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📝 Don't Sell Yourself Short: 4 Resume Tips to Show Your Value

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

It's time to stand out within the job applicant pool utilizing your resume. Throw away your boring, unenthused document and represent your skills and value appropriately. You have more impressive work experience than you give yourself credit for.


Here are my top 4 resume tips that extend beyond the same feedback of "one-page, no images, yada yada."

  1. Tip #1 - Take a strengths test

  2. Tip #2 - What's your why?

  3. Tip #3 - Yes, you need an internship

  4. Tip #4 - Quantify your experience. Read that over and over again...

  5. 🧠 Closing Thoughts

Computer, coffee, and notes to compile your resume
Stock Resume Vibe

Tip #1 - Take a strengths test

So at this point in my career, I've helped hundreds of students navigate resume tips on projecting their value. Showing potential employers that by hiring them, they are making a sound business decision.

Time and time again, I see that students tend to undercut their value and undersell their skills to potential employers. So the first thing that I always recommend students do is to take some sort of strength finding test. Here's a free one that's pretty good. These tests are always designed for quick decisions, top-of-mind answers. In other words, you don't have much time to think about what you're good at. You don't have time to think about the person you want to be, you just quickly answer the prompt and move on to discovering the person you are. I've found that the strength assessments seem to be pretty accurate and most of the time, students find a little bit of solace in knowing that they can take all of their likes, dislikes, and skills to compile themselves into a top five list of value-add.

Note: I don't ever see a reason to purchase a strengths test. The free ones are good enough. If you choose to purchase to unlock features, do so because you see the value in it.

Tip #2 - What's your why?

Once you have that list, you can begin to dive into your work history and tie-in those skills with the accomplishments you made during your previous jobs. Above all else, what I found is that students tend to under appreciate and under represent the work experience that they have. Saying things like, "but I was just a server." Or, "I didn't do anything exciting in my job."

You need to form an image of yourself on paper. You want to build a personal brand others will remember. You do this by creating a why message that gets others excited to talk to you again. When I was interviewing, my why was to help students identify their potential to provide value to the world. If that meant teaching, then great. If that meant coaching, perfect. What mattered was my why, what got me out of bed everyday, and why people should care about my skills. When I left interviews, I always hoped people would say, "oh yeah, that's the sales guy/coach." People put me in a box, but they are going to do that anyway, so why not create that box for them? Why not make it easy, so categorizing you is natural and long-lasting in their memories?

"People don't buy what you do, but why you do it." – Simon Sinek

Tip #3 - Yes, you need an internship

Not much more to say here. Apply right now. As early as possible. Hundreds of employers all tell us the same thing. They want our students to have internships. Full stop. Internships now are becoming a mandatory line item for every resume and it's only going to get more and more competitive from here going forward. One, two, three+ internships is becoming the new standard for a lot of employers because they want to see you in more high stakes situations. Employers want you to demonstrate you can handle more stress, more responsibility while being able to perform a task and provide value.

Note: Most schools will provide course credit for your internship. Take advantage of that course burden release. But be proactive. Every school system I have seen will require you to sign-up for the internship like a class before you sign paperwork accepting the internship. You have been warned. Do your homework before accepting that internship.

Tip #4 - Quantify your experience. Read that over and over again...

So how do we articulate value on a resume? Well, in order to do that, we have to quantify our experience. I seriously cannot stress this enough. Quantify your experience! Most of the time we have trouble quantifying what it is that we did. When I say quantify, I mean spell out dollars, percentages, real-world tangible values that you provided for the company. Otherwise, your resume will read just like everyone else's.

Oh, and it doesn't matter if you were waiting tables, or buffing and parking cars. If you provided value, there's a way to quantify that in dollars and cents. How many cars did you park? What was the value of those cars? If someone pulls up in a multi-$100,000 sports car and they're letting you touch their car and detail their car, you were given that responsibility to help and provide value for that customer. So, naturally, we need to quantify that experience. Don't downplay your value!

If you were a waiter or waitress, how many tables a night were you serving? Did you have repeat customers? If so, how many? What was the average bill size? How much money were you bringing into the company through your average bill on a daily basis? If we start to quantify that experience, we can show, 1) that we can be trusted to think critically, and 2) it shows that when we get into a position, we look at the position not as just some entry level stepping stone, but more as an opportunity to provide value at each level of the business value chain.

Quantifying our experience means that by hiring you, that employer is getting a team player, someone who's going to go above and beyond and showcase how your skills provide the company with real-world tangible value.

🧠 Closing Thoughts

If you can do the points above, you can start to craft elevator pitches to sell your skills, and we can start to craft ways in which we showcase our value. In other words, we show that hiring you is a smart business move. That you are the best fit for their needs. Employers have a need when they have a position open. They need to fill that role just as much as you need a paycheck. Remember that.

If you need help, look to your local university for resume templates. Every career service center has them. They are free online. You ideally want a one-page resume that is formatted to get through employer ATS systems. Career service centers at your local university will have templates designed to get through ATS systems and onto the hiring manager's desks. Good luck and happy value building!

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