Top 10 Reasons to Hire Me

Tips for marketing your skills to employers.

Whether you are a freshman looking for a summer internship or a senior seeking a full-time position, it is difficult to conduct an effective search without knowing what you want to do and why you are qualified to do it. Before beginning a job search, you must identify your values, goals, strengths and abilities and how to connect those with employment. While this is not easy, knowing your Top Ten favorite qualities and skills can make the task manageable. It can be a BIG help in:

  • exploring career options, especially through information interviews;
  • identifying suitable positions without worrying about job titles, i.e., you tell people the skills and qualities you wish to use and they suggest options;
  • showing an employer you have a sense of career direction even though you may not yet have focused on a particular position;
  • presenting your strengths to employers, whether in a resume, cover letter, or interview;
  • gaining confidence – especially key in the job search process.

Both skills and qualities go into the Top Ten list and you can create your own list by following the steps below. Skills reflect one’s ability to with data, people, things, or ideas, e.g., assertive, sincere, hard working. (See Ready Reference Sheet D3 for a list personal qualities and functional skills).

Creating Your Top Ten List


  1. Brainstorm, on your own or with the help of friends, those skills and qualities you most enjoy using. Don’t limit yourself to just those which are most developed. Draw from paid, volunteer, and leadership positions and focus on tasks or roles you particularly enjoyed.
  2. After each skill or quality be sure to list one or more example to provide credibility. (See example below.)
  3. Prioritize the list, creating your “top ten” with the most important reasons first depending on your target audience.


  • Your Top Ten can be a generic list, one to guide your thinking or to use in an information interview. It can also be changed and targeted for use in a resume, letter, essay, or interview as you approach a particular employer or graduate school.
  • When creating a list for a particular position, always include an item relating to your career/job interest and always include one on your Penn State preparation.
  • Remember that your list(s) will change over time. Although some items may remain constant because your skills and qualities may be transferable to different positions and employers, you will inevitably develop other skills and qualities to be included in your top ten. Keep your list current.

Top Ten Reasons to Hire Me for the “Field Editor” Position for Cattle Corner Magazine

  1. Career interest. This position combines two of my passions – the cattle industry and communications. I have planned and prepared for four years to combine these two interests into a development and production career with a cattle industry publication.
  2. College preparation. Senior in agricultural science with a minor in agricultural communications at Pennsylvania State University. Courses directly relevant to this position include Communications in Agricultural Careers, Reporting, News Editing and Advanced Agricultural Writing.
  3. Publications experience. Served as a staff writer for The Daily Collegian for four semesters and as the editor of The Cowboy Journal for one semester.
  4. Cattle industry background. Have owned and managed personal commercial cattle herd for eight years.
  5. Demonstrated interpersonal skills. Currently serving in leadership role for Ag Student Council. Attended workshop on team building and group dynamics sponsored by Alpha Zeta. Completed course title Leadership Skills for Agricultural Organizations.
  6. Committed to professional development. Active member of Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). Attended National ACT convention and workshops for three consecutive years.
  7. Organized. Secured sponsorship for and coordinated production of educational activities during annual Ag Week celebration.
  8. Willing to travel. Visited all 67 counties in Pennsylvania while researching details for senior capstone article. Have traveled to 19 states and 3 foreign countries.
  9. Determined. Earned funds to pay 60 percent of college expenses through summer employment and part-time, on-campus jobs during the academic year.
  10. Dependable. Perfect attendance in all classes and at all jobs. Have received exemplary evaluations from all employers.

Skills Exercise

This exercise enables you to analyze your skill-building experiences. It is valuable for:

  • identifying relevant and marketable skills, qualities and knowledge
  • providing "content" for resumes, cover letters, and interviews
  • promoting confidence in yourself and in your ability to express your assets to an employer
  • identifying career/job options

Experience includes all:

  • paid experiences, part-or full-time
  • non paid experiences, part-or full-time
  • volunteer experiences
  • college internships and practice
  • committee and organization work
  • travel, projects, interests
  • thesis and other research

The exercise involves three steps:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Listing tasks completed using actions verbs and concrete examples of accomplishment
  3. Recording functional skills, personal qualities, and knowledge areas

Step 1: Brainstorming

In Step #1 list your job title or title of activity, then list all the duties you performed in that function, even those that don't seem important. Example:

Rush Chairman, Alpha Rappa Bappa Fraternity.

Dates: September 2015 to January 2018.

Responsible for recruiting new pledges. Increased number of pledges over previous year. Developed a new plan for selling the fraternity to prospective members. Convinced old members to work harder during rush.

Step 2

In Step #2 edit the information using action verbs. The main purpose of this step is to concisely describe your accomplishments and to provide concrete examples whenever possible. The focus is on TASKS. Example:

  • Re‐vamped recruiting methods used by the fraternity.
  • Motivated members to use new methods and work hard.
  • Planned events to promote the fraternity to potential members.
  • Increased the size of the pledge class by 30% over the previous year

Step 3

In Step #3 refer back to the last step to identify the generic skills you used to complete each task. The focus is on functional skills and personal qualities. Example:

  • Motivating others
  • Creative abilities
  • Organizational skills
  • Planning skills
  • Persuading others
  • Speaking before a group
  • Teamwork