Ivy Exec’s Sr. Resume Specialist Staci Collins explains how carefully chosen words and focusing on the solution, not the problem, are the keys to getting the interview and Showing Evidence of Leadership & People Skills on Your Resume:
Adding proof of Leadership & People skills into your resume, while of crucial importance, can be some of the trickiest bullets. First, it’s often hard to quantify people results. Not every intervention results in a promotion, performance grade improvement, increased returns, etc. But even when they do, because the challenges are individual or team, not market, cost, or process, it can be hard to find words that do justice to the result without “throwing someone under the bus”. You throw your last company under the bus, and I, your new potential employer, imagine you’ll do it to me as well.
So, no one wants to write that his or her last boss threw screaming tantrums in front of clients, or reamed out team members with customers in the room, or was so involved in politics that they ignored operations. Avoid saying that the team couldn’t stop fighting, or the project was weeks or months behind and needed to be turned-around fast and cheap so as not to lose a key client and revenue stream.
And yet, every behavioral interview asks a version of “Tell me about a time when you resolved a team, client, or boss conflict.” Having a well-worded statement of such on your resume may just win you the interview. But if you’re not careful, it could lose it as well.
One way to address these things discreetly is of course to focus more on the solution than the problem…”Turned-around team” …and in my resume writing I make sure to use gentler words for problem descriptions: “Under-performing” rather than “poor-performing” or “failed”. Also, choose the right competency verb “Coached”, “counseled”, “negotiated”, “mediated”, “Facilitated”, “Resolved”.
But the big bang is in the well-told story that’s respectful, but authentic; making these problems appear smaller with compassion & competence, since most of us realize we have some interpersonal issues (who me? Never). By handling previous interpersonal snafus with skill and compassion, you assure me that you’ll do the same should I hire you.
Staci has over 15 years of experience partnering with managers at all levels to build their careers via career strategy, career assessment and selection, brand identification, PAR development and mapping, and strategic resume and cover letter development.
Staci brings deep industry experience, having worked at Accenture and Ernst & Young in performance coaching, change management, human resources, and strategic planning.
She received her MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California, and Bachelor of Arts from Harvard.
This posting created by Ivyexec.com
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