Have you ever thought about the answer to this question? Is your answer, “Because I can do it all!” Would you answer with a list of personal attributes like, “Because I’m punctual, dependable, have a great work ethic, and I’ll get the job done.”
What this question is really asking is — How do you stand out from the competition? What makes you different from others in your field?
When I interview clients to gather information for a resume many of my questions sound like interview questions. In a way they are. Because such questions have a way of making you delve into your memory to tell me why you’re good at what you do. What makes you stand out from the crowd?
For the first time in 15-20 years, job searchers have to write resumes for work they’ve done over long periods. You’re so used to doing what you do that it’s become second-nature. You don’t think about details of why you do what you do, how you do it, or what tools are used to gain the best results in the shortest time. You’re the master of the task, sought out by others for the intricate details, the expertise, the insight, the knowledge. But to explain how to do it without showing someone or just doing it escapes you. And that’s where it gets hard.
But when you say, “Because I can do it all,” it doesn’t tell an employer anything. It doesn’t pinpoint how you developed that business strategy that increased revenues by 15%. It doesn’t show how using root cause analysis helped pinpoint that glitch that caused 4 hours of critical downtime. And that’s what you need to show the employer why you’re the perfect match for the employment opportunity.
Employers won’t assume anything. They won’t fill in the blanks. Your resume needs to show the skills you’ve used to accomplish those outstanding goals that set you apart from the rest. Your resume must be a list of skills, accolades and accomplishments that show why you made a difference. And it must do this in a clear and concise way because an employer only spends 4-8 seconds initially reviewing your resume.
So when you talk to your resume writer about what you do, think ahead to understand the tasks, actions and results of your actions. Be prepared to explain why an employer should hire you. Think of what makes you different and why you’re so darn good at your job.
Most resume writers are magicians with words. Creating an outstanding resume for you is our greatest task. Being ready to explain why an employer should hire you helps you get a better return on your resume investment both from the writer and from your employment opportunities. You’ll stand out from the crowd when you can explain why the employer should hire you, because you won’t leave any room for guess-work.
What skills make you stand out from the competition?