What are employers and recruiters looking for on resumes?
Accomplishments. Accomplishment statements grab an employer’s attention.
Recruiters say, “Past performance predicts future productivity.” Accomplishment statements also demonstrate that an employer will quickly recoup their investment in your annual salary when the company hires you.
Do not fill your resume with fluff such as weak summary paragraphs (“20 years’ experience”), unsubstantiated adjectives (“significantly increased”), or clichés (“dynamic, results-getting professional”).
Instead, use specifics. Employers want to see numbers, specifically numbers that demonstrate cost savings, revenue increases, productivity improvements, etc. Numbers that contribute to the company’s bottom line in some manner.
One staffing firm CEO said, “Put a BENEFIT STATEMENT into your resume – something that speaks of how you 1) made the company money, 2) saved the company money, or 3) streamlined procedures. Years of experience are immaterial and may indicate that you are just “old.”
Companies want to know what kind of contribution you can make to their success – not how many years you’ve been working.”
Here are some questions to ask yourself about each of your jobs, special projects, and other activity beyond standard job duties:
- How much additional revenue was generated?
- By what percentage did productivity improve?
- How much money was saved? (Describe the project and the savings.)
- By what percentage was turnaround improved?
- How many labor hours were saved?
- Onboarding improved by ________ percentage?
- Improved employee retention by ______, through ______________.
- 6. _________________ went from ___________ to _______________ after employees completed ____________________ training program.
The ability to provide “before and after” results is a strong way to demonstrate and communicate your value.
Challenge: Review your current resume. Have you provided specific information about your results? If not, get the numbers and add them to your document. Track the responses to your new, accomplishment-driven resume.
Need more help with your resume and your job search? Check out “Rock Your Job Search.”
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Wendy Terwelp is an award-winning career coach and personal branding strategies whose clients regularly win raises, promotions, and jobs. Want to advance your career? Let’s talk!