In today’s highly competitive job market, you really need to demonstrate that you are an achiever rather than just a doer. This means that you need to take your task-driven resume and highlight some accomplishments. Accomplishments can be special projects or contributions in which you improved, increased, decreased, changed, streamlined, or saved (and many more) money, time, process, etc.… And anytime you can add a quantifiable metric to your accomplishment in the form of a %, $, or #, the better.
One of the most common objections I get from my clients when we are working together on revamping their resume is that they just did their job and that they don’t have any accomplishments. So here is an exercise that I do with them to get them in the accomplishment mind frame:
Step One: What are you most proud of
Maybe think about a skill that you demonstrate that is relevant to the job you want to apply for. By starting off thinking about this piece you are able to see your contributions above and beyond just your job. For example, while saying, “I am most proud of the fact that I didn’t kill my boss” might not work an accomplishment, spinning it to show your ability to communicate during a difficult situation will because it highlights a very important skill set.
Step Two: Now we need some action
Let’s break it down. So, you didn’t kill your curmudgeon old boss. Good. Now, think about your actions during that time. Did you adapt your communication style to improve understanding? Did you find ways to soften your boss before meeting with him? Tell me about your action that produced the result.
Step Three: Words make it impactful
Now let’s find an action word to really make it impactful. You want to consider four areas: action verbs, company values, popular skills, or industry keywords. For example:
Action Verbs: Executed, Achieved, Designed, Streamlined
Company Values: Innovative, Communicative, Supportive, Driven
Popular Skills: Managed, Leadership, Ownership, Adaptability
Industry Keywords: Facilitated, Launched, Demonstrated, Coordinated
Step Four: Let’s wrap it up!
And finally, let’s put it all together: “Demonstrated the ability to communicate during difficult situations by remaining calm and adapting communication style to improve message delivery and understanding.” See what we did there? Each accomplishment should highlight a situation, YOUR action, and the result (even if it is not quantifiable).
Not every job out there has quantifiable metrics or huge company altering contributions, but by applying a little creativity and being a little boastful, you can pack your resume full of accomplishments that show your prospective employer that you are a mover and a shaker and can really go above and beyond in your new job!
Resume writing is tough. It has taken me years of practice, lots of training, and God-given talent to be good at it. If you find yourself struggling to put together something that will make you shine, let’s chat and build you a resume that really shows that you are a super-star!