The right strengths for resumes, cover letters, and interviews can make a difference between a job offer or rejection. Resumes, cover letters, and interviews are the first step to getting hired for any job.
Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to write these documents in a way that will get them noticed. This is why we’ve created this article with a list of strengths you can use when applying for jobs. You’ll stand out from other applicants if you include some of these strengths in your resume or cover letter.
What Are Professional Strengths for a Resume?
In a resume, a person’s strengths are usually itemized to convince the hiring manager that you have the necessary qualities to excel in your profession. For example, if you’re applying for an office job, you might emphasize your organizational skills (e.g., “organized and managed all incoming receipts” or “strong attention to detail”).
On the other hand, if you’re applying for a manual job, you might highlight physical strength (e.g., “able to lift to 50lbs” or “familiar with using power tools”). The more skills and qualities you can list in your resume, the better.
There is a caveat here: don’t include every strength you have ever used even if it’s awesome. You need to show some restraint and not go on and on about the awesome things you’ve done in your life. I’d say 5-7 well-chosen strengths would be optimal for your resume.
It should help to make an exhaustive list of all the skills, talents, and strengths you have gained from working or studying, or plying your trade over the years. Think of each experience as a different way in which you showed leadership, creativity, responsibility, courage, integrity, determination, discipline, empathy.
The point is that when writing a resume or cover letter, you must convey that you have a versatile skill set that can be used effectively in the job for which you are applying.
Why is it Important to Showcase Strengths in a Resume?
Did you know that only about 20% of people that apply for a job get called for an interview? Even if their resume is good, that means 80% of applicants are getting rejected. This is where your resume comes in.
You need to convince the hiring manager that you’re an excellent fit for the job by highlighting your strengths. And this isn’t just about showing what you can do; it’s also about suggesting what you can become, i.e., how you would grow into that role if given the chance.
That means that when writing a resume, you must avoid focusing on past performance (i.e., skills, qualifications, and experience). Instead, emphasize future potential (i.e., growth mindset ).
If possible, make sure to include some bullet points under each strength demonstrating your desire to learn new things and develop yourself further within the position. Doing so will show the hiring manager that you’re a perfect fit for the company.
List with 40 Key Strengths Examples for Resumes, Interview, and Cover Letters
List with 40 examples of strengths that you can include in your resume to increase your odds of being called in for an interview:
- Positive personality
- Able to prioritize
- Good communicator
- Customer service experience
- Planning skills
- Excellent at time management and organization
- Great analytical skills
- Good listening skills
- Able to focus on tasks at hand without distractions
- Able to work under pressure
- Socially skilled
- Creative problem solver
- Great negotiation skills
- Broad general knowledge base; wide breadth of interests
Top Core Strengths for Resume and Interviews Which Employers Seek in Employees
Analytics as a Core Strengths
Being an analytical employee is a great way to stand out in the business world. Having strong analytical skills is necessary when it comes to sifting through large amounts of data to find solutions for complex problems.
Employers are always looking for people with this skill, so you must highlight your abilities when applying for jobs. Not only will this help improve your chances of landing an interview, but it’ll also show employers what you can bring to their company.
Being analytical doesn’t just mean knowing how to run numbers or crunch data; it also means being able to recognize patterns and trends within the information. For example, if someone told you that “98% of people who buy ice cream do so on Tuesdays,” you would recognize this as a pattern.
If you found out that sales were low on Tuesdays, you would be able to determine that it was because people weren’t buying ice cream (and not because they were saving money by shopping at another time).
Being analytical allows you to see patterns that others might miss; patterns that might give your employer benefits that other employees might not.
Communication as a Core Strengths
Adequate communication skills are necessary for almost every profession, and your resume should reflect your ability to communicate clearly and directly while working with others. This includes:
Speaking – You need to show employers that you can speak confidently and coherently during an interview or job presentation. You will also have to prove that you know how to effectively use language when speaking to clients, other employees, and other business contacts.
Listening – Employers want someone who can listen to their ideas and concerns, as well as to the needs of clients. They want someone who can make sense of information that’s related to them, ask questions if necessary (to fully understand), and respond appropriately.
Writing – You should highlight your ability to write clearly and coherently for various purposes like reports, emails, proposals, manuals, etc.
Dependability as a Core Strengths
Being dependable is an extremely important trait when it comes to getting hired. Employers want reliable people; they don’t want you to flake out at the last minute or fail to meet deadlines. If you have a history of being dependable, make sure you highlight this in your resume and during your interview.
Being dependable also means that employers can trust you with responsibilities, so showing them that you’ve had experience completing projects promptly is incredibly helpful when trying to land the job.
Teamwork and Leadership as a Core Strengths
Teams are pretty much everywhere these days, which means that teamwork is just as important as individual ability. Many companies see employees working well together as more valuable than employees who are great at their jobs but cannot work with others.
Employers want employees who are willing to put the needs of the company before their own; they want people who can work collaboratively with others, no matter what position they’re in.
They also value strong leaders (and look for them when hiring), which means that highlighting your ability to lead teams and projects is an excellent way of standing out during your job search.
