All I Do Is Win: Your Resume Should Reflect Your Achievements
Once upon a time, in my hijinks as a hiring manager, I would put ads out for new staff. Inevitably, I would end up drowning in resumes, many of which did not even remotely fit the qualifications I needed. Many would be completely outside the realm of what was being asked for; as an example, I would receive resumes from architects, veterinary technicians, fine artists, and and landscapers for office management and sales positions. I would beat my head against the desk wondering why people didn’t actually read the ads to find out whether or not they were qualified for the position.
Here’s the thing, though: no matter how much it pained me to read resumes from folks completely outside the job description, it paled in comparison to the frustration I felt when I received a resume for someone who could have been perfectly qualified…someone who has done the job I needed, except for one thing.
Their resume was terribly bland.
What does that mean, exactly? It means that the only things they thought pertinent to include on their resumes were their job responsibilities. The things they did, day in and day out. One resume in particular comes to mind, from a woman who worked for the court system locally: she gave me her job responsibilities, bullet by bullet, in chronological order of when she did them. Unlocked doors, turned on lights, poured water into pitchers, set them on tables, so on and so forth. We may laugh at that–who goes through their day step by step, right? Except for this one important point: if your resume only includes the things you were responsible for, yours is just as laughable and virtually unnoticeable as the resume this person had.
Don’t get me wrong…there is a place for these responsibilities. But they should not be the entirety of your resume. Your job is more than your job description. You are more than your job responsibilities.
Your resume should be something that is achievement-oriented. Instead of asking yourself, “What did my job entail?” ask yourself, “What did I do at this job that was really badass?” What did you make, save, achieve? Did you bring in a certain amount of revenue for your company? Did you see somewhere that you could make budget cuts and save your boss some money? Did you create a new filing system or make a good call on a new hire or implement a more efficient way of doing the same things the staff does every day? If you did, why aren’t these things on your resume?
At the end of the day, the hiring managers you send your resumes to see hundreds of resumes per position they post. You are a number. But you don’t have to be. Start looking back at your work history and ask yourself what really made you awesome at your job. Then put those into succinct bullets and lead with those particular bullets when listing off each job you’ve had. You will instantly stand out from the vast majority of applicants because you showed that you not only did your job, you not only did it well, but you kicked its ass and took its name.