Don’t Say It If You Can’t Demonstrate It.

I was interviewing a candidate last week that told me three times that one of their best characteristics or strengths was their listening skills, then proceeded to talk non stop for an hour. I could hardly get a word in to ask the questions I wanted to ask.

If you say something related to your strengths, you must demonstrate it or give a good example of how that skill has been applied to a companies advantage.

You might describe how you go about gathering requirements and how active listening helped you efficiently identify the root source of a process bottleneck.

A recent candidate wrote on their resume they were dependable. Good characteristic, but only a word if you can’t give a good example of how that characteristic positions you over another candidate.  No need for a long story of how you worked all weekend with no food or water in order to deliver results seconds before the critical presentation was due.  Rather, describe how you organize your day, plan your week, assign and follow up on key deliverables so that no critical milestone is missed.

My Advice – take an objective look at your resume and the words you have used to describe yourself and ask if you can describe each one in terms of what that looks like in the work setting.  If you can’t, take it off.