List of Strengths for Resumes, Cover Letters and Interviews
There comes a time in our lives when we need to step from the world of childhood and care-free living right into the world of adulthood.
Some consider job hunting and the consequential resumes, curriculum vitae, cover letters to be the first significant step into that grown-up world.
Even though these being a significant and unavoidable part of everyone’s lives, some people still struggle with some or all these important pieces of paper.
If you wonder which strengths and skills will get your potential employer’s attention, this article will answer that question and show you how to succeed faster and better.
In addition to showing you which strengths and skillsets are important for you, this article will also cover the ways in which you can obtain some of those skills easily.
Additionally, a short tutorial section will be provided on the definitions of resumes, cover letters, and interviews, followed by a couple of useful pieces of advice on how to write them and behave during an interview.
Near the end of this article, there will be a short section of frequent problems and questions that you might stumble upon, with provided answers on how to overcome them. Enjoy the article.
HOW TO WRITE A COVER LETTER, A CV, A RESUME, AND HOW TO BEHAVE DURING A JOB INTERVIEW
If you ever wondered how to write any of these papers, or what is the appropriate way of behaving during a job interview, we got you covered.
In this part of the article, short guidelines will be provided on how to write these important papers, and when you get called, what is the key to a successful job interview.
Firstly, let us cover the job interview. The most important aspect is to present yourself as a professional.
That means that you should avoid being late at all costs, do not forget important names, either of your hiring manager or the company’s CEO.
Another important aspect is to dress appropriately. This means a tie, a jacket, neat hair, the whole combination.
Remember that the most important thing is to leave a good impression. Nervousness is common and your interviewer will know it, so they might cut you some slack if they see you are nervous.
Relax, answer the questions that they ask of you, and do not talk their ear off, let them speak when the interviewer has something to say, and you will be alright.
If you are interested about the other aspects job interviews and how to use body language to your advantage during the interview, here is an article about some techniques, and another for an in-depth analysis of body language
The second item on our agenda is how to write a resume. Since there is a small difference between a CV and a resume, in terms of writing, we will discuss both comparatively.
Attention will be focused on the items that simply have to be mentioned in common resumes and CVs, styles and formatting aspects will not be of great importance in this part.
Every resume and CV have to contain your contact information, which goes first, at the top of the page. You have to put a minimum of three pieces of contact information, just in case.
The phone number, email and physical address will suffice. Additionally, you can put your online profiles, but not of Facebook or Twitter, but of a more professional website, for instance, LinkedIn.
The next thing that you can write is a brief resume summary. This is a simple summary of your work experience and skills consisting of around two sentences.
We now move on to the work experience. You have to write what position you were, at what company, what were your responsibilities, and the period of your employment.
If you had achievements in any job, you can list them after the work experience tab. If you wish to skip that one, go straight to listing your education and skills, which is pretty straightforward.
In the case of writing a CV, you can basically follow all the steps needed for a resume. The only difference is that sometimes CV requires more details in your education section, especially if you have some academic background.
All the above rules apply, only add everything that is worth mentioning and is closely linked to your academic education.
If you wish to learn more about how to make a CV that will catch your employers’ eyes, here is a link with a few tips.
Finally, let us explain the writing of a cover letter. As previously mentioned, it is a kind of a personal letter to the employers saying why are you the right person for the job.
This letter has to contain your information, information about your employer, and, above all, has to be formally written. If you are unsure of the formal codes of writing a letter, do not worry.
In a nutshell, the letter has to contain an introduction where you talk about the job position and the company.
Follow up with the main paragraph where you explain why you think you are the right person for the job, and which skills that you have, make you the right person for the job.
And finish it with a short closing statement, and again mention why you would be a great fit. And that is it. Sign the letter and you are all done.
There are a lot of smaller things that you need to do, for instance, proof-reading or adding more essence to it, but it is not a difficult task to do, at all.
Now that you are acquainted with what are resumes, CVs, cover letters, and interviews, in the remainder of the article we will focus on the strengths and skills that are important.
THE STRENGTHS YOU MUST HAVE THAT WILL BOOST YOUR CHANCES OF BEING HIRED
Every employer knows what kind of person they are searching for. The relieving fact is that most of them are looking for a particular set of strengths.
