It probably won’t surprise you to know that the majority of American employers rate teamwork as being very important. And, with workplace collaboration steadily increasing – up 50% in the last 20 years – it’s crucial to include this competency in your resume.
Preparing a resume that demonstrates that you have this skill set is not necessarily difficult. It boils down to the language you use and how you explain your accomplishments in the workforce. Let’s examine six effective approaches.
1. Use the Introduction
Mention your teamwork strength up front in your resume’s introduction. Describing this attribute as one of your resume’s highlights is an excellent way to grab the attention of a hiring manager. They’ll stay attuned to reading examples of your collaboration as they review the rest of the document.
What’s more, when the reader takes another pass over resumes during the screening process, the words you use to convey that you’re a team player will stand out. Be clear and concise.
2. Describe in the Experience Section
Explain the expectations of each role in which you’ve operated as they relate to working with others. Maybe you were part of a group whose members depended on one another to complete their individual tasks. Did you have to be cross-trained in the primary responsibilities of a co-worker, for instance?
In addition to listing the main duties for each of your roles, briefly outline how you performed your job. Did you assume a leadership role for addressing issues or work with clients to resolve complaints? Think about the various challenges you faced in each position and say how you worked with others to sort through them. Include any relevant information about your team.
3. Capture Special Responsibilities
Perhaps you were selected for a special responsibility or assignment by one of the companies at which you worked. If you’ve held a position for a while or have a special skill set, it’s not uncommon to be asked to contribute in ways that exceed your regular duties. Examples include filling in for the boss, mentoring a new employee, leading a particular project, or even planning an office event.
Whether you were chosen or actively competed with your colleagues for the opportunity, it’s worthy of adding to your resume. It shows commitment to the workplace and wanting to make a greater contribution to the team. Be sure to explain briefly what the responsibility entailed and how you contributed to the outcome.
4. Include Unpaid Work
Don’t forget to include volunteer activities in your resume. Much of the unpaid work people do in their communities or for different charities demands a substantial amount of cooperation. In fact, just the act of giving back to one’s neighborhood or signing up to raise funds for a worthy cause is evidence that you’re a team player.
It could be an annual event or something that you do weekly. It might be anything from coaching little league to serving at a soup kitchen, or accommodating an exchange student to raffling tickets to a charity fundraiser. Each of these activities counts in indicating that you’re self-motivated and work well with others.
5. Use the Best Descriptive Language
How you write your resume can make a big difference in whether you’re able to make your point effectively. Language can be so powerful. Keep a list of words on hand that describe teamwork and refer to it for inspiration when you prepare what you want to say. Terms such as “collaborated,” “cooperated,” “participated,” “worked closely together,” “led,” “worked in concert with,” “joined together,” “promoted synergy,” and others can help bring your expertise to life.
Also, review how the competency of teamwork is written about in human resources materials for ideas and inspiration on how best to capture this attribute in your own experience. Finally, use an active voice and be as clear as you can in recording your achievements.
6. Match Your Skillset to the Job Requirements
Consider what the employer you’re interested in is seeking when it comes to teamwork. You may be responding to a posted job advertisement or reaching out to a business at which you’re interested in working. While you’d likely have a bit more to go on in the former case, you still need to do some research to find out what the company values in an employee.
Make sure you have a good read on how the enterprise expects its staff to collaborate and, more specifically, what cooperation looks like on the ground for the position in which you’re interested. Then, edit your resume to align with the skills the hiring manager will want. You might decide to incorporate some of the same language that the company uses on its website.
A resume that promotes your teamwork capabilities effectively is critical to getting the attention of employers.