Heidi Solomon-Orlick, Founder and CEO of GirlzWhoSell
Heidi Solomon-Orlick is an award-winning 30-year B2B sales leader. She currently serves as Vice President of Global Sales for VXI Global Solutions, is Founder and CEO of GirlzWhoSell and President of the Board of Directors for the GirlzWhoSell Empowerment Fund non-profit. GirlzWhoSell is an organization committed to closing the gender gap in B2B sales and to building the largest pipeline of diverse, early-stage female sales talent. GirlzWhoSell provides training, mentoring, educational scholarships and career placement to young women interested in pursuing a career in sales.
For female sales executives: My best career advice is to apply for sales jobs even if you don’t meet 100% of the job criteria or qualifications listed. As women, we tend to think that we need to justify our worthiness and/or defend our experience. It is a proven fact that men will apply for a job if they meet only 60% of the qualifications outlined. Women feel that they need to check 100% of the boxes. The job qualifications listed are generally unrealistic nice to have’s. No one person will have everything. There is no perfect candidate. Whatever the gaps, they can be learned on the job. The question is, do you have the mindset, the passion and the commitment to learn? If you do, go for it! Start by finding the companies you want to work for or focus on an industry that you are passionate about. Research the available career options on social media and, when you find a company or opportunity the speaks to you, apply. Don’t obsess over the “percent qualifications met” section of the job ad. That is based on an algorithm matching the job qualifications list with the words used in your LinkedIn profile and/or resume’. You are more than that. The bottom line is this…if you don’t apply you will never have a shot at getting the job. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for what your worth when you do apply! Do not settle for less.
For companies committed to diversity hiring: Audit your job ads and sales job descriptions. Most ads tend to include words like “aggressive” or “hunter” or “compete.” Women are less likely to respond to opportunities with masculine language. In fact, today, only 38% of job ads use gender-neutral language despite those postings outperforming others. Include “must have” and “nice to have” job qualifications and make the list realistic. Openly encourage women and other diverse candidates to apply even if they don’t meet all the qualifications. That helps to build confidence and will increase your candidate pool exponentially. My tip: modify your descriptions to include words like “be a part of a team,” “create solutions,” and “solve business problems.” It will pay off in dividends.
Recruiters: Check your bias at the door. Consider all candidates, even those with resume’ gaps. Respond back and provide feedback to every candidate whether they got the job or not. It helps them grow and shows respect.