Obtaining these strengths will help you have a much higher chance of being hired or considered for the second round of interviews, at least.
These skills will make your employers keep their eyes on you, and in the next part of the article, you will learn more about the skills, in addition to how to work towards acquiring them.
1. Communication Skills
Communicative skills are essential for practically any job position. It can not only help you in your business life but also in your private life, so it is a skill that simply has to be a part of your arsenal.
Communication skills are one of the most sought after skills due to the fact that communication itself is important in both customer relations and office relations.
You have to communicate with efficiency among your team members if you wish to improve upon various projects you will be working on.
And you simply have to be a communicative and pleasant person, if your job position is closely linked to having interactions with the company’s customer base.
Your communication skills might be tested at a job interview, It is important to be as concise as possible, in addition to avoiding unnecessary digressions.
Listening is another is skill that falls under the “communication” field that you need to master, as well.
This skill is important for a majority of job positions because it can help with a majority of situations that might occur.
Some of these situations are calming nervous or angry customers, constructing and holding a presentation to your colleagues and higher-ups, and in some cases, negotiations and public speaking.
In order to improve upon your communicating skills, you can try out a lot of ways to achieve perfect communication skills.
Some suggest that you simply try to talk as much as you can with your friends or other people that you meet.
Another way is to try and construct an engaging conversation by leaving openings to the other person or hitting an interesting topic in a way that they might have something to add to it.
All in all, good communication skills are one of the basic and needed strengths that will catch the attention of the person reading your resume.
2. Leadership Skills
This skill is one of the most difficult to obtain. It is a thin line between a good leader and a bad boss. The core difference is being with your team and supporting them instead of solely giving out orders.
Leadership skills are important to your employer as it shows them that you are able to endure more responsibilities and have a team of people.
It is a good sign that they can rely on you and that you can become an essential part of the company in the future.
Having said that, there is a small problem with leadership skills, and that problem is that they are difficult to obtain.
There are a lot of ways that you can use to try and improve or boost your leadership skills, but this particular set of skills is a process that includes a lot of mistakes and learning from those mistakes.
Of course, there are natural-born leaders but not all people are fortunate enough to be this kind of person.
The best way to become a good leader is to learn a few smaller skills that most leaders have mastered.
Be ready to always improve yourself and learn everything you can. A good leader has to be in constant betterment mode and improve upon themselves every chance they get.
A good leader has to be selfless, as helping your team finish a task and offering your wisdom and experience to them is beneficial to the whole company and project.
Finally, a good leader must have a presence that inspires his team members and makes them continuously feel the need to improve themselves.
Leadership skills will be of great help in situations where decision-making is important, and especially in managerial situations where you need to organize a team of people in any way.
All in all, leadership skills might prove to be a bit too tough to obtain but are one of the most important skill sets that one worker can have in them, making it an instant head-turner for hiring managers.
3. Skills Rooted in Analysis
Analytical skill is a skill that helps you in gathering and organizing various clusters of data or other pieces of information into a comprehensive union.
You will be in great advantage over other candidates if you have a great problem-solving ability and a great affinity to a more logical approach to your problems and obstacles.
Being a set of skills that simply need a high amount of rationality and logic, people with analytical skills are highly sought after, regardless of the job position in the offers.
It means that you must have good numeracy and mathematical skills, a high degree of strategic thinking, and great attention to detail.
In order to develop and improve upon analytical skills, you have to train and flex your brain. There are numerous ways of stretching your gray matter, from reading books to solving logical problems.
This is considered to be one of the most difficult skills to develop, due to the fact that some people do not show a high amount of talent towards analytical fields, as opposed to the more social-oriented fields.
Having said that, it is not completely and utterly unattainable, but it might prove to be a Herculean task for some people.
These skills will primarily come in handy when a task that requires gathering information on customers’ preferences or analyzing possible future market changes or outcomes.
All in all, analytical skills are ones that are hard to obtain but are easily the most profitable ones to the people who have a good enough grasp on them.
4. IT Skills
IT skills are especially mandatory nowadays. These are modern times, the dependency on technology can be seen and felt through ordinary household items.
