You’ve heard it before: “Words matter.” Indeed, they do. They are especially important when it comes to making sure that your resume showcases your achievements.
The hardest thing about putting a resume together is making sure you capture the reader’s interest in the first 30 seconds. It’s not enough to just have a list of duties and responsibilities, employers today want to know how your employment positively impacted your previous or current employer – and how will you do it for them (i.e. I gave my previous employer a Ferrari, and I can do the same for you!)
One way is to quantify 1-3 accomplishments as well as listing your duties and responsibilities. Remember, a resume is not a grocery list; it is your brochure, the marketing document for YOU, Inc. If they don’t see it in the first 30 seconds they scan your resume, you may have lost your chance for the job.
Show Problems, Actions and Results in a Concise Manner
Experts tell us that people get a general impression of us within a minute or less, and that is true of a hiring manager who is studying a resume. The fact is that your resume gives off signals immediately.
Put yourself in the shoes of a hiring manager. Which of these bullet points catch your eye more?
- Managed, facilitated and administered the accounting function. Oversaw the production of financial statements.
- Under my leadership, the time to monthly close was cut from 10 days to 3, and the outstanding accounts receivable were reduced by 25%. This resulted in greater cash flow and a savings of 5% on loan interest payments.
Frame your actions in a simple bullet-point format that summarizes your accomplishment and the positive results it achieved. What has your employer praised you for? What have customers expressed gratitude for? You may be surprised at the list you can compile.
Lead With Your Achievements
Take the example of a client who had a human resources background. They had developed a training program that reduced the time involved in every company sales transaction, to the extent of about $0.75 per transaction. Sounds insignificant? Well, this company typically processed 1000 transactions per day, 6 days a week, for a total annual savings of about $234,000.
The cost to develop and deliver the training program was approximately $50,000, so the return on investment (ROI) was over 400%. Quite an accomplishment – but it was not on their resume, not in their cover letter and not in their answer to my question, “tell me about yourself”. In this case it took almost an hour of hard questioning to uncover and quantify this significant accomplishment! Most hiring managers won’t work that hard, so you need to make it easy for them.
Stand Out From the Pack With Positive Achievements
At Flex Execs, we do our best to help candidates showcase their achievements in the best way possible! If you are exploring the possibility of expanding your horizons, let us help. Contact Flex Execs today.