Responsible, strategic, creative, effective, patient, expert, organizational, driven, innovative, analytical.
These are some of the most overused “Buzzwords” people include in their profiles on LinkedIn, or in their cover letters and resumes. The problem is not so much in the use of “buzz” words themselves, but in not attaching them with any meaning.
The solution is in the details. It is hard to sell your marketable knowledge, skills and your attitudes without being specific about what they are as well as what accomplishments they have yielded. Including a detailed explanation of how you got the job done works well when prospective employers assess your LinkedIn profile or your Cover Letter and Resume.
Here are a few simple steps that you can use when working on describing your qualifications and experience relating to your targeted job goal:
- Prepare: Think about a specific task that required one of your skills or competencies and ask yourself the following questions; Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? How much? How many? How often? What was the result?
- Transfer: the answers to the questions into a paragraph that speaks to the skill or competency that you may have to use in your future role.
- Edit: your paragraph down to a short two to three lines that focus in on how you applied your skill and what was accomplished as a result.
- Repeat: steps one to three for the remainder of your skills and competencies that may apply.
For example, a commonly used “buzz phrase” such as “Strong communication skills” becomes:
Taught classes of up to 30 adult English as a Second Language students about job search techniques by using a combination of lecture and written handouts. 85% of students successfully applied for employment positions as a result of training.
The impact statement above showcases how to effectively demonstrate strong communication skills without even using the words “strong” or “communication”. Furthermore, it also demonstrates skills used such as teaching, training and facilitating medium sized groups and includes what was accomplished as a result.
By breaking down the descriptive words you choose to sell yourself, and relating them to specific projects, tasks and accomplishments where you successfully applied your skills, you can avoid following the beaten path of overused buzz words and stand out from the crowd.
If you need help to develop your resume, cover letters or job seeker profile and avoid the overused buzz word trap - we can help! Contact us today.
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