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Your Resume on Steroids: The Power of Accomplishment – Part 1

Bicep ClipartYou’ve been submitting your resume for months, and nothing is happening. You’re a hard worker, and you go the extra mile to make sure things get done right, but nobody wants to hire you. What gives?

It happens far too often. People who are great employees and would be an asset to any company get passed over in favor of less qualified candidates, and employers miss out on a chance to hire some very talented people who have the potential to make solid contributions and improve their bottom line.

I can tell you with a pretty high degree of confidence that it’s not you, it’s your resume. Chances are, if you’ve been actively applying for jobs that you’re obviously qualified for and your resume isn’t generating any interview appointments, it’s because your resume doesn’t contain the “right” information. It’s not giving the hiring team the information they need to make a decision to interview you.

It’s really a no-brainer.
Many of the resumes I see from incoming clients have job entries that look something like this:

EXAMPLE A: Task-Driven Resume

  • Widget Maker; Widgets, Inc.: 2009 – 2015
  • Made widgets, gadgets, and thingamajigs.
  • Fixed broken widget-making machines.
  • Created daily widget production reports.
  • Provided on-the-job training for new widget makers.
  • Received “Widget Maker of the Year” award for quality control project.

It’s a great summary of what a widget maker does. The problem is, the person who got the interview had a resume that looked like this:

EXAMPLE B: Accomplishment-Driven Resume

  • Widget Maker; Widgets, Inc.: 2009 – 2015
  • Produced 500 widgets, gadgets, and thingamajigs daily, maintaining a reject rate of less than 0.5%.
  • Reduced down time by 75% by monitoring equipment and making timely adjustments and repairs.
  • Enhanced daily reporting and reduced errors with development of Excel spreadsheet report format.
  • Supported over 100 new employees with quality training focused on accuracy, efficiency and productivity.

Earned “Widget Maker of the Year” Award after spearheading team quality control initiative which reduced reject rate by 50% with increased production output.

Now really, if you were on the hiring team, which one would you be calling in for an interview? It really is a no-brainer.

Tell me something I don’t already know!
The hiring team knows what a widget-maker does; they wrote the job description. A task-driven resume filled with a list of job duties doesn’t offer much in the way of new information. Choosing candidates from a pile of task-driven resumes is tedious at best, and at worst can cause the company to hire a person who is not a good fit. Since nobody stands out, it’s impossible to determine who to call in for interviews with any degree of accuracy. The accomplishment-driven resume stops them in their tracks. Now they’re paying attention!

What many job seekers don’t realize is that hiring teams aren’t just looking for people who can do the job; they’re looking for the best return on their investment of payroll dollars. They’re looking for employees who will go above-and-beyond, and contribute to the company’s success with teamwork, creative problem-solving, dedication to high-quality work, and support of company goals. Think about it. If you owned a business, isn’t that what you’d be looking for in your employees?

It’s a numbers game, and you’re in control.
About 80% of the resumes submitted for any given job lack the kind of detailed information about performance illustrated by the accomplishment-driven example. What does that mean for you? It means that if you submit a thoughtfully-developed accomplishment-driven resume, you’ll automatically place yourself in the top 20% of all candidates, as long as you meet the basic requirements for the job. You’re far more likely to get called in for interviews. You will eliminate 80% of the competition up front, simply by giving the hiring team the kind of information they’re looking for.

Example B is your competition; they’re the most likely reason why you’re not getting interviews. There will always be a few accomplishment-driven resumes in the pile of applicants, and in order to win an interview appointment, you’ve got to compete with them.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come!
In next month’s post, we’ll get down to the nitty-gritty and take a closer look at the kind of performance-based content that you can use to create a compelling resume that wins interview appointments for well-matched positions.

Ellen HallAbout Ellen Hall  Ellen Hall is a nationally certified resume writer, blogger, and owner of Rapid Results Resumes based in Tucson, Arizona. She partners with clients nationwide to develop highly effective custom resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and other career marketing documentation according to current best practices and strategic career marketing principles. Ellen has helped many clients to shorten their employment searches, gain interviews for the jobs they want, and command higher salaries.