Big Data Suggests Gender May Impact Hiring

Kieran Snyder, CEO of machine learning firm Textio, has an interesting piece up on Fortune that suggests a gender disparity among tech pros’ resumes.

After using software to crunch data on 1,100 technology resumes (512 from men, 588 from women), she found “stark differences between how men and women write their resumes,” which in turn could have “ramifications for the hiring managers and anyone who is concerned about the lack of women in technology.”

So what exactly did she discover? Women tend to write longer resumes, for starters, and often go into less detail regarding their professional experiences, generally preferring to offer a more top-level view of what they’ve done. Women also include more personal details (i.e., custom sections that go into their attributes) and list more professional distinctions (such as awards won); men, on the other hand, overwhelmingly prefer to use bulleted lists, and forgo anything like non-standard resume sections or executive summaries.

According to Snyder, HR managers and recruiters must be aware of these differences in style, and how that could affect actual hiring. Many tech firms want tech pros capable of “precise execution of concrete goals,” she wrote, and gravitate toward those resumes whose bullet-points and succinct breakdowns hint at that aptitude; but those resumes that focus on the personal and paragraphs also have much to offer even the most task-centric corporate cultures.

“If you want top talent, you need to recognize different resume communication styles and the skill sets behind them,” Snyder added. “Managers who get this right in the hiring pipeline will build better teams and better products.”

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