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Creating a Powerful, Skills Based Resume – One Liners that Work
I hear people often say that a skills-based resume doesn’t work. From this, I can only assume that they don’t know how to assemble properly, because A well-written skills-based resume is powerful, creates interest, and gets you an interview.
So what’s the difference between what works and what doesn’t?
The difference is whether you just write a list of skills you hope the reader will take from you or whether you use one-liners to prove you have the skills.
Your resume might include a line that reads:
– Organized, hard working, excellent communication skills, computer proficient
It doesn’t prove anything, you read the ad and are regurgitating the information on paper!
If my resume says I have great computer skills, why would anyone believe me? Especially since under “Education and Training” you will find nothing related to computer learning!
They will believe me if I can tell stories to prove the skills I claim.
So here’s how to go about it.
Check the job description first – Or find out as much as possible about the job. What exactly are they looking for?
Let’s say you see a job ad that simply says “excellent computer skills.” It’s pretty vague and you don’t know which of their software you need to know, but it’s a pretty safe bet that Microsoft Office is needed.
Next, think of stories from your life, true stories – At this point they can be as long as you want – stories that describe your computer skills. What have you done with the computer? What project? What software did you take a course on, teach yourself, and what did you use this information for after you learned it?
I am self-taught, so that makes it difficult to prove that I know what I claim to know. However, I have used computers for almost 20 years and it gives me many stories to draw from.
Here is my story:
One of the first things I did when I learned to use a word processor (it was Word Perfect 5.1, for those of you in the “old” days) was to create a newsletter for a social group I was a member of. So, my one liner might look like this:
– Designed and produced a monthly 12 page newsletter using various advanced formatting functions
I am a handwriting analyst and I provide written or verbal consultation reports to clients. It was a very part-time job when I was home with my kids, but the computer skills I used were still valid.
– Created and formatted 4 page structured reports for clients responsible for grammar, spelling, layout and content.
Are you getting the idea?
Everything I say is absolutely true, but I To put it in business terms, And instead of just saying I know how to use words, I have Giving them 2 concrete examples of what I have done with the program.
This is the foundation of a skill-based resume.
If you look back at my story about analyzing handwriting – I mentioned to you that I did either written or oral reports. My skills-based resume will probably have a section, regardless of the job I’m applying for, entitled “Communication Skills.” After all, what job wouldn’t be made easier if the incumbent had good communication skills? So what can you guess is going to appear in this section of my resume?
– Discusses sometimes sensitive report findings with clients using brevity, clarity and tact.
Now, I’m assuming most of you are not handwriting analysts! But you all have something going for you. You all do a lot. Take one small thing that you feel you did or did well and try to make a one-liner out of it.
If you feel modest, and think that it makes you look too big – don’t worry, it’s normal. Try to think of the action or skill as one’s own Otherwise, tell your best friend. If you possibly can, think of someone else who actually does this same thing. then Describe this in a one-liner for their resume, Without inhibitions or thinking of it as self. Then look objectively at what you wrote, and ask yourself if it can honestly describe you as well. The answer is yes probably.”
Writing a skills-based resume involves no cheating. It describes your skills in terms like business, Which unless you’ve got business skills, is probably a way you haven’t looked at them before.
Give it a try.
This, of course, is only the beginning. You’ll need to figure out how to put the entire resume together, but for now – work on those powerful one-liners that can land you the job you’re qualified for.
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