Skill, ability and knowledge gears

Not sure how to market your internships, on-campus involvement, or study abroad experience to employers? There are three exercises you can do that will help you articulate your experience and skills more effectively.

1. Articulate your challenges, solutions, and lessons. 

Whether it’s in your cover letter, during an interview, or during a conversation, it’s important to have examples to share that showcase certain skills, abilities, and attitudes. Think about your experiences and ask yourself, what happened, how did you handle it, and what did you learn from the experience?

For example:

“When initially went abroad, I struggled with the language barrier. However, I took it upon myself to learn the language so I could not only get the full experience of living in France, but so I could also gain a valuable skill that could help me succeed in life. Because of that challenge, I’m now fluent in French and confident that I can take on obstacles outside of my comfort zone.”

2. Quantify your accomplishments.

Numbers = results = value. You want to show employers that you’ve used your skills to add value in the past. Think about your accomplishments and ask yourself, what did you achieve and what were the results like? 

For example:

“When I was a reporter for the student newspaper, which reached 15,000 students, I wrote five articles per week on topics like politics, sports, and pop culture.”

3. Tie everything back to the role in question.

Make it obvious how you’ll add value at the company. Think about the job you’re applying for and ask yourself, how will your experience allow you to add value to this role?

For example:

“During my internship, I learned valuable skills such as email marketing, social media management, and content strategy that will allow me to excel in the Digital Marketing Manager position on your company.”

So, take a look at your student experience and the jobs you’re interested in, and do these exercises. They will help you prepare for upcoming interviews and conversations with hiring teams.


If you need more help marketing yourself to employers, book an appointment with Longwood University Career Services and work with a career coach.


About the Author

Ariella Coombs

Over the last 4 years, Ariella has been creating fun, yet educational blog posts and videos to help professionals build the career lifestyle they want. Her work has been featured in 12+ online publications, including TeenVogue, Business Insider, H&R Block, USA TODAY College, and more. One day, she hopes to host my own TV or web show for career-minded millennials.

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