Going from a good resume to a great one

January 21st 2020 in Resumes, Searching
Photo by Jason Hogan on Unsplash

“What have you done?”

You may have never given it much thought, but if you’ve reviewed resumes on behalf of your company, you already know how to spot the great ones.

  • The bad ones are obvious. No details, lots of jargon, and an expectation the reader knows what the writer was saying.
  • The good ones have details, but not much else. They’re a chronological listing of job descriptions. A resume by the most basic definition- serviceable bones with no flesh.
  • The great ones tell a story of results. They focus on accomplishments backed up with data. They show how a person has contributed in the past and wants to contribute in the future.

Most people shy away from writing accomplishments in their resume even though it can be the extra factor that pushes a resume over the top and lands the attention of the person who schedules interviews. Why?

It could possibly be that the person feels they’ve not accomplished anything.

Not only is that sad to hear, but it is almost always incorrect!

When thinking about what you’ve accomplished at your work, consider these points

Accomplishments are outcomes: Just because you didn’t get a medal for your efforts doesn’t mean you didn’t produce an outcome.

Accomplishments are often team effort: If you were part of a group that did something worth noting, then share it. Taking credit for your contribution is only fair.

Accomplishments are proven with results: A great way to write your accomplishments is “I did X which resulted in Y and because of that produced Z”. If you can prove your results with outcomes and metrics, you’ll make it clear for your reader that you’re the person for the job.

Accomplishments are what employers want to see: When evaluating candidates, an employer wants to know if you can do the job, so showing how you’ve overcome and produced results in the past is a fantastic way to show how you can do the same in another position.

If you work with a resume writer or write your own resume, remember to focus on what you’ve done. Your contributions are what have gotten you where you are today, so be proud of them!


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