It can be difficult to stand out on the job search. You might be competing with dozens of other applicants for a single opening, and your résumé. You want to make a memorable first impression without seeming unprofessional. Your skills may qualify you for the position, but it’s really going to be your personality that wins you the job.
Here are some tips for letting your personality shine through in a job application:
Emphasize “Soft Skills”
An employer will want to know that you’re qualified, of course, but you don’t have to stop there. If you excel in “soft” skills – things like emotional intelligence, teamwork, leadership, communication skills – they should be included on your résumé. Many hiring managers know that it’s easier to train a person than a personality, and are happy to hire someone who doesn’t fit all of their criteria but displays the work ethic and adaptability needed to acquire the relevant skills and experience.
Anyone can write in an application that they have excellent communication skills and attention to detail, but recommendations from superiors are definitely more convincing. Especially if you’re a younger applicant or lacking in relevant experience, having a former or current supervisor praise your soft skills can make up for a lot. You don’t need a long letter of recommendation, just a line or two on your résumé or cover letter that highlights your intangible value.
Tell Your Story in Your Cover Letter
You’re already giving your work history in your résumé, so there’s no need to rehash all of that information in your cover letter. Use it as an opportunity to introduce yourself as a person, and emphasize the life experiences that give you a unique perspective.
Maybe you love to take long road trips with your best friends and explore the national parks, or you might have devoted your youth to a rewarding athletic career. Perhaps you’re an award-winning barbecue cook or a parent heavily involved in your child’s school. Whatever gives an insight into your passions; this is what you should emphasize. The company is hiring an employee, yes, but it’s also hiring a human being shaped by a unique life.
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