Want to tell a potential employer that you’re creative? A problem solver? Flexible?
Instead of describing yourself as a “self-starter,” tell a story about how you took action when you saw an issue that needed to be fixed.
Don’t say you are “flexible”—tell the hiring manager about a change in your job (or schoolwork demands) and what you did to deal with the change.
Well-worn phrases won’t help you get the job, but concrete examples will!
The story you need to tell
|Highly qualified||Highlight your accomplishments in previous jobs. Emphasize your specific skills and note any certifications you have earned.|
|Hard worker||Explain exactly how you’ve gone the extra mile for your job. For instance, did you regularly meet tough deadlines, handle a high volume of projects, or tackle tasks outside your job description?|
|Team player||Provide examples of how you worked with colleagues or individuals in other departments to meet an objective or complete a project.|
|Problem solver||Highlight a difficult situation you encountered and how you handled it.|
|Flexible||Describe how you responded to a major change at work (or in your schoolwork) or dealt with the unpredictable aspects of your job.|
|People person||Can you offer examples of your strong communication skills? Can you describe how you’ve worked with co-workers and customers?|
|Self-starter||What can you contribute immediately to the company or to the department you work in? Describe how you took action when you saw an issue that needed to be fixed.|
Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.