Answer: List your job duties (from your job description) for each job you held in bullet fashion on your resume.
In effect, your resume (along with hundreds/thousands of resumes from others vying for the same job) becomes a tutorial for the HR staff and hiring manager on what the duties and responsibilities are for the job positions you held. Let’s face it: HR and department managers likely do not need to be educated on those job duties. They are relatively standard for each occupation/job. Having those job duties repeated again and again by the vast majority of applicants is not only repetitious, but downright boring.
What they DO need to know goes beyond job duties to accomplishments. Or, as one employer put it, “Job duties are what you were supposed to do. How do I know that you did any of that? What I really want to know is what you actually did, whether you were any good at it, and what results you achieved”.
Now here is where the groaning begins…many applicants believe they do not have accomplishments in their jobs. But, I have never seen a resume that could not be improved with quantifiable results. It can be done, no matter what your occupation or career field.
For example, here is an assortment of quantified achievements from various occupations and professions:
Insurance Sales – Territory Manager
* Sales Leadership: Quintupled premium accounts to $1.2 million within 5 years. Increased profitability 79% through market expansion, low loss ratio, and award-winning customer service.
Senior Research Biochemist
* Antibody Development: Improved production output of final serum products from animal studies by 50% and cut turnaround time from 6 months to 4 months with no loss of quality. Oversaw 20 concurrent projects within past 11 months.
* Catalog Design: Produced 3 catalogs @150+ pages each while saving client 40% of projected photography costs. Completed photo shoot of 60 automotive products on site in 2 days with no disruption to manufacturing process.
* Web Marketing: Increased web traffic from 100,000 to 35 million clicks per month (CPM) within 18 months of launch of revamped website and web marketing campaign. Gained 20% market share due to interactive web content and proactive social media outreach and engagement.
Mental Health Counselor
* Program Development: Initiated and led creative arts expressive therapy program for caseload of 35 high-functioning professional, young adults, and adolescents with chronic and severe mental health issues and multiple-diagnosed conditions. Program adopted statewide as prototype by counseling agency within 10 months.
Accomplishments are the third key to a powerful and distinctive resume. They tell employers and recruiters not only what YOU have achieved, but also point to what you are able to achieve in the future…in the job they are seeking to fill. That can certainly separate you from your competitors!
Previous posts have discussed the first key FOCUS: The Starting Point for Resume Success and the second key LEVERAGE: Showcase Your Best Assets for Your Resume.
During September, which is Update Your Resume Month, take a new look at your resume and evaluate it for Focus, Leverage, and Accomplishments. Make sure your resume is in the top 5% of job seekers who really stand out!