How to Showcase Your Skills When Reaching Out About Job Openings
In the quest for effective ways to showcase your skills and experience when job hunting, we sought insights from ten top professionals, including CEOs and HR directors. Their advice ranges from highlighting flexibility in the resume summary to providing a sample of your work. Dive into their expert tips to enhance your job application strategy.
- Highlight Flexibility in the Resume Summary
- Connect with Recruiters on LinkedIn
- Include a Portfolio Link in the Inquiry
- Showcase Your Practical Skills in CV
- Be Specific and Show Initiative
- Demonstrate Experience with Projects
- Secure Projects with Relevant Certifications
- Use Images to Showcase Skills
- Craft a Tailored Cover Letter
- Provide a Sample of Your Work
Highlight Flexibility in the Resume Summary
For general inquiries about job openings, it’s important to highlight your flexibility. Every candidate should have a resume summary that’s only two or three sentences and centers on your ability to work in a variety of roles.
This summary should skip over redundant positions, so don’t be afraid to go far back in your work history—remember, you don’t know exactly which department might be hiring, so a range of roles shows your versatility. Think of this paragraph as an elevator pitch and memorize it. You might find yourself in an unexpected opportunity to use it.
Consider the value of internal mobility. If you’re set on a single company, getting into a lower-level role can be well worth it, so keep your pitch general enough to apply widely.
Connect with Recruiters on LinkedIn
Find a LinkedIn connection. Use the search function to find a recruiter or manager at a company you’re interested in, and frame your ask around that connection. Tell them how you learned X or Y in your program in common, or used those skills in your previous work. Be specific, and make a personal connection that compels them to respond.
Include a Portfolio Link in the Inquiry
To inquire about potential job openings at a company, showcasing your skills effectively can be achieved by including a link to your portfolio. After introducing your professional background and expressing interest in the company, it’s beneficial to encourage the reader to view your portfolio if there’s an open position that matches your skill set.
This provides them with a better understanding of your abilities. It’s important to ensure your portfolio is up-to-date and features your most impressive work.
Showcase Practical Skills in CV
Create a “real-world” CV or deck separately, which displays how you’ve utilized your skills practically to provide clear commercial value.
For example, in a marketing role, if you have your own websites and side projects, it really helps to display how you’ve utilized skills relevant to the role you’re applying for.
Be Specific and Show Initiative
This type of cold outreach is tricky because if there are no job postings, either the company is in the process of looking internally first, or it isn’t hiring at all. The best thing to do is to get straight to specifics.
Do not be general at all. Know what position you’d like and state specifics about what you can bring to the table. If you showcase outstanding abilities (remember, keep it short), a callback is highly likely because you’ve shown initiative.
Demonstrate Experience with Projects
One of the best things you can do as a candidate is show how you’ve utilized your experience practically with personal projects to demonstrate that you truly understand how processes or actions lead to a given result. This also clearly shows a potential employer that you ‘get it’ from a process and strategy point of view.
Secure Projects with Relevant Certifications
In the early days, as the founder of a digital marketing agency, the competitiveness of the job market was clear. While seeking a partnership with a major retail company, standing out was crucial.
Degrees are valuable, but in the fast-paced world of SMS and Growth Marketing, certifications often catch the eye. A specialized certification in SMS marketing was acquired to demonstrate expertise beyond just claiming it. This certification was included prominently in outreach efforts, linked to successful case studies. The company was impressed, and the project was secured. This experience highlighted the tangible impact a relevant certification can have.
Use Images to Showcase Skills
Use photos to create a narrative. Images play a huge role in sending a message and displaying skills that can easily capture a recruiter’s eye, rather than having to read and go through text in a resume.
By adding an image that represents the skills you possess, you showcase creative communication and improve the aesthetics of your resume. This will also help your resume stand out from the competition and give you a better chance of landing a job.
Craft a Tailored Cover Letter
Put some effort into your cover letter! Although not every business requires them these days, a cover letter is still one of the most effective ways you can showcase your skill set to an employer. It is a definitive opportunity to send a tailored and custom letter to a potential hiring manager.
Your cover letter should make your qualifications and work experience clear, and it should include any relevant background you have in the field. Finally, be sure to personalize the letter for the company you’re applying to.
Provide a Sample of Your Work
Give them a taste of what you can do. If you work in SEO, perform a basic web audit on their site, for example. If you can’t easily create something that showcases your skills and helps their business, send along relevant samples of your work elsewhere.
It takes a bigger time investment to create something new for every company, so it’s worthwhile to choose your top options and start there. That extra hour or two spent shows your dedication and drive, along with a relevant skill set. You’ll have a much better chance to stand out when you go that extra mile!