Show Don’t Tell: How to Demonstrate Your Skills

How to Demonstrate Your Skills - Style Nine to Five

Employers want to hire the person they know can do the job so, as job seekers, you have to be able to show the hiring manager that you have what it takes. It’s one thing to say you are a skilled worker, but illustrating and exhibiting it for them to see will solidify you as a qualified candidate—in other words, you’ve got to do more than just talk the talk! Here are four important skills to talk about and how you can demonstrate them through concrete examples in your cover letter or interview.

Strong Work Ethic

It should be a given that you have a strong work ethic, but don’t take it for granted that the hiring team knows this! A strong work ethic is a skill that every hiring manager looks for in their potential hires, but it packs more punch when you can prove this rather than just talking about it.

We often portray this in our resumes and cover letters through words like, “positive attitude,” and “passionate,” however it’s equally important to carry that same energy through to the interview process. When you arrive to your interview, be enthusiastic about the role and describe how you’ve embraced new challenges and persisted through obstacles to achieve positive outcomes. The more examples that you can give, the better.


Don’t just say you are an efficient communicator, use your interview or cover letter as an opportunity to put your verbal and written communication skills on display. Public speaking is such an important skill that we use every day, however it can be impacted by those pre-interview jitters (it’s normal!). You can always practice and prepare before the interview to sharpen up on your communication and ensure a clearer and more concise exchange with the interviewer. In doing so, remember that effective listening is crucial in clear communication, so pay close attention to what is being asked during the interview and turn it into a two-way conversation.

In your cover letter, you can show that you’re a great communicator by proofreading it to eliminate any typos and grammatical errors (which should be a given, but so many people overlook the importance  of this when demonstrating communication skills) as well as draw on a past experiences to highlight your communication successes, such as published written work.


A brilliant way to showcase your creative aptitude is by choosing a unique design for your cover letter and resume. Pro tip: Style Nine to Five has many templates to choose from! This will allow you and your resume to stand out for the others when you submit an eye-catching format that goes beyond a simple Word document.

Next, you’ll want to show them that you have a “growth” mindset that focuses on becoming better and better as opposed to a “fixed” mindset that rejects change and is not adaptable or flexible. To do this, come to your interview equipped with examples of your ability to think and problem solve creatively. Draw on transferable skills to describe a time when you resolved a specific problem in your own way, given your unique skillset and ability to think outside the box.

Resume Templates - Style Nine to Five


The way to present yourself as a leader during your interview starts with by exuding confidence. Hiring managers want to know that you are able to make tough decisions and think of the greater good of the team and, most of all, of the company.

As a leader, it’s up to you to forge strong communication and interpersonal ties with the other team members. Have relevant examples of your team-building and resourcefulness as a leader in your cover letter and ready for the interview. Maybe you’ve volunteered yourself to train new staff at your previous job. Or perhaps you’ve had to make a decision that would impact the entire work team – describe your thought process and you navigated that challenge.

Flexing your skills is extremely important during the job-seeking process, however there is a right and wrong way to go about it. To make a lasting impression on the hiring committee, proof of your skills should be evenly sprinkled through your resume, cover letter and interview. Be confident in knowing that you have not only the skills, but the experience and drive to land the jo!

The job seeking process can be nerve-racking, but with enough preparation and practice, you’ll answer interview questions with flying colours! Book a Virtual Career Meeting to prepare your resumes and interviews with Style Nine to Five’s Founder, Christie Lohr, today!

Anita Hosanna is a freelance fashion stylist and creative consultant with a love for community, fashion journalism and fashion tech.

Feature Image: Adobe Stock