Often, resume language is as rigid as a steel girder. All the nuts and bolts of a person’s technical aptitudes are there, but a certain personal touch is missing. If you want employers to include you on their interview short-list, you need to show off these 4 personality traits.
A Strong Work Ethic
An employee with a strong work ethic is indispensable to any business. For starters, that person isn’t going to need extensive micromanaging. Most are independent and seek out new projects once their own work has been completed.
Moreover, they regularly push themselves to be better. Whether that means finishing projects faster or surpassing their own achievements, they always shoot for the pinnacle of what they can do.
Your resume needs to show your drive, productivity, multitasking ability, and follow-through to convince employers of your strong work ethic. Here are a few examples of the types of things you should include:
• Juggled objectives of a $5 million dollar project with the day to day operation of my department.
• Hit every deadline for our major defense industry client well within the prescribed date.
• Took charge of the expansion of our software platform, opening us to the multi-million dollar mobile market.
Want to make a stronger point? Include figures and statistics. Numbers say more than words in any resume.
No job is without collaboration. Even if you’re alone in your department, you’ll interact with clients, vendors, or interdisciplinary teams to get things done. That’s why it helps your cause to show you’re a team player.
Keep name dropping to a minimum. Even if you know someone at the company, including that person’s name isn’t always beneficial. Instead, focus on showing the outcome of your teamwork:
• Collaborated with interdisciplinary professionals to bring a critically-acclaimed accounting software through the full life cycle.
• Coordinated with other QA technicians to isolate product defects in the early stages of production, saving our company $320,000 compared to the year before.
• Reached out to account representatives and quickly remedied issues with our telecom and Cisco network connections.
Even though it’s tempting, pronouns should still be avoided. Using I appears egotistical, but using we puts your contributions in the backseat. There’s a fine line being walked between the two.
How do you prove you’re a problem-solver in your resume? Give examples of your solutions.
Effective resumes highlight a person’s greatest accomplishments. So, succinctly show the way you maneuvered around problems. For example:
• Fixed a costly bug in our source code and still kept the same UI functionality. This allowed us to retain many long-time clients.
• Tested several polymers to determine which would survive extreme thermal conditions. Took the most resilient to market and helped earn $750,000.
• Audited major internal accounts to identify discrepancies and rectify them before our fiscal year’s end.
To strengthen your point, focus your problem-solving on the strategic value you provided for your company. It’s great that you can solve puzzles in a vacuum but real world results are what earn you tickets to the interview.
Many people perceive this as being the hardest to convey in a resume. Just saying “I designed creative UIs,” or “I brainstormed creative solutions to complex problems” falls a little flat. Creativity needs to be shown not just alluded to in writing. How much creativity you display depends on two things: your industry and the position you want.
Graphic designers need to show off their visual aesthetic. For them, a template resume would be a dismal mistake. On the flip side, an accountant’s resume with wacky or edgy graphics would be tossed in the crank file. The creativity you show should always reflect how you’ll use your creativity on the job.
For creative types, here are a few tips to on how to make a mind-blowing resume. For those trying to show their creativity in other industries, you’ll need show provide examples of that trait in action.
• Looked to geometric patterns in nature to build a more effect photovoltaic cell that is already earning my employer thousands in additional revenue.
• Led and organized my team in a way that provided them appropriate space for individual and collaborative work. Increased productivity 50% in just three months.
On a Final Note:
When writing your resume, you always want to put greater emphasis on the traits each employer wants most while being clear and concise. Each resume should be tailored to each employer, proving that you’re the perfect fit for that specific job.
by James Walsh