Women: How to apply for a job?

This page was last updated on: 2021-03-12

What are typical female occupations?

There is no such thing as a precise demarcation or boundary between male and female jobs. In practice their difference boils down to jobs in which a majority of women work. From this point of view typical female jobs include being a housekeeper, domestic worker, maid, caretaker, nurse, shop assistant, waitress, cashier, teacher, secretary, receptionist, administrative clerk or logistical operator. These wages are relatively low and the positions offer little scope for further growth. By contrast there are a handful of occupations and positions in which women with high education excel and are well paid: lawyer and judge, pr- and marketing, communication and media experts.

Do the Salary Check on this website for a range of occupations and compare the resulting salary indications.

What are typical female sectors?

Just as with jobs, it is not so easy to precisely define male and/or female sectors. Yet women numerically predominate the workforce in cleaning, (health) care, hotels and catering, retail, primary education and in the supportive secretarial and administrative functions throughout sector and industries.

Do the Salary Check on this website for a range of occupations and compare the resulting salary indications.

Are there wage differences between male and female sectors?

Since in male dominated sectors the number of men outweigh the number of women employed there, the average pay levels in male sectors are higher than those levels in the female dominated branches of industry and trades.

Do the Salary Check on this website for a range of occupations and compare the resulting salary indications.

Do multinationals pay better?

Multinationals almost always are stock companies, and big. Because they are big, they pay better. The other side of the coin is that they often require their employees to have long working hours; these are  additional hours which are not compensated for. Part of the incomes they offer may consist of annual profit shares and/or bonuses, possibly paid in company stock.

Are there wage differences between the public and private sectors?

Generally speaking, wage differences in the public sector tend to be smaller than in the private sector. The least qualified jobs in the public sector usually are paid somewhat better, and the top jobs somewhat less when compared to the private sector.

Are female sectors favorable for working parents?

Female dominated sectors as a rule offer more (large) part time jobs or smaller jobs. In addition they frequently offer (more) flexible working hours.

Why a fixed contract is to be preferred?

A fixed contract usually pays better than a temporary or flexible contract. Of course the choice is not always given, but one's tenure is more secure with a fixed contract.

What is minimally required for a proper contract?

A contract always mentions the names and addresses of the contracting parties, the dates of conclusion, start and expiration of the contract (i.e. the period), wages or salary, working hours, type of work, probation and notice periods. Contracts have to be signed if they are to be legitimate.

How to value secondary working conditions?

Next to the (gross) salary and the working hours, a labour contract usually also lists secondary working conditions. Often these are not valued in money terms, yet they are worth money. Take for example reimbursement of work related expenses, (lease) of car or free phone, access to training on the job, additional leave over and above the legal minimum, flexible working hours, the option to work from home etc.

What to mention in one's CV?

  • Your personal name and address
  • Last update of your cv
  • Your education and training, not just work related
  • Social activities as a token of your commitment, including volunteer work and internships
  • Language skills, active and passive (able to read and understand)
  • Computer skills and know how
  • Social media know how and use.

For more on CVs check Monster.com

What makes for a good letter of application?

A letter of application accompanies your cv. It should be concise and short. It refers to the immediate cause of the application, i.e. advertisement, word of mouth etc. It gives a pointed personal motivation, making clear that you understand what the function, job or post offered essentially entails. The addressee must clearly see that you have put yourself in their shoes, and understood their needs and/or demands. The letter should conform to the usual standard/format, be dated and signed, even when it is an email (which is quite normal these days).

More on the letter of application, check Monster.com

Do looks matter?

A well-groomed, clean and representative appearance certainly counts, and is the smart thing to do, especially for a job interview.

Don't be shy. Consult your friends and family beforehand, to see if you are suitably presentable.

Why negotiate your salary?

Everybody is free to negotiate. Negotiating one's salary is the smart thing to do. Be prepared. Talk to friends and family, colleagues, do online desk research. Check salaries on this website. Try to find and read the CBA if there is one. Make a wish list: what is crucial for you, what comes in second place. Negotiating is a give and take (you might not wish to work on Saturdays, but then you might if it pays more). Rehearse before you enter into an actual negotiation.

Be aware that it is the outcome that counts. A nice friendly meeting, but an open ending with nothing put down on paper, does not really count.

The notion that women should not negotiate is absolutely outdated. In many countries, in many big companies women are already functioning at the top. You can bet that they learned how to negotiate on their way up.

Job performance assessment and wage differences

In larger, more complex companies annual job performance assessment sessions are a matter of course. These talks should be taken seriously, as your income and future career perspective depend on them. Check the Collective Agreement and/or internal rules and regulations beforehand. These are the moments ideally suited to improve one's position and chances. This means: be prepared, make a wish list: more salary, more leave, more training?

Be aware that each little step forward during these talks is a rung up the career ladder, and keeps adding to the cumulative count over the next years.

Why negotiate about wages in a small job?

A small job is not necessarily unimportant because it is small. When preparing negotiations check if there are any chances to make the job grow bigger. Use it as a stepping stone, see whether it offers training opportunities, participation in a pension scheme, incidental overtime that pays extra, compensation of work-related expenses, entry in a child care scheme, things like that.