Job WAntedThere is a little word in the English language that I dislike. Yes, it’s a four-letter word, but no, it’s likely not the one that comes to mind first!

The word is “just.”

As in “I’m just a clerk, I just file.” Or “I don’t have any co-op experience, just restaurant experience.”

That word belittles valuable experience, even if it isn’t career-related experience! Here are a few sample interview conversations that will steer your audience toward appreciating your transferable skills rather than have them thinking “This candidate just doesn’t fit our needs!”

Regarding customer service:

Having worked my way through college with a part-time job in hospitality, I have developed perceptive customer service skills. I started with Yum Foods as a hostess, progressed to a server and then with some training, to part-time bartender. Now I have been promoted and am working full-time over the holiday season as Assistant Manager. Along with being ultra-reliable and conscientious, it’s my level of service that Yum Food’s manager noticed. He now asks me to train new hires on service because I don’t miss an opportunity to be helpful, and I consistently communicate in a friendly yet professional manner. Would you like me to give you some specifics of service tactics that I’ve introduced to our team of 12?

The word “just” couldn’t make an appearance in that paragraph!

Regarding written communications:

I was fortunate to land several consulting jobs as a technical writer. Mainly I have been composing or editing and updating procedural guides for local small to mid-size employers. In those contracts I applied the techniques that I have been learning about – gathering comments or end-user needs, and addressing syntax, cutting out the fat, sticking to facts, adopting one style, and using plain language. This experience – by the way I am keeping a tally of how many pages I have written or edited and I’m now at 1500 – has earned me repeat business and referrals. The comment I hear most often is that I’ve managed to eliminate ambiguity while strengthening the message and shortening the page count! I am certain that the skills I’ve developed are transferable to corporate correspondence and minute-taking.

I can see the word “just” fading into memory!

Regarding time management and organization:

Throughout a full course of studies over three years’ time, I have held a series of part-time and seasonal jobs. Sometimes I have worked up to 30 hours a week – on top of classes and studies – but mostly I averaged 20 hours a week. Still, that’s a lot of juggling of responsibilities and workload. I managed to organize my time by using and sticking to a planner and by prioritizing. With the method that I perfected I continue my record of not missing work unless I am ill and in bed, and of handing in every assignment either on time or ahead of schedule. I’m also no procrastinator and have self-discipline that surprises even me!

“Just” slam the door on that word!

It’s all in the way you own your accomplishments and present information with strategy. If you “just” need help eliminating the feeling of the word from your resume, New Leaf is ready to be of service.

- crafting masterful resumes that launch careers, Stephanie :-)


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