IT Skills as a Core Strengths
Technology is everywhere today, so having some knowledge of how computers and other devices work is almost a requirement when it comes to employment. While this isn’t incredibly important if you’re looking at low-level jobs like dishwashers or cashiers, it’s highly valued by employers if you’re aiming for higher-up positions like managers or engineers.
If you know how to use software that the company you’re trying to get a job with uses, it could be incredibly helpful in landing your dream position. You don’t have to be a computer genius, but being able to navigate the Internet and type up a document is something that employers will notice during your interview.
Creativity and Innovation as a Core Strengths
Being creative when it comes to your work can be incredibly valuable to an employer. They want someone willing to try new methods when it comes to solving problems, as well as being open to new ideas and being able to think outside the box to offer solutions.
When it comes down to it, employers are looking for people who are willing to innovate when working on their projects instead of just doing things the same way they’ve always been done. This includes showing initiative when tackling difficult tasks and finding unique ways of dealing with issues that might not have a solution already.
Adaptability as a Core Strengths
Adaptability is another trait that employers are looking for when filling out job openings; it means you can easily adapt to new situations and change your thinking or actions if needed. If you’ve ever had to deal with major life changes, like moving across the country, then this might come naturally to you.
If not, employers want people who are open to learning new things (like the software they’re using), as well as trying different methods of doing tasks based on the skills of their co-workers or feedback they receive from their boss.
Ethics and Integrity as a Core Strengths
Having ethics and integrity in your work is important to employers. They want people who are willing to play by the rules and do what they’re supposed to, even if it’s not in their best interest (in other words, people who aren’t selfish).
Being ethical and having integrity when it comes to working means that you won’t make mistakes when doing something because you’re doing it the wrong way; on a personal level, it could mean that instead of cheating on a test or fudging some numbers on your taxes, you’ll do your very best because that’s what’s expected of you.
Employers will notice whether or not you have ethics and integrity during your interview; be honest with them about past mistakes or unethical behavior (but don’t bring up anything too personal), as well as speak about what you’ve done to make sure doesn’t happen again.
What are Weaknesses for a Resume?
This is going to depend on your particular skill set and the job you’re applying for. Employers want applicants who have their best qualities near the top of their resumes, so they’ll likely look at those things first before looking at weaknesses.
Weaknesses will typically be placed near the bottom of a resume and employers might not read them (at) all. If weaknesses come up, try to speak about how you’ve worked to improve over time instead of just trying to brush the weakness off. If the weakness is something that will affect your ability to do your job, then it’s worth being honest.
List of 7 Weaknesses for a Resume
A list of weaknesses for a resume will depend on the job that you’re applying for.
In general, the following is a list of weaknesses that employees tend to have:
- Inability to work alone without supervision
- Inability to prioritize time well
- Poor communication skills
- Irrational fears of certain objects or situations
- Easily distracted
- Impulsive behavior
- Excitability or extreme emotions that cause problems in social settings
Strengths vs. Weaknesses in a Resume
Every person has strengths and weaknesses, and while employers are looking for their best qualities in a potential hire, it still might be appropriate to mention your weaknesses during your interview.
For example, if you’re applying for a job as an accountant and you’ve studied the theory of numbers but don’t have any practical experience yet, then mentioning that you know how to do calculations in your interview (but haven’t had any real chance of putting something into practice) will show the employer that you take initiative.
On the other hand, if you’re applying for a teaching position and one of your weaknesses is that you sometimes allow students to speak with each other when they should be working independently, then this may hurt your chances of getting hired unless there’s another reason why the interviewer thinks that you’d be good at teaching (such as, you took classes alongside future teachers or you regularly babysit for friends or family members).
During a job interview, employers will try to discover both sides of the equation – in other words, what you’re good at and what you’re not so great at – to determine if they want to hire you. Having a long list of weaknesses could indicate that you’re not willing to improve your skills, but choosing just one or two is the best approach.
FAQ about Strengths and Resume/CV
How do I list my skills on a resume 2022?
When you are making a resume, simply listing your skills is not enough to convince employers that you truly have those skills. You can list them under a separate column in your resume titled skills.
However, another section of your resume should include an overview of your prior job experience. There, you should list how those skills helped you succeed in that job and how the skills helped benefit your prior team. Be prepared for interviewers to ask follow up questions, too.
What is your strength best answer?
When answering the question “what is your greatest strength?” it can be difficult to ensure that you are not overly confident. Try to answer as honestly as you can. Additionally, provide the employer with an example of you using that skill.
Which skill made you succeed at your last job? Which skill contributed to your team’s success the most? Think of a moment that clearly answers these questions and shows how you can be a great addition to the team, and center your answer around that.
In conclusion, you should always include your strengths in a resume, cover letter, or interview – but make sure that they’re relevant to the job you want and that you can back them up.
Lastly, don’t let any part of your application define who you are as a person because no one aspect should define someone’s skills or capabilities – instead, all the parts should work well together to explain what makes you, you.