SWIFT Resources



Tips and Strategies from the February 2019 event


  • Build a virtual network
  • Become part of online groups
    • Facebook: Women in Wood
  • Sit at a table with people you don’t know when at a conference
  • Keep in touch with former employers
  • Before going to a conference, look at the professional webpages of speakers, then approach them after their talk with questions and occasionally drop that you are aware of their work
  • Find commonalities with the people you’re talking with
  • Ask people questions about themselves


  • Pay attention to what the job is asking for, rather than what they list as requirements, and assess whether you think you would be able to do the job as listed
  • Apply anyway, even if you do not think you are fully qualified – the worst that could happen is that they tell you that you are not qualified
  • Consider skills that you could bring with you to the job and make sure to communicate that
  • Know who you are competing with for this job and how you stack up in relation to them/what you bring that is unique and that others may not bring.
  • Employers are paying attention to how you interact with others and work with others
  • Bring you and your unique attributes to the job
  • Be open and honest about yourself – do not just present what they are looking for in the job description. Some applicants bring skills that employers were not considering yet see value in having in an employee.
  • Recognize that even if you do not have the exact experiences or skills they list, you may have similar experiences or skills that would be worth sharing
  • Pay attention to detail when submitting resumes or cover letters. Have someone else look it over before you send it in. Save your materials as a PDF, so everyone can open them, and change the file name to make it clear it’s yours. The more you can do to make things easier for your employer, the better.
  • Consider getting references from professors, not just past managers from jobs
  • Do not add extra materials to your application


  • Always come back with a counter offer
  • Double check the range of salaries that would be expected in this job
  • Call HR office to check with them about the salary and range expected for this job
  • Visit census.gov to look up cost of living in your area to help
  • Ask your network for advice on what is considered reasonable
  • Make a good argument for why you should deserve a raise
  • Consider negotiating things that are not salary (e.g., vacation time, professional development opportunities)
  • Ask men in your field what they are being offered
  • It is not common for employers to withdraw a job offer if you try to negotiate. They chose you and want you to be there, so you have a bit of an advantage
  • It is OK to ask for more time to decide, which will give you time to research salaries and decide whether to negotiate, and time to craft your argument if you do
  • When crafting an argument, remember that employers are considering how beneficial you are as an employee. Arguments just related to your needs (e.g., wage is not livable) are not likely to be convincing


  • Make sure that what you are wearing is functional
  • What you wear largely depends on the context
    • g., what meeting it is and what your role is in that meeting
  • Business professional is standard for interviews and conferences
  • Be mindful of the context and the message your sending with what you are wearing
  • It is OK to ask what to wear if you are unsure
  • Above all, wear what makes you feel comfortable!


  • Take advantage of informal networking opportunities/opportunities to be social with your coworkers. Feel empowered to ask to join your male coworkers in social activities instead of waiting to be approached if you’d like to join them.
    • Join in when you feel comfortable
  • With all career advice, take the advice that resonates with you and speaks to you, and do not take advice if it does not feel right to you.
  • Trust yourself and your instincts!


Tips from the November 2018 workshop

  • Recognize bias
  • Be proactive
  • Provide support from below (i.e., authority figures are not the only ones who can make a difference)
  • Use questions to guide potentially confrontational conversations (e.g., “What did you mean when you said… ?” “Have you noticed that…?”)
  • Call out bias or sexism when you see it, and don’t allow it
  • Use strategies to “trick” bias
  • Listen to women
  • Ask what you can do to be supportive
  • Amplify opinions and suggestions made by women if it doesn’t seem like they are getting the attention and recognition they deserve
  • Provide opportunities for women to build confidence (e.g., chainsaw safety training)
  • Encourage women to pursue opportunities and follow up with them