When you’re applying for new jobs, you need to find ways to make yourself stand out from the competition. Whether it’s on your resume, in your cover letter, or an interview, it helps if you share more than the standard skills and experience. You need to demonstrate your passion, your enthusiasm, your commitment to the industry, and your potential. Here’s what you can share with your potential employer besides the obvious skills and experience.
Examples of learning
Show that you love what you do and that you appreciate learning new skills and developing your old ones. Talk about conferences and workshops you’ve attended or courses you’ve taken. Mention an industry-related book you’ve read or a TED talk you’ve listened to. If you don’t have any of those experiences in your past, start discussing how much you love the industry, some relevant questions you’d like to explore, or skills you’d like to grow.
A commitment to improvement
Talk about some work experiences you’ve had when you’ve seen a procedure or system that needed improvement and what you did to initiate those changes. Employers are always looking for ways to boost efficiency and productivity and would welcome anyone willing to go out on a limb and change the status quo for the better.
Instances of overcoming setbacks
Describe some experiences you’ve had when you’ve overcome an obstacle to accomplish a task or major project. Show that you stayed calm even when the odds were stacked against you and how you problem-solved to resolve the situation. Or talk about a time when you failed and how you rebounded from it. Show that you were resilient, absorbed from the constructive criticism, and what you learned from the mistake.
Statistics and numbers
Employers love to see results. They’ll want to see proof that you worked hard and made valuable contributions to your former company. If you claim to have boosted sales, great—by how much? Did you save your department money—how much? How many employees did you train? Put specific facts and figures on your resume so everyone can see how successful you’ve been. And if you won any awards or prizes, mention those by name, too.
Description of your ambition
What are your goals and long-term plans? Where do you see yourself in five years? And you don’t just have to limit yourself to your professional plans. Talk about your personal goals, too. If you plan on marrying your current significant other or purchasing a house or car or climbing Mt. Everest, mention it! All of these goals show that there’s something that drives you, another side to you that gets you out of bed in the morning.