Finding a Job: How to Present Your Skills when Skills Matter Most

The increasing challenge of the job market has created a new txt messaging sequence “LOAL”, Laid-Off-And-Looking.   As a result, the ever popular “LOL” is quickly being replaced with “LOAL” as the economy has become no laughing matter.  Today more than ever it is critical to understand how to present your skills so that you can best position yourself for employment.

Unfortunately as I speak to many job seekers I realize that skills are being mistaken for qualities.  In a crowded field where opportunities are scarce, skills get you the job while qualities help you beat out your competition.  Those that understand how to champion their skills will have an advantage in a market that rewards people who fill needs not wants.  So if you are one of the millions of “LOAL” here are some tips on how to present your skills so that you can get back to “LOL”.

Separate Your Skills from Your Qualities
List three problems that you can help a company solve based on your expertise and training.  Make a separate list of three reasons why someone would pick you over the next candidate.  These two lists will help you to differentiate what you are “good at” from why people like you.

Create Your Own Statement of Capabilities
A resume is a chronological log of your career lifecycle.  A statement of capabilities is a separate document that lists specific problems you helped someone solve and the impact that was created as a result of your applied skill.  It is an effective tool to help a prospective employer get to the point as to why they “need you”.  It is also an effective way to brand your capabilities as coveted skills to the highest bidder.  Here’s an example of a good statement of capabilities entry:

(Problem): Company suffered huge 2nd quarter loss due to decrease in product sales
(Solution): Developed new marketing strategy to attract an untapped customer segment resulting in 500,000 new customers in 3 months and $4 million of new product sales for the company leading to a 4th quarter net profit.   

Dissect a Job Description and Match Your Keywords
The average job description is approximately 300 words in length.  It is often the first thing you look at when seeking employment but often the last we pay attention to when preparing for an interview.  To best position your skill match keywords that appear in a job description with keywords that appear on your resume, on your Facebook and Twitter profile, in your cover letter, your cell phone voicemail greeting, in your email thank you, in your introduction, and most importantly in your professional presence. 

Words like quality, strong, prioritize, multiple tasks, motivate, growth, experience, manage, and develop are common keywords.  The more your keywords match the keywords listed in a job description the more you will present yourself as able to do the job.

About Kaplan Mobray
Kaplan Mobray is an acclaimed author, career coach and motivational speaker on topics ranging from personal branding, leadership and networking to public speaking and success.  For more than fifteen years he has led corporate marketing, advertising, and brand development initiatives for Fortune 500 companies. His best-selling book, “The 10Ks of Personal Branding” is available at,, and as a Kindle e-book.  A special audio album is also available on iTunes.  Visit the author Kaplan Mobray online at

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