Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 24th 2014 Contents B22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Understanding the secret language of job postings
can supercharge your resume, your cover letter,
and your answers to interview questions.
There are six key words and phrases that you see in
almost every job posting:
Communication skills, multitasking skills, works closely
with others, creativity, critical thinking skills, and lead-
They are so commonly used they are often dismissed
Far from being meaningless, they represent a secret
language that many job hunters never really grasp. The
ones who do "get it" are also the ones who get the job
The Foundations of Success
That is because these six key phrases represent the
skills that enable you to do your job well, whatever your
job may be. They are known as transferable skills because
no matter the job, the profession, or the rank, these skills
make the difference between success and failure.
For example, when "critical thinking" or "problem-
solving skills" are mentioned, it means the employer is
looking for someone who knows his or her area of respon-
sibility well enough to identify, prevent, and solve the
problems the work naturally generates every day.
While "works closely with others" refers to being a
team player and all that that involves, it also embraces
the communication skills you employ to work effectively
with others in your area of expertise.
Talk of "communication skills" always means verbal,
written, and listening skills, but to an employer, it also
refers to the supporting communication skills of:
• Technological literacy
• Body language
• Social graces
• Emotional maturity.
Together, these eight components of effective com-
munication impact the power and persuasiveness of all
your interactions with others.
When you possess these transferable skills, and when
you can express in your resume and cover letters that
you possess them, you can dramatically increase the
number of interviews you get.
Moreover, when you understand how these skills affect
your daily work, and can tell interviewers about your
work in a way that highlights your application of these
skills, you will be one big step closer to turning interviews
into offers and succeeding on the job.
The Secret Language in Your Resume
In a resume, you might decide to highlight such highly
relevant achievements with a Performance Highlights or
a Career Highlights section right after your Professional
A Performance Highlights or Career Highlights section
will comprise a short sequence of bulleted statements,
each addressing one of the company s stated requirements
and thereby emphasizing the fit between employer needs
and your capabilities.
Illustrate with an example if you can do so succinct-
• 35% increase in on-time delivery + 20% reduction
in client complaints. Effective Operations Management
demands understanding of every department s critical
functions and time lines. Building these considerations
into daily activities helped:
• Finance & Supply Chain save $55,000 in last three
• Increase productivity with a 35% increase in on-
These on-time delivery increases were achieved with
improved stakeholder communications, connecting Pur-
chasing, Supply Chain, Customer and Customer Serv-
• Delivered 20% reduction in client complaints.
The Secret Language in a Cover Letter
In a cover letter, where there is more space, these words
and phrases might appear with a company s job-posting
requirement noted in quotation marks followed by an
achievement in that area:
• "Analytical/Critical thinking/Problem-
• Thorough knowledge of the issues that
impact productivity in Operations; have
enabled a 35% increase in on-time deliv-
• "Work closely with" and "Communication
• Improvements in on-time delivery also
made possible by improved communica-
tions with stakeholders: Purchasing, Supply
Chain, and Customer Service. This deliv-
ered a 20% reduction in client complaints.
• Effective Operations Management demands
understanding of every department s critical
functions and time lines. Building these
considerations into daily activities helped
Finance & Supply Chain save $55,000 in
last three quarters.
Every time you see a job posting use the six
transferable skills/key words and phrases, think
how that skill is applied in each aspect of your
work. Then, recall examples that illustrate how
you used that skill in the identification, pre-
vention, and solution of the daily problems
that are the meat and potatoes of your average
Supercharge Your Future
Understanding the secret language of job
postings can supercharge your resume, your
cover letter, change the way you think about
your work and how you prepare answers to
interview questions. Subsequently, when you
apply the transferable skills to the challenges
of your work every day, they can change the
trajectory of your professional life.
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