated and drove results from scratch.
  • Cultural Fit: Showcase passion for teamwork, the startup’s unique product, and values due to the close-knit nature of many startups.
  • Results-Oriented Problem-Solver: Highlight your ability to creatively solve problems in a resource-constrained environment.
  • Proactive and Self-Motivated: Demonstrate initiative and the ability to work independently, qualities valued in startups with limited resources.
  • Learning and Growth: Illustrate eagerness to learn and grow with the company through continuous learning, certifications, and self-improvement efforts.
  • Professional Yet Personalized: Balancing ATS-friendly keywords with a human touch is crucial for midsize companies, where there’s a higher chance of human review.
  • Diverse, Multipurpose Skills: Showcase a broader range of skills, emphasizing the ability to handle multiple responsibilities concurrently.
  • Culture Fit: Reflect on the company’s values in your resume. Include a Volunteering or Community Involvement section to highlight shared interests.
  • Growth Mindset: Demonstrate your willingness to evolve with the company’s needs. Highlight promotions or expansions in responsibility in previous roles.
  • ATS Optimization: Large companies, due to the high volume of candidates, often utilize Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Ensure your resume is accurately parsed and incorporates keywords from the job description.
  • Traditional Formatting: Adopt a traditional and straightforward format with clear headings. Avoid graphics and “creative” layouts, maintaining conciseness.
  • Skill-Specific: Highlight experiences aligned with the specific skill combinations for the role. Focus on opportunities in organizations of a similar size, sector, or strategy.
  • At-Scale Collaboration: Emphasize experiences managing or contributing to large projects or teams, showcasing your ability to work at scale.
  • Metric-Rich: Stand out by incorporating attention-catching metrics. Provide context to the numbers to help hiring managers quickly understand your impact.
  • Professionalism & Clarity: Use a formal and clear tone similar to large companies’ official communications.

Additionally, should consider how their resumes communicate qualities such as collaboration, communication, and leadership—traits that are valued across different company sizes. Emphasizing these skills can be particularly relevant for breaking down gender stereotypes and demonstrating the ability to contribute effectively in diverse work environments.

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