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A resume exists to showcase your unique combination of skills, strengths, education and experience. It should articulate and market your value to employers while conveying to them that you are a good match for a particular position. And it should help you reach the most coveted goal: an interview. Effective resumes often align the job seeker's skill set with the job description. For example, if the job description calls for organizational skills, there are specific ways you can highlight these in your resume.
Review the Job Description
Aligning your resume to the job description is an important step in preparing yourself to be a competitive applicant. Read carefully through the job description and underline all the job duties and functions required for the position. Read through it again and highlight any skills required to do the job, which may include self-management skills, personal characteristics that demonstrate your personality fit within the company; work content skills, which are specific examples of experience and knowledge as they relate to activities associated with a specific job; and transferable skills, those acquired during any activity in your life that are transferable and applicable to the job. Review the job description for a third time, circling any of those job duties that you are qualified for and those skills that you possess. You are now prepared to take those circled items -- the key elements they want and you have -- and incorporate those into your resume.
Organize Your Resume
Organizing your information in a resume typically means having titled sections of relevant information. Such sections include your contact information, education and relevant work experience. Additionally you may include an objective, skills or qualifications section, list of your professional affiliations, leadership or volunteer experience and other non-relevant but noteworthy work experience.
Within all these resume sections, you need to highlight your skills. Most commonly this may be done as examples in the work experience section or in a skills section. For example, you might want to highlight your organizational skills. In the work experience section, provide examples of how you have mastered the skill of being organized or how you have organized a task, project or group. For example, "Organized a team of volunteers at the state fair who were responsible for greeting attendees and staffing the help desk. Scheduled shifts, communicated responsibilities and troubleshooting help." This example reveals someone who can keep multiple details and people organized.
Including a skills section is a great way to tie in the skills you have to the skills in the job description and have them organized in one section -- bullets and brief short sentences are recommended. In the skills section you can directly say that you are an organized individual. For example: "Organized and detail-oriented. Able to stay on task and manage projects accordingly."
For the skills section, a tip on where to place it on your resume. If you have extremely relevant work experience that connects to the job for which you are applying, then have the skills section be the last part of your resume. If you do not have relevant work experience, put the skills section near the top of your resume.
Types of Organizational Skills to Emphasize
Organizational skills typically apply inwardly, such as a person's ability to organize oneself, or outwardly, such as a person's ability to organize other people or a company's goals/projects. You need to address these types of organizational skills differently.
Self-organization: Indicate your ability to organize and manage yourself. This includes time management, being task-oriented, paying attention to details, setting and meeting deadlines, and accepting responsibility.
Organization of other people: Talk about your ability to work with people and supervise others. Examples are managing groups, delegating responsibilities, mentoring, and coaching.
Organization on a higher level: Include your ability to organize and address the goals of an organization on an administrative level, such as initiating new ideas, making and implementing decisions, enforcing policies and project management.
The key to emphasizing your organizational skills in a resume is to make sure to be specific and line up your skills to the job description. While this process may take time, the result can be extremely positive. Resumes that align with job descriptions are more likely to stand out amongst the competition and catch a reviewers eye. A carefully crafted resume will increase your chances of being interviewed and ultimately landing the job. It's worth the time to be organized.
Marie M. Potter began writing professionally in 2001. She works full-time in academic advising and was a small business owner for five years. An alumna of the University of Washington in Seattle, she has a B.A. in English and Master of Education with a focus on higher education and leadership.