job search tip 24You are trying to communicate to the prospective employer that you are the best person for his open position. The key is to cite examples of your superior performance in both your resume and in the interview. Think of the things that you have done in high school, college, or the military that demonstrate not only the above attributes, but any others that might be positive for a prospective employer. Here’s a partial list:

  • Grades, either your total GPA or grades in your major academic awards
  • Accomplishments (i.e. awards, recognition, etc.)
  • Having worked part-time during high school or college
  • Having worked full-time in between years of school
  • Leadership positions (i.e. Sports, fraternity, sorority, clubs, social organizations)
  • Competitive sports – especially at the collegiate level. Also service fraternities or organizations
  • Volunteer organizations
  • Any real personal challenges that you’ve had overcome, either with your family or individually (i.e. Illness, setbacks)
  • Unique activities that demonstrate independence, initiative, etc. (i.e. extensive travel either in the U.S. or foreign countries, successfully investing in the stock market)
  • Leadership in the military
  • Exceptional hobbies that demonstrate intelligence, persistence, determination, or hard work (i.e., having articles published, breeding animals, etc.)
  • Anything you can think of that sets you apart from other candidates and that says: “I will make you the best employee you could hire.”

A perspective employer is looking to find transferable skills from the above experiences. The skills you need to demonstrate are:

  • Decision-making
  • Goal setting
  • The ability to lead
  • The ability to follow instructions and be a team player
  • Planning and organizing
  • Showing up early…staying late to get the job done…dependability
  • Problem solving
  • Clear, concise verbal communications
  • Negotiating
  • Clear, concise written communications
  • Expressing ideas both orally and in writing
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Quick learner
  • Common sense (…which isn’t very common)

IMPORTANT: go through your experiences and write down any transferable skills each demonstrates. You can demonstrate transferable skills by writing what you learned with each experience and event. What you learned has to be articulated so that an employer can hear that you understand the practical aspects of the experience.

When you can “translate” the event or experience into terms of “what I learned that will apply to working here,” you have just set yourself apart from 95% of your competition.
An example would be:

“While chairman of the fraternity philanthropic committee, I organized a toy drive at Christmas for children at a local church, and two fund raising parties, one in the fall and one in the spring. We raised over $2,500 for a local charity. I learned how to organize and motivate my 35 fraternity brothers, schedule all of the events, and be accountable for the money. This was the first time in the history of the fraternity that we had such a committee and functions. It was so successful, the fraternity has made it a permanent committee and plans for next year are already taking place.”

Now, think about all of the things you have done, the transferable skills, and what you have learned, and write them down for use in your interviews.