If you have seen one list of functions for a particular job title, you have seen them all. Yet, many candidates copy and paste the job description into the resume. That signals to the hiring employer that you are either too lazy to craft a professional resume or that you did not perform beyond the most basic job requirements. Either message will not get you in the door for an interview. To earn an interview, you must show how you excelled at your job. What were your great accomplishments? Follow these three steps to uncover, quantify, and showcase your accomplishments.
1.) Identify Your Accomplishments
A major accomplishment is something above and beyond the call of duty. Merely showing up for work and completing your work is expected. Finding the cause of a recurring problem and creating a new procedure to eliminate that problem is a major accomplishment. If you developed a new program to cross-train employees, that is another great example worthy of sharing. Sales successes, quality metrics, and major projects are more examples of career achievements.
Resume Strategies and showcasing your accomplishments are unique for every person.
2.) Quantify the Results
Now that you have drafted a list of accomplishments, dig deeper. Think about how those accomplishments benefitted your employer and clients. What was the impact? Can you quantify the results? Remember the example of the recurring problem that was solved? Solving that problem most likely resulted in cost savings associated with re-work or perhaps it helped salvaged a client. You can tie number to the savings for the revenue generated from a client. For each accomplishment, try to attach a measured result. If you do not have a firm number, an estimate will suffice. If the results are not complete, perhaps you can show the anticipated result. If you show an estimate or forecast, be sure to define it properly.
3.) Put It All Together
Steps one and two are done. The third step is easy. Start your accomplishment statement with the result. Avoid burying the lead behind the function you performed. Each statement should begin with a strong verb. For example: “Reduced server administration cost $14,600 by consolidating 7 servers into a single server.” The ideal length of each bulleted statement should be one to two lines. Long densely-composed explanations may be seen as tedious by the reader.
Follow these three steps to build powerful statements, rich with results-based accomplishments. Remember that numbers (dollars, percentages, counts) pack a big punch, so step two is crucial. When you focus on your functions and basic job skills alone, you will appear to be insulated from the bigger picture. Take time to understand and communicate measured results for your accomplishments to present yourself as a strong candidate.