Your resume is, at its best, a snapshot of your career as a whole. While you could probably fill up your resume with pages and pages of elaborate descriptions of projects you have worked on, successes you have accomplished, lessons you have learned, and skills you have developed, the nature of the resume is brevity. So you need to really emphasize the important information to drive home your quality. The best way to do this is to focus on results.
Results are Key
Everyone is capable of filling up space on a page with past experiences or interests, but the best and most attractive candidates’ resumes advertise the results that their work has produced. This draws employers’ attention like nothing else because it tells them the one thing they are most interested in learning about you: what can you do for them? Everything else, including work experience, education, even skills or trainings, comes second to the actual results you have produced for previous employers.
How to Focus on Results
A common error many applicants make is to focus their resume on their life history or restating the job descriptions. These resumes are task oriented. They tell prospective employers what tasks you were assigned. But they fail to show how well you did within the situation. Focus on results by describing accomplishments. Detail how past employers have benefitted from having you on their team. Show, don’t tell, what it is you bring to the table.
Quality and Quantity
While quality is important, it is relatively subjective and easy to misrepresent. Employers prefer quantifiable results because they are solid, reproducible, and capable of being confirmed. They are the most eye-catching elements of a resume. Saying you exceeded $20 million in wholesale volume within your first year on the national sales team is much more powerful than saying you were successful within your first year on the national sales team. When describing your successes, be specific. List budgets managed, costs saved, and employees managed. These statements are then supported by more quality-focused statements such as having more repeat customers than other sales representatives,
Tips to Include Results
While it can seem more difficult to write your resume from a results-oriented perspective than a task-oriented perspective, just remember that nobody better understands the results of your hard work than you do. Consider your resume to be your own personal billboard to show the world the impact of your work. If you are still stumped, here are a few tips to get you started.
Use comparisons to align your work experience with that of your peers. Facts without comparison are nice, but a fact with supporting argument of comparison gives you a competitive edge. That being said, don’t overlook the value of teamwork. Give credit where credit is due and you will look like a real team player, something every employer is looking for.
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