Showing Resilience On Your CV
Published over 5 years ago by Lucy Greenwood
Setting yourself apart from your peers during the process of job hunting is essential and one of the ways you can prepare a CV that will offer something new for your employer is by showing resilience. These days, this is a skill or attribute that employers love. After all, change is something that happens regularly within businesses. They need you to be adaptable and able to change as the business does without showing negativity. That is what offers them the longevity that they need in an employee.
"Resilience refers to the way that you are able to adapt to changing circumstances and how you cope in stressful situations or when things get difficult at work." It is how you would cope if your workload is heavy, if something goes wrong at work and you are to blame, if you find you don’t get on with your colleagues or you are asked to do something you have never done before. These are all stressful events that you are expected to be able to deal with and remain effective in your role.
Showing these skills with examples is essential on your CV and during the interviewing process. Simply saying you have resilience isn’t quite enough. In fact, employers turn off when reading a list of stand-alone attributes. You need to show how you were resilient in response to specific situations and what the long term outcome was. You could list some of the following if they are relevant to your role:
- Your firm made redundancies and you were expected to take on more work and tasks you were unfamiliar with. You achieved 20% increased turnover and improved your knowledge through additional training.
- A member of your team made a mistake that you personally dealt with and you worked hard to retain the client by offering to take on their work personally.
- Your role was moved from an office close to your home to one further away. You happily moved, knowing that your role would be expanded and you absorbed the extra cost as it was a step forward.
- You lost a client due to additional time pressures and vowed it would never happen again. You now carefully structure your day to ensure all work is completed.
Whatever examples you have you need to explain the problem, how you improved it and what the outcome was. The aim is to show how you can deal with pressure and disappointments and how your main concern is the improvement of the business.
During the interview
The very fact you are in an interview is a perfect chance to show your resilience. It has to be one of the hardest and most stressful parts of working life and if you can face it calmly and with poise you will certainly showing that you have the characteristics your employer is looking for.
Preparation is key when it comes to interviewing and thinking of examples of your resilience will hold you in good stead. Use the same approach you have used on your CV, but be prepared to expand on your examples. This will mean explaining the situation in detail and what your personal role in it was. Then talk about how you came up with a solution and why you thought it was the best approach. Then add what the eventual outcome was and how the improvements made were good for the firm.
Some questions you may be asked could be:
- Tell us about a time you had to work under pressure for a long period of time and how that was for you.
- When things happen that are outside your control, how do you cope?
- If you have been criticised for your work, what improvements did you make?
- If you have experienced a major setback at work, how did you deal with it?
You may consider yourself to be a resilient person in your everyday life, but at work things may be very different. However, there will have been times when you have dealt with stressful situations and chances are these haven’t yet made it onto your CV. Now is the time to add them, because employers are looking for people just like you.