There's a simple resume mistake that could be holding your career back — and it turns out women are the main offenders.
According to Pat Wadors, LinkedIn's former top recruiter, women tend to be more hesitant than men when it comes to their career progression.
Wadors, who is now chief HR officer at enterprise technology firm ServiceNow, said this natural hesitation was subconsciously trickling down to our resumes, where it can send the wrong impression to recruiters.
"Women tend to apply for roles they are 110 per cent ready and qualified for — we make sure all our ducks are lined up and we have the right skills. But men raise their hands and apply for jobs they are 70 per cent skilled for, thinking they'll learn on the job," she said.
"Women tend to use 'we' and 'us' [in their CVs] while men use 'I' — and recruiters are interested in what you did — they want to hear 'I led', 'I created' , 'I was creative in this way'.
"Show ownership — I know that can be really hard for women to do but it's not bragging, it's demonstrating skill based on facts."
Wadors said she encouraged female job applicants especially to be clear on the specific impact they have had in previous roles and to have confidence in their abilities when applying for jobs.
"I tell women to raise their hands and apply for roles because they are just as smart and capable as the next person," she said.
"You've already accomplished great learning, so convince me why you'll be a great fit."
Wadors, who is visiting Australia from the US, said another common mistake was not letting your passion and personality shine through — something that is especially important to do on your LinkedIn profile, which she said was increasingly considered to be a second, "digital CV".
"It's a mistake to think people look at your profile for just your job title, start and stop date," she said.
"If you're just repeating your CV you're not giving me anything to grab onto.
"What sets you apart in your CV and with your profile is your passion."
The mum-of-three said it was essential to give practical examples with any job application, and that a "rich" profile would make you stand out from the crowd and ensure you were found online more easily.
"Express your joy, your superpowers. Say 'I love x', 'I'm known for the following three things', and then clearly outline for me your best role — what role are you looking for that will highlight your skills?" she said.
"I love it when I see a profile that shows learning agility — not just 'I did XYZ', but 'I crushed it when I learned X'. I love storytelling and a summary that reflects joy and shows you are curious and humble — you can't teach those attributes.
"Storytelling is the most powerful tool we have as humans so your digital CV should have some mini-stories from your last two jobs at least because that's what draws the reader. Make sure there's enough meat there."
She said your cover letter should explicitly outline why you were applying for this particular role.
"Your cover letter should show why you are applying for this job in this company in this industry — then link to your online profile and your written CV, but your cover letter should tell me why now, why me, why you?" she said.
After spending decades in the human resources industry, Wadors said one of the best ways to create a happy workforce was to focus on diversity and inclusion.
"I know as a woman and as a mum, when I can be authentically me and respectfully listened to and understood, I rock my swag, I smile more, I feel my joy and other people feed off that, and innovation, engagement and joy goes up — you can feel it in a room when people have that sense of community and belonging," she said.
Ms Wadors said employees thrived through storytelling, and that one way she encouraged this was by asking staff to share what they were grateful for — both personally and professionally — before meetings.
She encouraged staff to be authentic, tell their stories and be "vulnerable and curious" in the workplace.