A client who hadn’t been in a job search for a while recently asked me, “What is the one thing my resume must have to be noticed?”
My response, “It HAS to be results-based.”
Gone are the days when resumes are historical lists of responsibilities. Potential employers want to see results. They want to understand the impact and outcomes of the work you’ve performed and how it benefited the company you were working for at the time. Simply put, how did your actions positively impact the bottom line?
For corporations, effective results can be broadly boiled down to: 1) increased profits or 2) decreased losses. HOW this is done varies and might include: increasing efficiency or decreasing waste, reducing risk or increasing margins, increasing client satisfaction and reducing employee turnover, and so on and so forth.
And the more specifics you can offer (e.g., actual numbers), the more credible and impressive the accomplishment. For example:
- Increased product page views by 40% leading to a YOY gain in sales of 19% by designing a more user-friendly web interface for global customers.
Gathering this information is fairly straightforward in a data-driven role like Sales, but it can be difficult in roles that do not have precise measurements. But that doesn’t mean a results-based resume is out of reach. In fact, it’s equally important for you to translate for your audience how the work you did positively impacted the bottom line so they know that you understand the value of your work on the success of the company.
If your role isn’t directly numbers-driven, here’s a simple trick to help you think about how the work you do positively impacts the company. Ask yourself:
“What would happen if I DIDN’T do my job???
For example, if you’re an Administrative Assistant, what would happen if you didn’t keep the calendar organized, edit the reports, and coordinate the travel? Well, it’s likely that your executive team wouldn’t be nearly as effective in their roles and the bottom line would suffer. So one bullet on your resume might read:
- Ensured stakeholder deliverables were met and company operations ran smoothly through organizing and coordinating the global travel schedule for four busy C-Suite Executives.
Maybe you’re an Office Manager for a regional retail business. What would happen if you didn’t maintain the inventory, track expenses, and ensure all of the shifts were covered? Chaos would ensue and it wouldn’t be long before the business was in jeopardy. So how about:
- Negotiated a sufficient supply of $350K in inventory for a seasonally-based business with three locations across the mid-Atlantic region to meet the demands of our customers while remaining competitively priced.
When you’re effective at your job, it can be difficult to see everyday tasks as accomplishments. However, when you imagine what could go wrong if no one was there to do your job, suddenly it’s easy to see the value you bring to the company.
Don’t expect Hiring Managers to do the work for you and connect the dots of your responsibilities in your last role to how those skills will make a positive difference in their open role. The clearer you draw the line between your actions and the impact on profits, the more attractive you’ll be as a candidate.
Try it and watch your resume transform!