Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Power Verbs for Job Seekers by Michael Lawrence Faulkner

Power Verbs for Job Seekers: Hundreds of Verbs and Phrases to Bring Your Résumés, Cover Letters, and Job Interviews to Life by Michael Lawrence Faulkner with Michelle Faulkner-Lunsford is, on the surface, merely a collection of words that the job seeker can use to "attract employers like moths to flame." Or so says the back cover. What makes this book so useful is how the verbs are organized.

I don't know about you but I have little to no problem defining and describing my hard skills. How quickly I type. The degrees and certifications I carry. The accomplishments I have made throughout my professional career. It's the soft skills I find more difficult to define. And if I can't define them, I surely can't put them into words, can I?

This is where this book comes in and where it excels, because the bulk of the content focuses on soft skills, those vague but essential qualities for which hiring managers are looking. Faulkner also explains how to make best use of bullet points, something I've seen used poorly even on examples of how they should be used for résumés. Because there are so many soft skills, the authors take the time to further break them down by category: accountability, accuracy and preciseness, et al. There are a plethora of choices and it would be easy to modify a résumé or cover letter to suit the job to which you are applying by simply substituting one strength over another. Some skills may be more necessary to fulfill one role, and for those who are seeking a job in a transition or lateral market, being able to create a résumé that hits the points for more than one type of job position without having to completely revise the entire document is essential.

If you want to get noticed, you have to stand out. If you want to stand out, your soft skills are the ones that will get your foot in the door. If you struggle with defining those soft skills, this book is a great place to start.

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