Now that you know the right format for your resume and you have written out all your achievements and responsibilities, it’s time to really showcase those accomplishments. But what is the best way to do that?
Bullets are your friend
I’m a big advocate of using bullets effectively in a resume. This does not mean that the entire document should use bullets to stress the important facts that you want to highlight. If you use bullets everywhere, then nothing will stand out to the reader. That’s why it’s important to only highlight the information that will be most likely to get you an interview.
A popular way to mix bullets and paragraphs is by writing a brief paragraph about your responsibilities before adding your achievements as bullets below. In most cases, you want to have more bullets for your recent positions. The further back you go, the less important those achievements are to the employer. Sometimes that is unfortunate since those accomplishments might relate more to what you are currently seeking in a position. If that’s the case, highlight the most important ones so that they don’t get lost in a see of bullets.
Numbers can be your best friend
Using qualifying factors in your achievements can truly make the difference of getting the interview or being passed over. Why are they so important? There are a couple of different reasons.
- Illustrates how big the achievement was in the overall picture and the significant impact it had on the company.
If you simply state that you increased inventory turn and reduced backorders, that doesn’t really say a whole lot. A lot of people could say that and have it be true.
However, see what happens if you state it this way: “Saved $7 million with a 50% increase in inventory turn and a 75% backorder reduction.” That is something that will impress an employer.
- Shows how well you meet and exceed company and personal goals.
Every company wants an employee who at least meets the objectives set by the company. Whether it be for the company as a whole, your department or your personal objectives, they all are important to an employer.
So as you’re sifting through your accomplishments, don’t forget to include this important aspect. If you are an accountant and had a goal of saving the company $1 million by discovering more tax exemptions, but you actually saved $1.5 million, be sure to say that. By stating the fact that you exceeded your goal by 50% is huge in the eyes of an employer.
Your achievements and how you showcase them are vital in getting interviews. Don’t shortchange yourself or you’ll be pretty shortchanged in the interview area.
Many job seekers skip the next step which can be detrimental to their job search. Next time you’ll discover how important it is to have a second, third (or more!) pair of eyes look over your resume.
- Heather Eagar
Recognized as a leading expert in the employment search industry, Heather Eagar is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. If you are considering hiring a professional resume writing service, check out reviews of the top companies in the industry at www.ResumeLines.com