Maybe you’re entering the workforce for the first time and you don’t have much experience or skills under your belt. Or, perhaps you’re looking to dive into a new field of work mid-career. Maybe your industry is rapidly changing, necessitating that you learn new skills or technologies all the time. Whatever the reason, you’re short on the skills needed for the job you want. How can you let your future employer know that you’re willing to learn new skills and be trained?
Don’t worry, there are a number of ways you can do this. Check out the resume writing tips below and choose the one that best fits your circumstances.
Why Willingness to Learn Looks Good on Your Resume
In industries that involve rapidly changing technologies——for instance, medicine or computer programming——employees must be agile and willing to adapt. They must constantly learn new skills in order to keep up with the competition. That willingness is a vital quality.
Even in other fields, willingness to learn is a good thing. For example, a construction foreman may look for employees that are willing to learn the company’s preferred methods, rather than being stuck on the ways they’ve worked in other circumstances.
Some job listings may even include willingness to learn as a requirement.
Additionally, a willingness to learn can be a plus when you are first entering the workforce. Hiring managers don’t expect entry-level employees to have all the skills and experience they’ll need to get the job done. But they do want someone who is attentive and ready to learn.
How to Say “Willing to Learn” on Your Resume
Sometimes, you may want to say it outright. At other times, you can demonstrate your willingness to learn through your experiences or descriptions. Find out the best ways to say that you’re willing to learn on your resume.
Use a Resume Summary
You can use a direct approach by stating your willingness to be trained in the resume summary. The resume summary is located at the top of your resume, below your contact information and above your work experience and education.
If your experience and education aren’t a perfect match for the job, you can be forthcoming about it in the resume summary. You’ll also want to highlight your strengths, including your willingness to learn.
Your resume summary might read something like this:
A self-motivated [previous job title] who is willing to learn new techniques and best practices in order to keep [company’s name] operating ahead of the competition.
Check out this article for more information on how to write your resume summary.
This is also important if you are a student entering the workforce for the first time. We’ll discuss student resumes in more detail below.
Use a Skills Summary
A skills summary is like an expanded skills list that includes descriptions. You can use the description space to highlight how you’ve used a growing skillset in your career. For example, if you’re a computer programmer, you can talk about software and hardware. If you’re a doctor, discuss innovating techniques. Both of these show that you continue learning without saying so outright.
Include Certifications or Continuing Education
When you list certifications or other credentials on your resume, it shows that you were willing to learn the necessary skills to gain them; after all, most certifications require testing to prove you know the subject. The same is true of continuing education. Employers realise that much of this education comes at the expense of your own personal time, proving real self-motivation and a love of learning.
Use Synonym Keywords
You can also say you are willing to learn without using the words “willing to learn.”
Consider using some of the following keywords in your resume:
– New skills
– Development experiences
Describe Past Accomplishments and Results
Highlighting instances of your willingness to learn in job descriptions can greatly enhance your candidacy and demonstrate your proactive approach to professional development. Here are expanded descriptions for each of the examples you provided:
Monitored arts and culture news to keep pace with current design trends: In this role, I actively stayed up-to-date with the latest arts and culture news, closely following design trends in various industries. By regularly immersing myself in relevant publications, websites, and social media channels, I maintained a deep understanding of emerging design concepts, styles, and aesthetics. This allowed me to infuse contemporary and innovative elements into my work, ensuring its relevance and resonance with the target audience.
Pioneered the use of [cite technique, software, or technology]: I took the initiative to explore and adopt [cite technique, software, or technology], recognising its potential to revolutionise our workflow and deliver superior results. With a strong determination to stay ahead of the curve, I dedicated myself to researching, understanding, and implementing this innovation within the organisation. As a result, we experienced increased efficiency, streamlined processes, and elevated outputs, solidifying our competitive edge in the industry.
Mentored by [cite well-known company or individual]: Under the guidance of [cite well-known company or individual], I had the privilege of receiving mentorship from an industry expert who possesses extensive knowledge and experience. Their insights, expertise, and guidance significantly shaped my professional growth, allowing me to refine my skills, broaden my perspectives, and develop a deep understanding of industry best practices. Through this mentorship, I cultivated a continuous learning mindset, ensuring I stay receptive to new ideas and always strive for excellence in my work.
Attended [cite industry conference] and thereafter applied [cite new skill or technique] to [cite result]: I actively participated in [cite industry conference], a highly regarded event that brings together industry professionals, thought leaders, and innovators. During the conference, I eagerly absorbed new knowledge, trends, and techniques through engaging workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities. Inspired by the insights gained, I diligently applied a specific new skill or technique to a relevant project upon returning to work. As a direct outcome, we achieved [cite result], such as increased efficiency, improved client satisfaction, or enhanced project outcomes, proving the value of my commitment to continuous learning.
By expanding on these instances, you can effectively showcase your adaptability, thirst for knowledge, and willingness to stay ahead in a dynamic professional environment. Remember to tailor your descriptions to align with the requirements and expectations of the specific job you are applying for.
Highlight Academic Accomplishment
As a student or recent graduate, you have the opportunity to leverage your academic and extracurricular pursuits to highlight your willingness to learn on your resume. Here are some expanded descriptions for showcasing your learning-focused endeavours:
Good grades: Throughout my academic journey, I consistently strived for excellence and maintained a strong academic record. My exceptional grades in [mention specific subjects or courses] showcase my commitment to learning and my ability to absorb and apply complex concepts. This academic achievement reflects my dedication, discipline, and intellectual curiosity, which I bring to any learning environment.
Foreign languages: In addition to my core coursework, I dedicated myself to acquiring proficiency in [mention foreign languages]. I immersed myself in language learning programs, attended language courses, and actively engaged with native speakers. By acquiring foreign language skills, I not only demonstrated a willingness to step out of my comfort zone but also showcased my adaptability, cross-cultural competence, and ability to communicate effectively across diverse communities.
Extracurricular pursuits: Beyond my academic commitments, I actively participated in various extracurricular activities that fostered my personal and professional growth. For example, I engaged in [mention relevant extracurricular activities], where I [describe specific responsibilities or achievements]. These experiences provided me with opportunities to learn new skills, collaborate with diverse teams, and expand my knowledge beyond the classroom. By actively pursuing these extracurricular endeavours, I demonstrated my eagerness to broaden my horizons and continuously develop myself.
Research or independent projects: During my academic tenure, I undertook research or independent projects in [mention specific area or topic]. These initiatives required a proactive approach to learning, as I had to independently explore and acquire knowledge in specialised areas. Through rigorous research, critical analysis, and problem-solving, I showcased my ability to learn independently and demonstrated a genuine passion for expanding my understanding of complex subjects.
Including these academic or extracurricular pursuits on your resume allows potential employers to see your dedication to learning beyond the classroom and your commitment to personal and professional growth. By showcasing your learning-oriented achievements, you present yourself as a proactive, motivated, and enthusiastic candidate who is eager to take on new challenges and acquire new skills.
A willingness to learn is a soft skill that is valuable in almost every field of employment. In rare instances, you may state your willingness to learn outright. In others, you can use examples of personal career development, continuing education, or the results of learning new skills to demonstrate your willingness without using the words “willing to learn.”
Furthermore, you can use resume templates to highlight your skills, input information in a readily-made document instead of creating it from scratch and organising the data into sections. Such a template is a great alternative when you don’t want to spend hours creating the resume by yourself or pay someone to do it for you.