By: Dwain Celistan
3 Actions for a Harder Working Resume
The resume is the hardest working item in your tool kit to secure a new opportunity. In most instances, this document will touch more people than you will speak to and certainly more than you will interview, during your search.
Additionally, the resume, a 2 dimensional document has to represent a person. It has to help the reader understand “why you”. The resume has to help separate you from other talented candidates. This is critically important in a competitive marketplace of many solid candidates.
One aspect that each person has in their experience is the unique accomplishments or value brought to their current and prior positions. These accomplishments are the differentiators between you and any other candidate.
Three aspects of strong accomplishment statements:
- An accomplishment statement is a quantitative result. Your goal is to help the reader learn about the value you provided for each role. This is best accomplished by quantifying your results.
It is the results that are unique to each individual. These results enable you to share with the reader specifically how you added value, even if a large number of other persons had the same role at the same time.
For example, each store manager in a 100 store chain has the same responsibilities. However, each manager has a unique opportunity for statements such as:
- Grew sales X%.
- Reduced employee turnover by Y%.
- Secured $Z in cost savings.
- Ranked #X in profit improvement in the chain.
- Eliminate activities because they don’t demonstrate results. Hiring organizations are looking for talent to get results, not manage or facilitate meetings. Activities such as meetings and projects are the means to an end, the results are the end.
For example, the following statements taken from senior level resumes are examples of activities, not results:
- Secured strategic alliances and partnerships.
- Regularly presented performance for regional results, forecasts and plans.
- Identified potential synergy options.
- Track and monitor accounts sales patterns, retail programs, branch and label budgets, etc.
- Minimize responsibilities as they are common to every employee. Responsibilities include elements such as, the number of people managed, budgets managed, data evaluated, analysis of specific areas, etc. These responsibilities are not unique to an individual.
Additionally, restricting the space dedicated to responsibilities (at most 30% of the space for any position), places more emphasis your accomplishments. Thus, you are putting more weight on the most important component.
Strengthen your accomplishment statements and they will enable your resume to work harder. This is the most demonstrable means of sharing with the reader the value you have added in the past and potential value to can add to another organization in the future.
Dwain Celistan is a retained executive recruiter, coach and speaker. He has authored “5 Simple Steps to Achieving Your Dreams” and “You’re Hired! Actions to Get and Keep the Job You Love”. Please contact Dwain either firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-455-0172.