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How To Emphasize Your Strengths on Your CV

Can you tell us straight away what you are particularly good at? This question often catches you off-guard at a job interview and confuses many when choosing a profession or area of work and later when compiling your CV. It is, therefore, essential to recognize your strengths as early as possible so you can maximize your potential as a professional and, just as significantly, enjoy your work. The big problem is that most people either don’t know or cannot describe their most significant strengths. Because we spend so much time developing our weaknesses, we forget to consider our strengths. 

Our true potential lies in our strengths! So let’s start by assessing them. Next, we’ll talk about why it’s essential to understand your strengths, the steps to identify them, and how to describe them in a CV. They will help you know yourself much better and help you focus on what you are good at. Layboard with many vacancies will help you not only find a job, but also prepare a perfect CV for your dream job abroad.

Why is it important to understand your strengths?

Firstly, it helps us realize why something we do is easy and enjoyable and why something causes our internal resistance. Then, as a result, it makes scheduling time for projects and tasks easier: we understand what will go smoothly and what will require more attention.

Secondly, knowing our strengths, we become more confident and see our growth areas, which opens the door to rapid development in personal and professional terms.

Аnd thirdly, we understand that people around us also have strengths and areas for growth. This improves interaction with colleagues and partners.

How do you recognize your strengths? 

Analyze your actions. This is not easy because strengths:

  • are often taken for granted,
  • and are neither appreciated nor noticed;
  • often appear spontaneously, especially in unconventional and difficult situations;
  • maybe associated with skills that are difficult for others to teach.

However, we suggest several ways of doing this.

Find out what gives you real emotion

Your joy is the best clue. To identify your strengths, you need to listen to your own emotions.

First, we advise you to start paying close attention to what you do with ease and where you usually do well.

Pay attention to those areas where you get a natural feeling that things are running smoothly and that you are in control. This is a good start. This process will show you where you are outstanding.

Research among colleagues and friends

Your friends will not refuse to help you. Even though you listen and research your feelings first, you’ll get essential and valuable information about your strengths simply by asking people what they think of you. You will also learn how external perceptions may differ from your own or how closely the two are linked.

It would be best if you did some research among the people you have worked with and with your closest friends, family, and relatives.

Draw up a short questionnaire. Ask them questions such as:

  • what do you think are my strengths?
  • what would you recommend to me?
  • what makes me a better person?
  • what are my shortcomings? (Ask this question only to those closest to you, who will tell you honestly and without undue criticism).

5-10 completed questionnaires should be enough to analyze the answers effectively. First, copy the most recurring conclusions and write them down. Then combine these findings with your ones. Combining them will create an overall image of your strengths and weaknesses based on your personal views and those around you.

Your strengths on your resume

Employers often pay attention to what the job seeker lists as his strengths. The “strengths of character” are not professional skills or business abilities but your positive qualities. To understand what is the best to specify, you can look through the examples of character strengths in the resume.  

Your strengths should relate to the following:

  • experience with a particular application;
  • accomplishing a specific task or working within a particular industry;
  • Relevant accomplishments, such as a list of positive customer reviews, completing successful projects, maximizing the use of equipment or tools, or implementing new methods that have led to results;
  • special abilities, such as creating slide presentations, preparing presentations, and organizing events;
  • “Soft skills” or competencies such as problem-solving, project management, team management, mediation, etc.;
  • Training and coaching in various work processes, mentoring, etc.;
  • Positive personal strengths that you can relate to performance, such as being at ease with people and being able to work as part of a team.

It is not enough if you list your best qualities. You may have to confirm them with facts during the interview. So, keep it moderate: be specific and avoid excessive bragging. Looking at your colleagues’ resumes on job sites, you’ll see that 80% of resumes mention the same strengths. For example:

  • communication skills,
  • responsibility, diligence,
  • diligence,
  • high ability to work, perseverance,
  • ability to work effectively in a team,
  • focus on the result,
  • multitasking.

What is wrong with this list? The majority of applicants list only these qualities. But they are not advantages: show us a specialist willing to admit that he is NOT hardworking, NOT responsible, a lousy team player, and cannot work for the result.

The qualities listed are not strengths because most applicants should have them as default options.

Therefore, recruitment experts strongly recommend that these qualities not be mentioned. Or rather: they can and should be noted, but in different terms:

  • “a new team can establish contacts with colleagues, including related departments, in 2 weeks.”
  • “i consider the main criterion for the quality of my work to be the achievement of the set KPIs. At my last job, achieving KPIs was 120% (on average, over two years of work).”
  • “devote as much time to work as necessary to achieve tasks.”
  • “able to perform routine work for 4 hours without interruptions or loss of efficiency.”

Instead of listing skills and qualities, give an illustration, a case study, and a number. In the eyes of the employer, it will look much more convincing than formulaic wording.

One common mistake job seekers make is to send the same resume to different jobs. From our point of view, that’s not right: each employer has a different idea of the ideal employee for the job, their set of skills, and qualities. If you understand what the employer wants, you will get an invitation to an interview and an appointment if you are good at it. So how do you know what the employer wants? First, you must read the job ad carefully – usually, the key is there.

One employer emphasizes that he needs employees who know how to maintain an emotional balance in the face of tight deadlines. Another insists that the applicant for the vacancy should be proactive and able to work independently without waiting for instructions from the management. A third emphasizes that the applicant’s ability to deliver a vivid, informative, and persuasive presentation is essential. For some employers, the employee must be honest. For some, the critical point is the applicant’s experience working with foreign partners and knowledge of business etiquette.

Do some preparatory work that will help you compose a quality resume. First, read the employer’s advertisement carefully, and write down in a list the skills/qualities he considers vital, judging from the ad.

Opposite the qualities that the employer noted as important, write down your skills and qualities – in those items where you meet the requirements. Then, the list of strengths you need to emphasize on your resume is ready. All that remains is to find a place for them in the document and make the correct wording.

It makes no sense to write on your resume that you are a good team player if you are most productive on your own. Likewise, it is not worth mentioning systems thinking as an advantage if you are strongest at creative tasks that involve imagination and free thinking.

If the position has requirements you do not meet (and you do meet the main criteria, otherwise, why send a resume?) – you can leave it out. Then, at the interview, you will show your strengths as a whole and talk about your achievements, and perhaps the employer will decide in your favor.

To sum up, remember that the information should be reliable. At the job interview, the employer may ask you to give arguments and examples from your life and professional career, confirming both your positive and negative sides. In addition, you may be asked about what you are good at and what your attitude is. Unfortunately, there is no universal list of personality traits, so the applicant must properly articulate the characteristics given the position’s requirements. In any case, we can consider the time you spend describing your strengths in your resume investment in your future employment, so we strongly recommend that you approach this task with the utmost care.

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