One of the foremost qualities employers look for in their employees is the ability to work independently. Thus, when crafting your resume, this is a skill you will definitely want to highlight and emphasize wherever it is applicable and appropriate. Luckily, there are a number of alternate ways you can demonstrate your independent work ethic without sounding redundant, by using different language and tactics.
One of the ways you can highlight your ability to work independently is to emphasize any instances in your academic or work experience wherein you demonstrated some initiative. This will signal to employers that you can take steps on your own to become successful without instruction. For example, if you came up with a new marketing campaign for a previous company, you could say something to the following effect: “Independently devised, created, and implemented new marketing tactics for company products.”
It’s also important to clarify that your independent efforts were ultimately successful. Otherwise, employers will not know if you are able to effectively work on your own. So, after composing a sentence like the one above, you would want to quantify the results of that marketing campaign. For instance, you might include a sentence that says: “Increased production by over 25% as a result of independently constructed marketing campaign.” This will help quantify your achievements as well.
List Honors and Awards
Honors and awards are also evidence of your ability to work independently, as they signal your individual drive to achieve success above and beyond that of your peers. The honors and awards section of the resume is typically placed toward the end of the document, but that is no reason to give it short shrift. Make room here for any academic or workplace grants, fellowships, scholarships, and awards you’ve won within the past ten years. This section, for instance, might include elements like the following;
National Merit Scholarship, 2008
Mortar Board Fellowship for Volunteer Service, 2009
Jones & Associates Award for Customer Service Excellence, 2011
Make Use of the Objective Statement
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of the objective statement. This brief statement, which is placed at the very top of your resume (underneath your contact information), summarizes your abilities and goals. Here, you can simply state directly that you possess the ability to work independently. Your statement, for instance, might say: “Hard-working, driven, and experienced sales representative with the ability to work independently looking for opportunities to apply sales expertise to a broader consumer base.”
The value employers place on a person’s ability to work independently also makes any periods of self-employment very attractive on any resume, especially if this employment boasted any measure of success. If you started your own business or conducted any work from home, be sure to mention this on your resume as well. This will indicate to employers that even without a traditional office setting, you are still able to stay focused and get the job done.