Show, Don’t Tell: How to Clearly Demonstrate Skills During a Job Search

demonstrate skillsShowing a picture is better than trying to explain something – at least most of the time. Similarly, it’s easy to tell someone you can do the job. But when you demonstrate skills, you paint a picture that shows your value.

In other words: show, don’t tell.

Here are suggestions on how to clearly demonstrate skills during your job search.

Demonstrate Skills

Have you ever tried to explain something and get that blank “I-don’t-know-what-you-are-talking-about” stare in return? It’s up to you to make sure people understand what you are talking about!

I loved hearing a story from a job seeker who used a diagram to back up her claim that she could map out a process for improved efficiency. But this job seeker did NOT just whip out her diagram as she told the story. She gauged the interviewer’s interest. When the interviewer asked follow-up questions, the document was presented. Of course, there wasn’t any proprietary information on the diagram.

Make a List

What evidence do you have to support your claim? Do you say that you’re a good presenter? Do you say you have strong writing skills? Maybe you say you’ve streamlined a process? Use a visualsuch as photos, newsletter articles, testimonials, and work samples  to back that up! In each case, review your achievements and list ideas for supporting documentation! Here are some additional ideas:


show don't tell


Psst, Infographics Are Trending

Infographics are a hot, rising trend! A good infographic is supposed to simplify complex information. I love a good infographic. In fact, I often share them on my Career Sherpa Pinterest page. If you don’t follow me over there, go have a look!

I’m An Excellent…

You fill in the blank. If you say communicator, then I would expect proof- writing samples of published work, a list of presentations or events you’ve spoken at, or better yet a video. If you say you are super at project management, ditto. What kind of proof can you present?

Start Gathering Your Documentation NOW

Begin collecting testimonials, screenshots, and examples and remember to keep them on your personal device! This makes it easier to share on the go!

Don’t Stop There: Socialize

Share! Make it easy for people to see this stuff. Post it to your LinkedIn profile or personal website. Share it as a status update on LinkedIn too. Once up, ask your network to take a look and provide feedback!

Let everyone else tell. You show.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa.


career sherpa


Hannah Morgan hiring prosAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!



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