You likely have heard many times from many sources that listing your past job duties on your resume is a big fat NO NO. Right? So it’s about time to revamp that resume that looks more like a job description into a killer testament of action and accomplishments. As a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer job seeker and professional you likely have slain your past work assignments and projects. It’s a known fact that LGBT employees tend to outperform LGBT-challenged folks with a high degree of skill, finesse, diligence, and dedication. Your resume is the company’s first glance into you as a potential awesome hire that they want and must have.
It’s all about ACTION. Achievement statements are the very best way to showcase the fabulous things you have accomplished in your previous jobs/roles. Use rainbow bright colorful action verbs to leap off the page and stand out from the mundane boring masses while remaining professional.
So, why do the vast majority of resumes out there still read like a job and project descriptions? Well, because turning job and project responsibilities into achievements is a challenging concept to grasp for most. But, you’re a smart cookie and in no time with the below, you will dancing your way out of interviews and celebrating with job offers.
Duties and Accomplishments – Know the Difference
As an instance, “managed software inventory” could be thought of as a work obligation, whereas “improved company software installation and upgrade awareness that resulted in an annual saving of $850,000 and reduced risk of a negative audit”. Or it might be, “made coffee to order” versus “educated customers on the value benefits of premium roasts resulting in a sustained 20% increase in revenue within a 3 month period.”
You want to inform the recruiter and hiring manager reading your resume something that they cannot ascertain from your job title. With a job title of Project Manager, they can assume your tasks, duties and your bare minimum skill level. Listing out that you updated spreadsheets, called and moderated meetings and liaised with internal stakeholders IS BORING AND A GIVEN. Don’t waste precious resume space on things that should be apparent.
On the flip side, by adding achievements, you paint a picture of your skills, abilities, self-motivation, creativity, innovation, and drive.
So now that you know the difference, how can you create the shift?
Create a List
- Start by compiling a listing of all of the things which sets your work and accomplishments apart where you were the primary diver, creator, and superhero. You may not have received a pat on the back from your past employer, but this is the time to pat yourself on your back.
- Ask yourself and write down the answers to:
- What did I do this has been over and beyond my usual job responsibilities?
- What changes for the better was a result of the actions I took?
- How do I stand out from my work peers?
- What new procedures did I employ to improve matters?
- What issues and problems did I solve?
- How much money has been or will be saved because of what I did?
- How much time (and thus money/productivity) has been and will be saved because of what I did?
- How did I always meet or surpass targets or quotas? What set me apart and quantify the numbers.
- How was I fabulous in my job?
Numbers Grab Attention
After you have a few items on your list from above and add as many details, statistics, and numbers as possible to fill it out and help others grasp it. Notice in the above example if you say, “While managing software I save the company money” – and end where the reader has no idea how to value that. When you show them the money/results/benefits – it becomes a reference point that they can understand and be blown away by.
“WOW – S/He saved the company $850,000 a year. How did s/he do that? We need to schedule an interview with this person because our annual cost for software is out of control!!”
- How many people were affected by your fabulous work?
- By what percent did you amazingly exceed your objectives – and how frequently/consistently did you do that?
- Quantify the moo-laa, dough, greenbacks, coin – ya know – money you saved, avoided or reduced. MONEY is a key eye catcher.
- Describe the amount of time you shaved off old processes/procedures.
- By what percentage did your incredible accomplishments produce the results? Customer engagement, new clients, improved client/employee retention, quality increase, defects decrease, duration on site, sales on first interaction, etc.
By providing measurements for your achievements, you do not just make them simpler to understand, but you truly enable the hiring supervisor to envision the degree of job or obligation you had to attain this achievement.
Spell Out the Benefit
After that, take every statement one step farther and add what the advantage was to your management or the company/organization. Let us face it, everybody wants to know what is in it for them!
So, say you’ve “reduced software costs” or “produced 20 client new engagement insight reports on a monthly basis” in your listing. Reading this, a recruiter and hiring will automatically find out, if she hires you, then you are going to have the ability to do the same for them. When you add the advantage/benefit, you efficiently market the concrete things you can bring to the company/organization.
Flaunt Your Fabulous Self
A resume filled with achievements is the very best way to flaunt everything you could potentially do for your next employer and put you on your path to landing that fantastic new job.