Due to its constant state of evolving, IT skills are one of the most important sets of skills you can acquire.
Not only that but by having these skills, you actually hold the key to many job positions that might interest you.
The whole term “IT” is pretty wide and can include many fields, from using different programming languages to code and all the way to website design.
These skills can act like an ace in your sleeve and are a beautiful thing for a hiring manager to see on a resume or a CV.
The problem might arise in a way of having a difficulty to grasp some concepts of certain IT skills. The best thing to do, if you are such a person, is to at least learn the ropes on the basics, before gradually learning further.
The key thing here is to show the hiring managers that you are a fast learner and are ready to learn any new skill, not just one from the IT field.
In addition, there have been a lot of good books that can help aspiring coders. Most of these are a great choice for beginners, as they go in detail on the trade.
An additional field of IT that is needed is web design. Web design has become quite popular, especially now when companies started harnessing the potential of online marketing.
Learning to design websites is not an easy feat, although many believe that it is a bit easier than learning to code in different programming languages.
Web design is considered an easier task due to its mix of coding and graphic design. It requires some coding skills but it relies more on the artistic vision and knowledge of graphic design programs.
Here is one place where you can find useful books, blogs, and various pieces of advice on how to start learning web design.
These IT skills can be useful in any job that requires you to work on various programs. Writing codes and debugging various computer programs, while web design is mostly used in designing websites for the place you work for.
In addition, by knowing web design you can also help in other tasks that require graphical designs, as you learn to acquire that skill by learning web design.
These two are one of the more popular and in-demand skills in the job market if you wish to learn more about other skills and their market demand, check out this article.
However, even if you have difficulties learning some of these, it is useful to know your way around a computer. Even skills like locating a hardware or software problem are useful.
Familiarity with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from the Office pack is a must, knowing your way with different e-mail tools is a great plus.
All in all, IT skills are very important to have, they can be applied to any job position available. Even if you are a beginner in this field, it is a great start.
In addition, knowing to handle a computer is also almost mandatory nowadays, so be sure to learn the how’s and what’s of regular computer programs, such as the Microsoft Office and similar applications.
5. Adaptability and Flexibility
More often than not arises a completely new situation that changes the whole flow of work in the world of business.
That is why one of the more important skills that a worker should have is the ability to adapt to newly brought up situations and be flexible enough to implement something new into a pre-established system.
Sudden changes are known to kick one out of their comfort zones and are known to mentally hit the unprepared the hardest.
That is precisely the reason why hiring managers value someone who is able to adapt quickly and successfully to any problems, situations, or deadline movements.
In addition to many other benefits being adaptability may bring you, adaptability is a trait that is most commonly found in leaders, which can be good for your future in the work field.
Flexibility is similar to adaptability. Flexibility can be seen as the mental willingness to act and adapt to a new situation instantly, while adaptability can be understood as a product of being flexible.
The main goal here is to show to your hiring managers that you do not break under pressure but you are used to controlling that pressure and using it to your benefit and your company’s advantage.
There are no particular fields you can use adaptability and flexibility, they are traits that can be useful to any situation in both the private and business world.
In order to be more adaptable, one of the most important things is to frequently exit your comfort zone.
Take a small step each day in seemingly meaningless things. Do you cook excellent pasta? Try making a cake.
Are you good at bodyweight exercises? Try Crossfit exercises with a trainer. Take a step out of the established and familiar field into an unknown, all while trying to adapt and understand it quickly.
There are many other ways in which you can mentally prepare yourself for adaptability, with the comfort zone method being the most prevalent and, for some, the most difficult one.
All in all, the business world is full of unexpected surprises and those can make your tasks seem like an uphill battle.
However, by having the skill to quickly go with the flow of newfound problems and obstacles, you can easily show your managers that you are ready and willing to have more responsibilities and climb further up the corporate chain.
These are just a few of the strengths everyone should have and include on their resumes, CVs, or cover letters, and definitely mention during job interviews.
Of course, there are a lot more skills that are seen as an advantage having and are highly sought after, but these are the ones that are the most beneficial to you in every aspect of your life.
