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Last Updated on July 10, 2019

10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers

So you want to land a new job in a new field? That’s great. But before you start sending out applications left and right, you might want to make sure you have a solid resume first. Your resume will most likely be the first thing a potential employer looks at when evaluating you as a job candidate, and if you want to make a good first impression, having a knock-out resume is key.

Considering how competitive the workforce is now, it’s even more important that you create your best resume. Here are ten skills to include in your resume when you switch careers:

1. Computer/ Tech Skills

As technology continues to evolve, it’s essential that you stay up-to-date with the latest emerging trends. You should have a basic knowledge of social networking sites, computer programs such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and depending on the job you’re applying for, programs such as Adobe FrameMaker, Photoshop or Madcap Flare.

Take a look at this artice on How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

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And research the required computing skills for the profession that interests you, and then if you aren’t already proficient in them, consider taking online courses via a these sites to learn them.

2. Adaptability

Employers value people who can adapt and go with the flow when they need to. In an environment where things are constantly changing, being flexible can be a tremendous asset. If you’re a flexible person, make it clear through your resume, and if you’re selected for an interview, be prepared to give an example of a time when you showed flexibility.

3. Organization

Nobody wants to hire someone who’s scatterbrained and totally lacking in organizational skills. People who are organized are able to work efficiently because they aren’t constantly searching for important documents they’ve misplaced.

Also, being organized signals to your employer that you can manage your workspace well. If you’ve got a knack for being organized, let it be known through your resume.

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4. Communication

Being able to communicate well with others is definitely a desirable trait in an employee. That means responding promptly to emails, voicing concerns right when they pop up and keeping supervisors and team members in the loop about important information they need to know.

Good communication skills deserve a place on your resume for sure and will go a long way towards making you an attractive job candidate.

5. Leadership

If you know how to step up and be a leader, you have a skill that will wow any employer out there.

Think of a time at your current or previous position when you’ve spearheaded a project, organized an event or rallied everyone together for a certain cause. Any leadership experience or skill that you have needs to be highlighted on your resume.

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6. Work Ethic

Working hard and consistently going above and beyond makes you extremely appealing to employers. It’s impressive when an employee takes initiative and does what needs to be done without having to be asked.

If you are a driven, hard worker who routinely goes the extra mile, make it known on your resume.

7. Dependability

When employers have a task that needs to be done, they need to know that the person they ask is going to follow through and do it. Being a dependable person makes you valuable in the eyes of an employer because they want to hire someone who they can trust to do what they say.

If you’re dependable, be sure to list it as a skill on your resume.

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8. Multi-Tasking Abilities

If you’ve ever taken on two different roles at once or juggled working on two different projects, mention on your resume that you’re an exceptional multi-tasker. Many jobs demand that employees can juggle multiple roles at once, so if you excel at doing so, you’ll have an edge over other candidates who aren’t so good at multi-tasking.

9. Analytical/ Problem- Solving Skills

Are you a pro at analyzing situations and assessing things from all angles? Can you analyze trends affecting performance and solve problems and glitches when they surface? If you have the ability to analyze and solve problems, then you have a skill that’s in high demand.

You can save employers valuable time and money because with you on their team, they won’t have to stall and wait too long for a problem to be solved, and they also won’t have to pay to get someone else involved to fix it. This skill absolutely deserves a place on your resume.

10. Interpersonal “People Skills”

Employers want to hire someone who will be able to get along with all different kinds of people. If you work well with others and know how to make them feel appreciated and valued, especially if you can motivate them and get them to come together and cooperate for the common good, then you have excellent interpersonal “people skills” that make you a great candidate for the job.

In a world where the competition is cutthroat for landing the job you want, you have to do what you can to set yourself apart from the competition. Step up your game by listing the skills you have that employers are looking for on your resume. If you play your cards right, with a little luck, a job offer can be yours!

More Work Skills to Learn

Featured photo credit: J. Kelly Brito via unsplash.com

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Courtney Gordner

Courtney is a passionate writer who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 22, 2019

10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

A cover letter is an introduction to what will be found in the resume. In a cover letter, the applicant is able to use a conversational tone, to explain why the attached resume is worth reviewing, why the applicant is qualified, and to express that it’s the best application the reader will see for the open position.

Employers do read your cover letter, so consider the cover letter an elevator pitch. The cover letter is the overview of your professional experience. The information in the body presents the key qualifications, the things that matter. The cover letter is the “here is what will be found in my presentation”, which is the resume in this case.

Something really important to point out- a cover letter should be written from scratch each time. Great cover letters are the ones that express why the applicant is the best for the specific job being applied to. Using a general cover letter will not lead to great results.

This doesn’t mean that your cover letter should repeat your most valuable qualifications, it just means that you don’t want to recycle a templated, general letter, not specific to the position being applied to.

Here’re 10 cover letter tips to nail every interview.

