Patience is a virtue, but translating that patience to the written word is a skill. It’s not enough to write, “I am a patient person.” In fact, doing so might convey the exact opposite; instead, you should let the entirety of your resume speak to your character and provide work experience highlights that convey your nature.
Incorporating a patient attitude into your resume exemplifies the phrase “show, don’t tell.” In other words, your prior experiences and professionalism should do the talking more than your self-described accolades. We’ll help you bring out your best side on your resume to show your employers that you have the patience of a saint. Of course, you can also always turn towards a professional resume writing service like Zip Job (you can read a Zipjob.com review on EduReview.com). But if you wish to hack it on your own, here are some tips for your noble efforts!
Patience Through Structure
Typically, a recruiter spends an average of 7 seconds looking at a resume. That’s not enough time to share everything about the quintessential you.
As such, the first indicator of your patience in job seeking is the structure of your cover letter itself. First, choose the type of resume you need from the following:
- Reverse-Chronological Resume – Provides contact information, a basic summary, and work experience upfront so that a recruiter can quickly identify your relevant skills.
- Functional Resume – Emphasizes an applicant’s skill sets and areas of strength first and foremost.
- Combination Resume – Advertises both work experience and skills in equally weighted sections.
Each type of resume has its benefits, but it’s up to you to decide which structure you find most attractive and which suits your style of work; in other words, which resume structure puts your best foot forward?
Next, format your resume appropriately by following these guidelines:
- Left-align your text
- Use 1” margins
- Use a professional font – Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, Helvetica
- Divide your information according to your resume structure, using clear headings
- Keep your resume to one page, providing to-the-point lists outlining your work experience
Proper formatting is the first—and sometimes only—chance you get to convince a recruiter you’re worth a second glance.
Just as a teacher can quickly recognize a paper someone has copied or poorly edited from another source, so, too, can a recruiter spot a lazy or uninspired resume. The first exemplar of patience is structure; after all, if you’re not willing to put in the effort to craft an eye-catching resume, will your work ethic be any different?
It’s well worth your time to exercise your patience during the design and formatting phase of the resume-building process.
Soft Skill Evidence
In many occupations, patience is a highly valued soft skill.
The proper mindset is important to recruiters, so it’s important to include skills that highlight your patience. You can convey these through bullet-point explanations, not lengthy anecdotes; remember, you’ve only got one page to strut your stuff. It’s better to spend that page discussing what you can do rather than talking about how wonderful your character is.
There will be plenty of time to expound on your personal anecdotes if you advance to the interview phase. Avoid lengthy explanations on your resume, such as the following:
“I show patience by helping new staff members find their way around the office. I remember one time, the new CSR Susan was really nervous and having trouble setting up her desk. I helped her get settled, showed her where the break room was, and even took the time to listen to her concerns.”
While this anecdote displays admirable patience and compassion, it’s inappropriate for a resume and, intended or otherwise, sounds a little self-important.
Instead, convey the same sense of professionalism and patience via a bullet point such as the following:
- Helped new team members adjust to the work environment with helpful tips and tricks.
A simple one-liner speaks volumes, showing you’re willing to take the time and effort to help new employees settle in. In general, it’s wiser to consider how patience is integrated into your work ethic rather than to ramble about a single anecdote where you displayed patience.
Patience won’t get you hired, but a patient mindset will give you a better shot. Consider how you can incorporate patience into the following more relevant skill sets:
- Conflict resolution
Each skill is valuable and requires patience, which you should imply, not overstate.
To better understand what we mean by showing and not telling, here are a few examples of what you should and shouldn’t do in different sections of your resume:
Here’s an ideal example of how to incorporate patience into your work experience:
- Helped new employees adjust to the work environment.
- Strategized effective company opportunities in A, B, and C for growth over a period of 5 years.
- Developed partnerships and maintained communications with stakeholders.
- Incorporated a feedback system to understand customer needs better.
This work experience summary is ideal since it conveys a hardworking nature and patience. The following, on the other hand, is a poor example of patience displayed in work experience:
“I was constantly helping new employees get better at their jobs by overseeing their needs and helping them get used to it. In one case, I walked Jessica through the program for 5 hours to ensure she understood everything properly.
I’ve also helped with the creation of a feedback system at the office. It was outdated and wouldn’t record feedback properly, so we never knew just how many people were complaining about the broken PA system. I helped make sure that problem was eventually fixed.”
A long wall of text is unappealing to recruiters, and describing events in detail doesn’t convey the underlying work skills that recruiters seek.
The summary should be short and sweet, detailing what you did in 2-3 sentences:
“Communicated closely with a team of SEO writers on various large-scale projects. Helped streamline the writing process by developing new project frameworks.”
It should not be anecdotal or poorly structured:
“I’m a great leader because I helped my team of engineers find a better workaround to the software issue we were having. It was a real pain, but I helped them solve the problem and work more efficiently.”
The Bottom Line
Conveying meaning through the written word is difficult—more so when trying to be succinct and sell yourself simultaneously. With a careful combination of structure and work ethic integration, however, you can convey patience to a recruiter for a better chance of securing an interview.