Promoting YOU: Using Your Strengths to Build a Powerful Resume

In our last blog I outlined how you can pinpoint and gather your strengths so they can be placed on your resume.  Now that you know how to gather your strengths and why you should do this – a natural question would be, “Where do I list these strengths on my resume?” 

Strengths should show up in three places on your resume:

  1. Create a table under the “Executive Summary” section (as discussed in a previous blog) and bullet point each strength.  By using the bullet points, it makes the information easy to read, thus“ leaping” off the resume paper in the eyes of the reader, and will also be picked up through the keyword search mentioned in our previous blog.  Don’t forget to remove the table lines / borders so that they are invisible when printed. Here I will share a copy of my actual resume with you, including the table of strengths at the top so you have a visual example.  Note:  I have made three changes to my resume, including style, since this particular version has been posted online just a month ago.  Your resume should constantly evolve as you gather more and more ideas of effective resumes in style and language.  The updated resume will be posted soon!
  2. Pepper your strengths throughout your job duty descriptions, making sure to use a variety of them and avoid using the same words under the same job listing, over and over.  For example, if you used “Implemented” because that is a strength, such as “Implemented processes for three lines of business” or “Implemented executive level programs,” then you can use synonyms to indicate this same duty and strength such as:  formed, founded, commenced, launched, executed, etc. An online or hard copy thesaurus is handy for this synonym search.
  3. Include strengths in your cover letter (yes, you should have a cover letter or customized email serving as a cover letter) throughout the paragraphs that introduce you to the reader. Think of the cover letter as a “foreward” to the actual resume and why your strengths make you an ideal candidate for their company and the open job for which you are applying.

These same strengths should be listed on your LinkedIn profile and even on Facebook where you can create a profile for recruiters to find you.

For another cool, creative way to relay your strengths, consider creating an online video resume for free or very low cost (under $25) using a tool like Animoto (thanks to my marketing coach Meredith Liepelt of Rich Life Marketing for teaching me this awesome tip!) and posting it to your LinkedIn profile.

Do you have other unique ways in which you incorporate your strengths in your resume or your LinkedIn profile? 

Do you have an example of a powerful word for a strength on your resume that captures your strengths, making that strength “WOW?!”

Coming up in our next Promoting U blog series on resume writing:  Way to Go! Promoting U via Resume Awards and Accomplishments

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