What is “independent” work?
To work independently is to work efficiently on assigned tasks all by yourself or with little assistance. Independent workers might get some guidelines or instructions from senior colleagues, but are generally able to work with no supervision.
Due to the fact that the skills possessed by independent workers are still quite vague, you shouldn’t really list “independent work” on your resume as a skill itself. In fact, you can point the recruitment team in the right direction by showing that you learn fast, are attentive to detail, ask the right questions, and have good time-management skills.
Why is being an “independent” worker important on your resume?
Although the ability to work independently is not a skill per se, it is often present in various job descriptions. Adding “independent worker” in your skills section, or worse - in your resume summary, sounds shallow and might even decrease your chances of getting to the next application round.
And still, the skills that make up an independent worker are highly valuable to all employers and hiring managers.
They show that you won’t need someone to be around you at all times and can take the initiative to get the job done in time.
Independent workers are goal-setters and quick learners - every team needs at least several of them to move forward. That’s why hiring more and more people who can work independently has turned into a major requirement for success.
But how can you really show that you are an independent worker on your resume? How can you prove that you can contribute to the development of the team without needing constant assistance?
Let’s look at the types of skills and experience that will prove your ability to work independently.
What skills, activities and accomplishments help you highlight your ability to work independently?
There are several skills that make up independent workers. Here are some of them:
- Organisation and time-management: being able to manage your time well even when your schedule is tight is one of the skills that independent workers have. If you are able to get the work done in time and work on numerous projects simultaneously, you’ll prove your ability to work independently.
- Quality control and problem-solving: sacrificing quality for good time-management is without a doubt a recipe for disaster. Requiring constant assistance and revision to produce quality work or resolve issues is not typical for independent workers.
- Accountability and effective communication: one of the things that divides independent workers from dependent workers is the ability to communicate effectively, ask the right questions and be accountable for your knowledge and/or experience gaps.
- Research skills: if there is no one to ask for help, independent workers try to find the right answers by themselves. For that reason, being able to separate valid information from nonsense is key for independent work.