Think of this scenario - you have been applying for jobs in the past month, but nothing moved forward. You wondered what happened and why you were not able to stand out among the crowd. Here might be the component you may have missed - including your strengths in your resume. Listing skills on your resume is one thing, but emphasizing your skills and strengths in a resume is another.
Once you have explored your key resume strengths, you will need to find a way to integrate these strengths into your resume or cover letter. In this article, we will explore further the concept of resume strengths, steps in listing strengths in your resume, and demonstrate some resume strength examples.
Resume strengths refer to strengths an individual applicant possesses that sets them apart from other applicants. These strengths in a resume are typically traits and knowledge that benefit the job description and impress the hiring manager. It is important to highlight your skills and strengths in a resume. Including the strengths of a person in a resume can emphasize your previous work experience and competence in the field by including personal attributes in your resume.
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Resume strengths are personal skills, traits, or talents that help you thrive in your job. They are usually skills that allow you to go above and beyond. Sometimes, they can even be exceptional skills that you aren’t aware of since they are a part of who you are. Keep in mind that your values are inherently connected to your resume strengths while identifying them.
Both personal and professional strengths can be good strengths for your resume. However, what is the difference between personal and professional strengths?
No matter whether you are seeking to add your personal or professional strengths to add to your resume, the key to succeeding in a strong resume is to know how to identify your strengths. If you are unsure of what you’re capable of, start by discovering what you enjoy as a hobby and what you do during your free time. Furthermore, personal and professional strengths can be discovered from your past work experience.
Once you have uncovered your core strengths to put in a resume, you will need to adjust them based on different company’s needs. An advantage of adjusting your core strength based on different job descriptions is that companies will feel that the strengths in your resume show that you are a good fit for the role.
Read through job descriptions carefully to comprehend each company’s desired strengths that they seek in applicants.
To show the strong points for your resume, select important skills and strengths that a prospective employer may want to see in you. For example, if you are looking for a job as a software engineer, you can add “detail-orientation”.
Adding professional strengths for a resume sparks a good impression if they are placed in the resume summary. A resume summary provides a first impression for the hiring manager.
Adding key strengths for resumes is commonly observed in the employment history section of the resume. The reason is that you can easily quantify achievements from the past to showcase your strengths to the employer.
You can easily add key strengths for a resume in the skills section. You can do so by highlighting your crucial strengths and skills in a bullet-point format.
Use appropriate action words to describe achievements and strengths altogether. Furthermore, you can also include strengths using the same keywords from the job description to stand out among the crowd.
You can showcase your strengths in the resume by providing an example of an accomplishment.
The idea of listing your weaknesses on your resume may seem controversial, or at times, uncomfortable. You are also likely to be asked about your weakness during a job interview.
On any occasion, an interviewer would not only want to know your strengths but also your weaknesses. It might be difficult to identify your shortcomings since no one wants to expose their weaknesses to potential employers. You may hesitate because you are not sure how to answer this question.
The most important thing to remember is that - strengths and weaknesses should be balanced. When you are good at something, you may be weaker at another. For instance, if you are an efficient person, you might not be as detail-oriented as others.
💡Pro tip: Employers not only want to understand the best strengths in your resume, but they also want to know how well you know yourself in general. Asking about your weakness is also an assessment to see whether you would be a good fit for the prospective job.
How to answer the question during a job interview?
It is not tricky at all. Answer the question positively and honestly.
Here is an example of dialogue you can follow:
Interviewer: What is your greatest weakness?
Applicant: I don’t like to reject people so I don’t know how to say no to other people.
Interviewer: How do you think this weakness of yours may affect you at a workplace?
Applicant: Well, I am loyal, and that’s why it’s hard for me to say no. I am kind at heart, so it’s always hard for me to reject others. Granted, I won’t be able to say no to a colleague who desperately needs my help to do his job, but I believe that I can get better by learning how to communicate my honest feelings and perspective.
In this example dialogue, you may notice that the applicant’s answer is positive and ‘affirmative’. It is not a revelation of self-doubt. Instead, it is a conversation which reveals your willingness to learn and improve on the job. Your willingness to learn is an important quality that employers look for.
--- Originally written by Diana Shih ---