Identifying The Elements That Set You Apart

The key to making a good first impression in the workplace, be it in person or on paper, is to accentuate the positive attributes or elements that you bring to the workplace. By highlighting these elements in a positive and appropriate way the job seeker is able to show prospective employers what knowledge, skills and talents they possess that are over and above the requirements for the job. In addition to just exceeding the requirements, an employer is more likely to remember names and be interested in meeting prospective employees who are unique in elements that would be beneficial to the company. Perhaps as the job seeker you may be able to highlight elements that the employer had not even considered as attributes that would be beneficial to the company.

Personal inventory

Often people have talents and skills that are such a part of who they are that they don’t realize that they are special or unique. First, determine what is occurring in the workplace and then try to identify the elements that you posses that would be valuable in that environment.

For example, if you were applying for a job as a bank teller consider what occurs in a bank. There are communication skills, math skills, problem solving skills, computer skills, customer service skills and organizational skills needed to complete the daily work requirements.

After making a list of these skills, identify what elements or attributes that you possess that will address these skill needs. If we use the example of communication skills you may find that you:

  • Speak another language
  • Can use sign language
  • Have taken a communications course
  • Have had past employment in a communications field

Once you have this list of attributes or elements that you have and use you can then begin to add these components to your resume, covering letter or job application form.

Get input from friends and co-workers

Sometimes people are good at things but they overlook them and forget to mention these elements on resumes and applications. Asking current or former co-workers and colleagues to read your current resume and add comments can be very helpful.

Often in the workplace there is an unspoken knowledge that a particular employee is very good at a specific type of work. While everyone in the workplace knows this it may never be directly stated. Think of a time in your current or past employment when you seemed to be the person that always did a particular type of work. This probably means that you were very good at completing that activity, and this would be an element that could set you apart from other job seekers.

A great example of this is the person who deals very effectively with difficult clients or co-workers. There is usually a person in every company that seems to be more successful in working with challenging people. This would be an element that would definitely need to be identified and put on a resume or job application to highlight skills.

Remember that the elements that you are identifying do not need to directly relate to the job description. Many resumes list a hobbies or additional skills section that allows job seekers to highlight their unique elements for prospective employers.

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