Playing Up Your Skills

Today’s job market is as turbulent as ever. Not only are University degrees becoming less relevant, but the types of jobs that currently dominate the market will surely change more than once in the next few decades.

That is why you need to learn how to play up your skills when applying for a position of employment, as that will allow whoever is hiring you to pick your resume out of a much larger stack. This is not as difficult as it seems, however. All it takes, in some instances, are small changes in your information and employment history, particularly on your resume.

With the job market changing more rapidly than ever, it will be your adaptability that will stand out the most.

Gaps in Employment History

One problem that some applicants run into when applying for jobs is that employers will see gaps in their employment history as imperfections. This may not be caused by a lack of commitment, but rather by certain events in your life that may have side-tracked you. Worry not, though. This is very common, and all it takes is the proper language and formatting on your resume. Instead of using the more commonly-known chronological resume, use the functional resume, which demonstrates that your career is not a series of lengthy tenures at particular companies, but rather a culmination of gained skills and experience that has made you dynamic and adaptable.

woman in job interview

Be sure, however, to have an answer ready for the interview when they ask about employment gaps. The best thing to do would be to prove that you did gain some skills in that time, even if they if this occurred in your spare time.

Refine Your Resume

The expression ‘less is more’ is perhaps overused in today’s society, but when an employer is tasked with finding the best candidates for a position, concision and elegance will most likely defeat an encyclopedic account of your experience and skills. However, you may have a three-page resume and feel unable to make it any smaller. Here are a few things you can do to make better use of your space, and ultimately of your employer’s time.

Consider your experience from many years–if not decades–ago. If this industry is not as thriving or if the one you are trying to enter into has little to do with it, then simply put the years that you have worked there instead of a lengthy summary of your accomplishments. Furthermore, positions that you only stayed at for a few months should not be emphasized as much as those where you stayed for a longer time. Remember, your resume will not only reflect who you are, but also how efficiently you can organize and prioritize with respect to the company being sought out.

Changing Careers

Changing careers can be an extremely difficult process requiring a lot of time and necessary financial sacrifices. It goes without saying, then, that your resume will need to contain information that not only justifies your place in this company, but also demonstrates the amount of commitment you are willing to put into a position.

While you are changing careers, you should consider what you need to do to get a head start on all others entering your field (and perhaps taking your position if you are not careful). On your resume, be sure to put a category discussing your “related employment activities”. Certain volunteering positions may not be as “valuable” as paid employment, but they show that you are willing to put time into that field without receiving a monetary reward.  Likewise, this may allow you to gain what are known as “soft skills”. These skills are usually abstract and subjective, but the emphasis on them may very well be what the employer’s sees as the difference between you and the hundreds of other vying for a single position.