1. Take a few minutes to learn about the company so that you use an appropriate tone

Like people, every company has its own culture and tone. Doing a bit of research to learn what that is will be extremely beneficial. For instance, a technology start-up has a different culture and tone than a law firm. Using the same tone for both would be a mistake.

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2. Don’t use generic cover letter terms — be specific to each company and position

Hiring managers and recruiters can easily identify generic cover letters. They read cover letters and resumes almost every day. Using words and terms like: “your company” instead of naming the actual company, and “your website” instead of “in your about us section on www.abc123.com”, are mistakes. Be as specific as possible, it’s worth the additional few minutes.

3. Address the reader directly if you can

It is an outdated practice to use “To Whom it May Concern” if you know the person that will be reviewing your documents. You may wonder how you’ll know this information; this is where attention to detail and/or a bit of research comes into play.

For example, if you are applying for a job using LinkedIn, many times, the job poster is listed within the job post. This is the person reading your documents when you “apply now”. Addressing that person directly will be much more effective than using a generic term.

4. Don’t repeat the information found in the resume

A resume is an action-based document. When presenting information in a resume, the tone isn’t conversational but leading with action instead, for example: “Analyze sales levels and trends, and initiate action as necessary to ensure attainment of sales objectives”.

In a cover letter, you have the opportunity to deliver your elevator pitch: “I have positively impacted business development and growth initiatives, having combined two regions into one and achieving 17% in compound growth over the following three-year period”.

Never use your resume qualifications summary as a paragraph in your resume. This would be repeating information. Keep in mind that your cover letter is the introduction to your resume- the elevator pitch- this is your opportunity to show more personality.

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5. Tell the company what you can do for them

As mentioned above, this is your chance to explain to the company why you are the best person for the open position. This is where you tell the company what you can do for them: “If hired as the next (job title) with (company name), I will cultivate important partnerships that will enhance operations while boosting revenue.”

Many times, we want to take the reader through the journey of our life. It is important to remember that the reader needs to know why you are the best person for the job. Lead with that.

6. Showcase the skills and qualifications specific to the position

A lot of people are Jack’s and Jill’s of all trades. This can be a great big picture, but not great to showcase in a cover letter or resume.

Going back to what was mentioned before, cover letters and resumes are scanned through ATS. Being as specific as possible to the position being applied to is important.

If you are applying for a coding position, it may not be important to mention your job in high school as a dog walker. Sticking to the exact job being applied to is the most effective way to write your cover letter.

7. Numbers are important — show proof

It always helps to show proof when stating facts: “I have a reputation for delivering top-level performance and supporting growth so that businesses can thrive; established industry relationships that generated double digit increase in branch revenues”.

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8. Use testimonials and letters of recommendations

A cover letter is a great place to add testimonials and information from your letter of recommendations. Mirroring the example above, here is a good way to use that information:

I have a history of consistently meeting and exceeding metrics: “(Name) rose through the company and became a Subject Matter Expert, steadily providing exceptional quality of work.”- Team Manager.

9. Find the balance between highlighting your achievements and bragging

There is fine line between telling someone about your achievements and bragging. My advice is to always use facts first, and support that with an achievement related to the fact, as shown in the examples above.

You don’t want to have a cover letter with nothing but bullet points of what you have achieved. I can’t stress this enough — cover letters are your elevator pitch, the introduction to your resume.

10. Check your length — you want to provide no more than an introduction

The general rule for most positions is one page in length. Positions such as professors and doctors will require more in length (and they actually use CV’s); however, for most positions, one page is sufficient. Remember, the cover letter is an introduction and elevator pitch. Follow the logic below to get you started:

Start with: “I am ready to deliver impeccable results as (name of company) next (Position Title).

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What you know and like about the company, what initiatives, missions, goals resonate with you: “I read/listened to an interview that your Chief of Staff did on www.abc123.com. His/her statement regarding important up and coming employee engagement initiatives really resonated with me”.

Overview of your qualifications and experience: “I have a strong background in developing, monitoring, and controlling annual processes and operational plans related to community relations and social initiatives”.

Highlight/ Back up your facts with achievements: “I’m a vision-driven leader, with a proven history of innovation and mentorship; I led an initiative that reduced homelessness in four counties and received recognition from the local Homeless Network and the County Commissioner”.

Close with what will you do for the company: “As your next (job title), I am focused on hitting the ground running as a transformational leader who is driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles, and committed to the growth of (name of company).

Bonus Advice

When applying for a job online or in person, a resume and a cover letter are standard submissions. At least 98% of the time, both your resume and cover letter and scanned via ATS (applicant tracking systems). You can learn more about that process here.

The information provided in a cover letter should be written and organized to be compatible with these scans, so that it can make to a human; from there, you want to make sure that you capture the recruiter and/or hiring managers attention.

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Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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