In order for your job search to achieve the results you are looking for, a job, you need to start thinking of yourself as a product! In this oversaturated crowd of job seekers it is easy to get lost so it is essential to market yourself as the ideal candidate. In order to stand out among the other job seekers you need to promote yourself in a way that highlights your strengths, speaks to the needs of the company, and showcases the value your expertise can bring if they choose you.
So what is the best way to capture the attention of those doing the hiring? You need to sell yourself with an accomplishment focused resume. What is an accomplishment focused resume you ask? A resume that is accomplishment focused calls attention not just to the duties and tasks that you performed but what the result of your efforts was.
Let’s say that you are in sales. Obviously you sell things; you are probably also good with customers and have excellent negotiation skills. Chances are every other candidate applying for a sales position is going to do the exact same thing. So, how can you stand out? You can make yourself rise to the top by showing how you used those skills to achieve specific accomplishments. You can sell it instead of only telling it.
For example, a resume that “tells it” might say:
- Secured monthly new customer quota.
- Performed onsite product demonstrations.
- Resolved customer issues and answered questions.
The above is very task based; it tells the reader what the candidate did and nothing more. It doesn’t offer any insight into the value this person would bring to the position.
On the other hand, a resume that “sells it” would sound more like this:
- Surpassed monthly new customer quota 6 months running by implementing a new customer incentive program.
- Increased sales 40% by performing monthly onsite visits to promote product awareness among employees.
- Reduced customer complaints 89% by creating an issue resolution website that is accessible to all customers at any time.
Instead of simply listing the tasks that were performed this resume shows what accomplishments they were able to achieve beyond the requirements of the job. A resume that uses this format will stand out above the resumes that have a list of bullets that only tell the task that was performed.
Someone in sales may have an easier time coming up with accomplishments that look similar to the examples above; but what if you don’t work in an industry with such obvious examples? I always ask clients: Did you save time? Did you save money? Introduce a new process? Earn an award? Resolve an issue? Complete a project? Streamline a procedure? It could be as simple as introducing a new filing system that increased efficiency.
If you take a good look at your career history, chances are you will be able to identify some accomplishments that will sell your strengths to a potential employer.
by Megan Koehler