Resume Makeover: What Have You Accomplished?

A lot of job seekers view their resume as simply a chronological listing of their work experience. They list all the responsibilities of each position–but their resume could be much stronger if they took a different approach.

Think of your resume as a marketing document. You want to make your experience as attractive as possible to an employer, so you need to show not only what you did in a role, but HOW WELL you did it. What impact did you make for the company?

Any statistics, dollar amounts, timeframes, or percentages that you can highlight will quantify your experience for an employer.

Two areas where you can usually find numbers to highlight are time and money. Has your work ever saved the company money? How much? Or have you helped save your coworkers or managers time? How did you do it? These are great things to feature.

For other ideas, ask yourself these questions:

  • Did you increase revenue? By how much?
  • Did you win any company or industry awards?
  • Did you create any new workflows or processes? What was the result?
  • Were you chosen to lead a team or a project?
  • Were you a supervisor or team lead? How many people did you manage?
  • Did you exceed goals that were set for you? By how much?
  • Have you solved any problems for the company? How?

Once you have answers to these questions, one of the best ways to structure your statements is to think in terms of a simple formula often used in job interviews: The PAR Method – Problem, Action, Results

  • Problem: What was the problem you solved?
  • Action: How did you solve it? (Be sure to use an action verb)
  • Result: What was the outcome for the company, team or project?

To use this strategy on your resume, flip the order of the elements to Action + Problem / Project + Results.

Examples

  • Developed a streamlined manufacturing process that reduced labor and material costs by 15%.
  • Led redesign project and copywriting for key website landing pages, increasing conversions by 20%.
  • Created and implemented a new social media strategy that improved user engagement by over 60% on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  • Created and managed bid process for facility maintenance contracts, saving the organization $25,000.
  • Exceeded monthly sales goals by creating new follow-up processes for contacts, increasing the number of new monthly clients by 20%. 

What If My Job Doesn’t Deal With “Data” or Numbers?

Not all jobs work with metrics that can be pulled in a report. If you don’t work with dollar amounts, there are two other areas you can think about to quantify your work: frequency and scale.

Frequency

You can use the amount of work or specific assignments that you do as a way to quantify your experience.

  • How many times per week or month do you do certain tasks? 
  • How much work do you accomplish within a given period of time? 

Examples

  • Resolved 60+ help desk tickets per day.
  • Wrote and posted 3 blog posts per week with an average of 15,000 page views per article.
  • Directed 20 events per year, including 2 annual conferences with more than 5,000 attendees.
  • Processed 200+ customer phone orders per week and upsold items in 40% of the calls.

Scale

What “big” things do you handle? Have you completed any big projects or led any big teams? 

Examples

  • Hired and trained 20 new managers to serve as team leads in regional call centers.
  • Digitized company’s photo library of more than 3,000 files.
  • Created a 25-page training manual to assist new hires with onboarding.
  • Grew newsletter subscriber list from 100 to 1,000 in 6 months without increasing expenses.
  • Organized three volunteer events per year with more than 30 volunteers per event.
  • Led company-wide web design project by collaborating with 6 departments and 2 external agencies.

With these strong impact statements, you are sure to catch an employer’s attention. While you are updating your resume, remember you can also add these to your LinkedIn profile!

Want more resume tips? Check out this post on formatting your resume or learn what information you should NOT include on your resume

Published by Career Coach Belinda

I’ve helped job seekers of all ages and career levels develop résumés, craft cover letters, and approach job interviews with confidence.

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