How to improve your skillset and impress any potential employer

Sarah Dunsby

Source: Photoshot

Check out these useful tips

One of the disadvantages of the internet is the fact that job postings receive a flood of applicants from around the world. There are far more unqualified applicants than qualified applicants, but human resources managers have to weed through all of the resumes.

If the company uses an applicant tracking system, they’ll apply algorithms similar to search engine optimisation to narrow down the pool to a few dozen resumes for review, and then you have to literally rise to the top of the stack. Here are a few tips on how to improve your skillset and impress any potential employer.

Use hard data

People consider hard statistics more authentic than general platitudes. Don’t say in your resume that you dramatically increased revenue or sales. Give specific figures like “increased sales 15 per cent year over year after taking over the group” or “reduced expenses 8 per cent without hurting customer service”. Instead of stating that you have social media skills, describe the increased conversion rate on a client’s website after you completed the project or doubled site traffic after a social media marketing campaign.

Mine your volunteer work for examples

Did you contribute to a white paper published by your team? List that as a publication on your resume. Did you volunteer as a project coordinator or bookkeeper for a charity? Look at the volunteer activities and unpaid projects you’ve taken on. Someone who taught a Dave Ramsey ‘get out of debt’ course on a volunteer basis can list this as teaching experience.

Anyone who led a volunteer project to improve process flow at a food bank may have only that project to prove they have Six Sigma or Lean process improvement experience. And that is a relevant experience to list on your resume, especially if you’re applying for jobs that require those skills.

Leadership credentials

LinkedIn allows individuals to list their skills in addition to their work history, and it seems like everyone from retail clerks to C-suite level executives list “leadership” as one of their skills. The sheer ubiquitous of this line item causes many managers to toss your resume if you cannot prove it in one line or less.

The solution for those of us who haven’t had the job title of team leader or manager is to seek leadership training. For example, you could complete leadership management training through a program like Call of the Wild, who offer a range of excursions to improve leadership and team building. Now it is a valid credential on your resume instead of just another meaningless bullet in the skills list. The credential verifies that you have had relevant training and is a place to mention the skillset other than putting leadership under “attention to details” and “people skills”.

Conclusion

There are many ways that you can improve your skill set and stand out with employers. Use hard data when describing your accomplishments. Include non-paid work when listing your experience, especially if this experience is the only showcase you have for the skillset. Look for employer-paid or low cost continuing education, especially if it keeps your credentials valid or earns new ones that help you qualify for a new job. Complete real leadership training if you don’t already have experience in leading a group.

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