If you wonder how exactly you should incorporate strengths into a resume, CV, or job interview, this article will have useful information.
Is it necessary to include some colors and shapes to my resume in order to attract attention?
It is not necessary, although there is a much higher chance that your resume will be ignored if it is in plain black and white.
Of course, this does not mean that you should go overboard and include every color on the spectrum into your CV or resume.
Balance it out and strive for attractive minimalism.
I am having my first job interview and I am nervous. Should I open with a joke at the start of the interview?
It is inadvisable to tell jokes during a job interview. You should just relax and if you are in need of an ice-breaker, you can complement their company or anything else to briefly take your mind off the interview.
Anxiety is a common thing during interviews, both interviewers and interviewees know it, just relax and everything will be fine.
I am really bad with computers, is there any other skill that can substitute it?
Unfortunately, no. However, if you are bad with computers, that does not mean that you cannot learn to use web browsers and using Office Word, at least.
These two are the least challenging, yet useful skills that you can obtain.
I do not aspire to be a leader, do I have to learn leadership skills?
It is advisable you do, even if you do not want higher responsibilities. Leadership skills can be useful and your ambitions might grow over time. It is better to have them and not need them than not have them in times of need.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE RESUMES, COVER LETTERS, AND JOB INTERVIEWS?
During your research, you have probably come across something called curriculum vitae, as a separate thing from a resume. Actually, these two are similar, yet different in a significant way.
Both a resume paper and a curriculum vitae paper are a useful tool for a potential employer to learn something about a potential worker.
Both being essential documents for an employer, they cannot substitute for each other, unfortunately.
A resume represents a summary of one’s education, work history, and other information that might be pertinent to an employer.
Resumes are the most common types of documents that are found in job hunting and are typically popular due to their need for conciseness.
Resumes should contain your competence, job history, and additional accomplishments that might dazzle your employer.
A typical resume is no longer than a page or two, at most, and are intended to be as short as possible, but at the same time, filled with important pieces of information.
Curriculum vitae, on the other hand, is used on different occasions. Curriculum vitae is Latin for “course of life” and is similar to the resume in some of its contents.
They should contain a summary of work experience and skills, as well. The chief difference is that they should provide more detailed and comprehensive information about one’s education.
As a curriculum vitae contains great detail of one’s academic background and achievements in a certain field of fields, curriculum vitae is mostly needed for jobs that require people with scientific or academic background.
According to Indeed.com, a standard CV should include academic background, any experience one has, listings of awards, degrees, and other important achievements, in addition to the basic information.
CVs, due to the high amount of information they require, are always longer than typical resumes, being three or more pages long, depending on the experience and achievements of the applicant.
On the other hand, cover letters are also important, as they are supposed to be an overture or an introduction that should hook an employer into reading your resume or curriculum vitae.
A cover letter represents an attachment to your resume or curriculum vitae, which has the goal of providing some additional information about yourself.
Cover letters typically contain information on why you are interested in the job and why you think are the right person for the job position you are applying for.
Cover letters are not a necessary part of every resume, their need is usually stated in the job listing itself.
Cover letters can be understood as a first impression before the official and physical first impression and should be regarded as something that helps you to not be seen as a single drop in the sea.
Finally, job interviews, with which everybody is familiar to some extent. The job interview is the next and, sometimes, the final stage of job seeking.
If an employer is satisfied with your resume of CV, you might be called for a job interview, in which you are having a conversation about your qualifications and other aspects of yourself and the job with a person from the company.
Sometimes there are multiple rounds of the interview process, depending on the job and the interested parties. The number is always between one and four, though.
In conclusion, writing a resume or a CV and being in a job interview are one of those life events that are unavoidable and frightful to think about.
Most people worry whether their skillsets are colorful enough to attract the attention of the hiring managers.
Even though it might be scary at first, the majority of skill sets is something that everybody can work on and learn, if they invest enough time and add a lot of persistence and willingness.
They are a lot of strengths everybody can learn, however, there are certain ones that are guaranteed to grab the attention of the hiring managers and other people who are in charge of hiring.
As long as you are ready for self-improvement, you will not find any of the aforementioned entries tiresome but more of a challenge that will be extremely beneficial to you in the long run.
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