As a Career Coach, former Recruiter and Talent Director, I’ve hired dozens of people and helped over 500 individuals transition to new careers. When asking candidates and clients to tell me what they do, I often get a list of job titles, company names, and skills – many of which are impressive, but aren’t the key to getting hired or promoted.
Obviously skills are important, but how you APPLY the skills is critical. As a Hiring Manager, it’s nice to learn that you’ve led a team, but what I really want to understand is how you’ve applied your leadership skills to make an impact.
For example, perhaps you maintained a 95% retention rate for a team of 33 Designers over a 3-year period by introducing new development opportunities and innovative recognition programs. Or maybe, you motivated your virtual team to introduce process improvements that cut expenses by 20% by implementing weekly status calls via Skype.
When looking for the best candidates, companies want to know what’s in it for them. Showcasing the RESULTS you attained by applying your skills is what’s going to grab their attention. Because, if you can apply your skills to save 20% of costs in your former role, chances are you’ll be able to apply your skills to save 20% in the new role.
With fierce competition, the ability to communicate how your skills have a direct impact on the bottom line is no longer optional – it’s required. The good news is, no matter what your role, you ARE making an impact on the bottom line. Think about the tasks you do each day. In some way, you’re helping your company to either make money or save money. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be earning a paycheck.
Here are some examples:
– As an Admin Assistant, you keep the Executives organized, on time and efficiently scheduled so they can be at their best to bring more business into the firm.
– As a Project Manager, you ensure projects run smoothly so that deadlines are met and resources aren’t wasted on inefficiencies, which keeps clients happy and drives repeat business.
– As a member of the Helpdesk, you install the latest software so that Consultants can be most efficient in meeting client needs and you troubleshoot problems so that money isn’t wasted on downtime.
As you refresh your resume, prep for that interview, or network at an event, save the lists for the grocery store. Instead, stand out from the competition by sharing your accomplishments and specifically, how you applied your skills.