Person in orange long sleeve shirt writing on white paper, editing CV

Article by Debbie Mavis, Group HR Director, Avanti Communications

Debbie Mavis, Group HR Director of Avanti Communications, has over 25 years of experience within HR and recruitment across both the banking and telecommunications sectors at TSB Bank, Vodafone and now Avanti, where she manages all aspects of HR, and Property and Communications departments.

In this article, Debbie shares her expertise and offers her top CV tips for women entering STEM industries.

Make sure your CV reflects the role you are applying for

Simply copying and pasting a generic CV simply will not do. You should always adapt your CV to the role, the person or company who is hiring for the job and also the industry.

 Do your homework and highlight why you fit the mould

Take note of the company’s values, and play to them. If a company has a strong CSR focus, highlight your interests and any extra curricular work that might be relevant to them.

Let your individuality shine through

Be yourself, and don’t feel the need to be too formal. Consider writing a CV as if you are having a conversation with the reader. Really tell them the story behind the examples you are using, what the experience meant for the company and why you are vital for the role. If you have worked somewhere as a contractor, for example, and the contract was extended multiple times – highlight why you were so wanted.

Remember your superpower

Being a woman in a male dominated sector is a strength, so use it to your advantage. Women are good at problem solving and very analytical, which is a very valuable skill in STEM careers. Don’t try to be like the men you are working with, champion your differences, but don’t expect men to react to situations in the same way as women do.

Don’t be humble, especially as a woman

Women don’t tend to brag as much as men! What you have done is impressive, and your CV is the time to really shout about it. When putting together your armour of credentials, make sure you add in all the extracurricular activities you have taken part in. What you do beyond the day job is just as important as the grades you got at school – and it can often be what makes you stand out from the crowd.

When it comes to references, make sure they are relevant

Tailoring references to the role is really important. So if you can, pick someone from a previous employer who can give you the most applicable reference for the role in STEM you are applying for. You could also get a testimonial on pieces of work you are really proud of, or save it somewhere so you can refer back to it in future CV’s.