What makes you a good person to work with? And what is it that makes it possible for a hiring manager to decide to hire you? The answer to both is your skills and abilities. How you work with people, what strategies you use to handle difficult tasks, and how well you fit into the company culture are just some of the things that make you an excellent candidate to hire for a position. Your skills and abilities are what make you an eligible candidate for whatever position that you hope to fill.

What is the single, most terrible employment faux pas that we make? We fail to highlight our skills and abilities in our job application documents – both the cover letter and the resume. No matter how good you are at what you do, if you do not tell the world, you are considered the opposite – not much good. And no one hires a person who is not skilled, for that is what you will be considered if you don’t outright tell the employer what you are worth.

There is nothing more important than the skills section on a resume – or mention of them on a cover letter. Since the employer wants to know what it is that makes you tick, he needs to be given an overview of what you are worth. For instance, a lead cook will / should provide the following details of his or her skills in a resume or cover letter:

Lead Cook Skills and Abilities

• Track record of success creating menus and recipes in accordance with the image and requirements of the restaurant or hotel

• Effectively able to prepare, marinate, cook, grill and bake menu items, while following established recipes

• Talented in cooking food items across a large variety of cuisines such as Italian, French, Indian, Spanish, American and Persian

• Precisely measures ingredients in accordance with instructions provided in recipes

• First-hand experience in preparing specialty foods such as pizza, fish and chips, sandwiches and paninis

• Documented success in verifying that food items meet quality standards, as set by the facility

• Skilled in cooking and packaging batches of food and placing them in storage areas, especially designated for them

• Competent at maintaining sanitation, health and safety standards according to established protocols

• Qualified to oversee and maintain kitchen supplies and equipment inventory to ensure availability of items at all times

• Focused on creating and maintaining effective liaison with suppliers and vendors to ensure timely and accurate delivery of supplies and equipment

• First-hand experience in hiring, training and deploying staff members to ensure operational smoothness of the kitchen