How do you qualify for a position? Have you ever asked yourself this question? What was the answer? Or has this question often put you in a quandary about what to write? Remember that it is your skills and qualifications that get you the job, and not merely experience. While experience is essential (in most positions) you have to rely on your skills to gain experience. Basically, employers hire individuals who are exceptional at what they do and they need to be told what areas you are exceptional at.
Much emphasis is placed on skills and qualifications in both resumes and cover letters because there is so much that depends on these two. Your abilities define who you will be in the workplace. Since there is very little chance that the hiring manager who will decide if you are a good choice for a position or not knows you well, you have to rely on your skills to attract him to your candidature. This is possible if you highlight both your skills and qualifications for a job in your resume and cover letter.
You cannot leave it up to a prospective employer to decide if you are skilled in a particular area or not. Prospective employers are pessimists – they need to be given something to think of you in a positive manner. Here are a few statements that you can use to elaborate your skills:
• Track record of efficiently preparing worksites by removing hazardous materials and debris
• Proven ability to fashion track lengths according to set standards and specifications
• Hands-on experience in inspecting tracks to determine need for repair and maintenance
• Familiar with replace, remove and repair tracks and related components to ensure smooth railroad operations
• Effectively able to handle drilling duties to insert bolts and joints and perform preventative maintenance on tracks and components
• Highly skilled in gauging deviations in track surfaces and performing related repair work to ensure train safety
• Exceptionally well-versed in operating picks, shovels, bulldozers and spike-driving machines to meet rail track repair, maintenance and installation needs
• Deep insight into inspecting tracks for defects and reporting and clearing potential obstacles, especially after bad weather
• First-hand experience in performing lookout and hand signaling duties during track operations such as installation and maintenance
• Competent in laying and fixing foundations and sleepers for tracks, cutting tracks to lengths and installing railway switches
• Qualified to remove damaged rail track parts and examine and maintain switch lamps and wheel bearings