Hiring managers typically only spend about 10 seconds scanning a resume to see whether the candidate should be considered or tossed out. No matter if you are writing an entry level graduate resume or an executive resume, If you really want to shine above the other hundred applications and get your resume to the top of the interview pile, the best way is to create an achievement based resume focusing on your accomplishments and value added skills.
Put yourself in the employers’ shoes and think about what type of candidate you would hire if you were the one filling the position. The best and usually safest candidates to hire are the ones that have demonstrated successful performance in their past positions. Employers don’t want to take a risk when hiring candidates. It’s time-consuming and expensive recruiting and hiring new employees so it benefits them to find “safe” candidates they are convinced will perform well in the position.
In order to convince employers that you are a good choice, you should start replacing responsibilities and duties with achievement statements wherever you can. Sometimes I feel a little ego-centric promoting myself as if I’m the greatest candidate ever, but you really have to sell yourself to employers if you want the position. The competition is just too fierce out there to try to be modest in a job application. Unfortunately these days, simply graduating with a college degree won’t get you very far in the job market. In order to really sell yourself, you should highlight your achievements to the reader and provide examples everywhere possible to demonstrate how you can add value to the organization. Listing examples and quantifiable evidence showing what you accomplished in your past work experience will illustrate to employers that you will continue to achieve high standards and results in their company if you’re hired.
So how do achievement statements differ from duties and responsibilities? Well, let’s look at an example between the two types of statements you could make for a café worker position, where you served as a Team Lead. For some positions, you may not have detailed quantifiable evidence, but the more you can provide the better. Numbers (when available) usually help serve this purpose:
Provided excellent customer service to customers
Received ‘employee of the month’ recognition for my excellent customer service on 2 different occasions and helped to build customer loyalty in over 20 new customers at the store
Supervised 5 employees on their customer service and performance
Assisted in hiring 2 new employees and retained 3 high-performing employees. Increased Team scorecard to Excellent for customer service and service delivery
Start replacing responsibilities and duties with achievement statements as much as you can, and you will definitely start seeing better results!
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