Choose Your Words Carefully

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Choice words are the key to getting your resume through applicant tracking systems and into the hands of the hiring manager. That is why it is so important to pick the right descriptions and phrasing for each bullet point and to avoid repetition. According to Indeed, the top skills that employers are looking for in a candidate in 2020 are communication, leadership, teamwork, interpersonal skills, learning/adaptability, self-management, an organized individual, computer savvy, a problem solver, open-minded nature and possessing a strong work ethic.

So how do you advertise these within your resume without blatantly saying “great leadership skills”? We break down the ways professional resume writers go about making your skills shine on your resume.

#1 – Communication

This will obviously depend on your background, but including your public speaking background, presentations that you have delivered, vendor management skills, public relations efforts, email campaigns or networking experience are all great ways to demonstrate your communication skills.

#2 – Leadership

Are you a manager? Have you led a team on a project? Have you assisted with tasks that weren’t your own or volunteered to work extra hours for the betterment of the team? These are all things to note to help showcase your leadership abilities.

#3 – Teamwork

What collaborations have you done with other employees? Have you conducted group presentations? Including phrases like “Worked on a five person team to implement a new multi-million dollar advertising campaign” is a great way to not only subtly note that you work well with others, but it includes metrics and creativity all in one line.

#4 – Interpersonal Skills

This is a skill that shines when mentioning other attributes like teamwork or leadership abilities. Let your experience speak for itself instead of writing the word directly on the resume.

#5 – Learning/Adaptability

This is easily displayed by listing training you have completed as well as certifications, licenses and credentials that you hold. Has a previous company supplied special training in order for you to excel in your position? Other companies may not offer such perks so adding that information can quickly buff up your resume.

#6 – Self-Management

What projects have you completed on your own? Are you in charge of any company accounts? This is another skill that should be assumed based on your experience. Stating that you can accomplish yoru work without being hounded to do so can be a red flag to employers so stating ‘self-management’ outright isn’t going to help your cause.

#7 – Organized

Talk about projects that you have been a team leader on or campaigns that you have organized. Have you created a Standard Operating Procedure or onboarding documents? These are all ways to show that you are organized, a team player and are looking out for the company and not just yourself.

#8 – Computer Savvy

This is an easy way to fill the ‘Technical Skills’ section of your resume. What skills do you have that most employers would want you to possess for the particular job title that you would be applying for? This can include Adobe Creative Suite, WordPress, FinalCut Pro, Microsoft Office or any other program related to your field. Keep in mind though that ATS is formatted to scan for specific keywords so if the job posting requests Excel experience, make sure that is written out explicitly. It may be a product of Microsoft Office, but if that is not programmed into ATS, then you may lose out on a job due to a mere technicality. 

#9 – Problem Solver

This is more of a topic you would keep in mind for the interview. When asked about problems that have arisen in the workplace and how you dealt with them, talk about your ability to collaborate with others and how you came up with a cohesive solution that is best for the project or for the company.

#10 – Open-Mindedness

Yet another interview topic. When they ask a question like “When you had an issue with a coworker on a task, how did you resolve it?”, showcase your willingness to compromise in order to build a cohesive work environment.

#11 – Strong Work Ethic

Working extra hours, taking on extra shifts, filling in when people are sick or on leave are all instances that demonstrate a strong work ethic. However, keep in mind that completing work on time and not taking extensive sick leave are NOT something to brag about on a resume. They are expectations of pretty much every employer. You want to highlight when you have gone above and beyond to improve a project or the general perception of the company.


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