Do you unwittingly target a particular gender in your job adverts?

According to research, gender-neutral job advertisements receive up to 42% more applications than their more biased counterparts. So how can you write jobs adverts that aren’t accidentally skewed towards male or female applicants?

In an analysis of nearly 77,000 job adverts there was an average of 6 stereotypical male or female words per advert. Supposedly ‘male’ words include active, ambitious, analytical, assertive and autonomous. Supposedly ‘female’ words include cheerful, committed, compassionate and co-operative. This isn’t to suggest that women are not ambitious or that men are not cheerful but research claims certain words carry social and historical connotations and, if used may be appealing more to one gender than another.

Male-Biased Phrasing

“We’re looking for strong.” Instead, use: “We’re looking for exceptional”.

“Who thrive in a competitive atmosphere.” Instead, use: “Who are motivated by challenging goals”.

Female-Biased Phrasing

“We are a community of concerned”. Instead, use: “We are a team focused on”.

“Have a polite and pleasant style”. Instead, use: “Are professional and courteous”.

“Nurture and connect with customers”. Instead, use: “Provide great customer service”.

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