How to make the best resume?
Is your resume full of fluff or strong achievement statements?
During a long career most people demonstrate many examples of strength and courage, go beyond expectations, achieve goals and show excellence in numerous skills.
So why, when it comes time to write a resume, do so many people use words that tell the reader very little about what they have actually achieved?
Your resume is your marketing tool
Your resume should be kept updated if there is any chance that you might apply for another job. It is so much easier to update it regularly while your experiences are fresh. Achievement statements, which indicate your career successes, are an essential part of your resume.
Any document you send as part of your application for a job is a marketing tool, so your resume (and cover letter if required) should be a convincing example of why you are the right person for that job. It should be adapted for every job application, to show the natural connection between what you have done and the exact role that has been advertised. Make sure to read our tips on successful resume writing.
Don’t fall into the trap of just listing your responsibilities.
Well-crafted achievement statements will illustrate what you actually achieved in the role, and the work you have done will become clear through those statements. The person who is recruiting wants to know that you have the capabilities to do what is required of you in this role, and the best way you can illustrate that is to show evidence through achievement statements.
Keywords are vital clues
If you look closely at a job description you will soon start to notice the keywords that tell you what the company is looking for. Use these keywords as your best clue for what is required in this role. If you illustrate how you have already shown yourself capable of achieving those keyword phrases, you have increased your chances of being noticed.
Examples of how create achievement statements
Here are 13 overused resume phrases, each with an example of how the same concept could become an achievement statement.
- “Strong communication, customer service and organizational skills”
- “Lifted customer satisfaction and on time delivery of assigned projects by 25% in six months through strong communication, excellent customer service and organizational skills”.
- “Introduced new products”
- “Introduced, developed and launched new products that increased our market share and lead to over $400,000 increased profitability in 2017-2018 financial year”.
- “Successful track record”
- “Constantly exceeded sales goal each year from 2013 – 2019”.
- “Became the go-to person of the team”
- “Appointed by CEO for special duties that benefited staff retention through an innovative program of peer-support”.
- “Team player”
- “Demonstrated solid commitment to team dynamics, and recognized as ‘top team contributor’ three times in the last 12 months”.
- “Possess leadership skills, good communication, and inspirational and motivational knowledge”
- “A highly effective team leader, recognized for strong communication and the ability to motivate and inspire the team, leading to 50% increase in team profitability over the last twelve months”.
- “Contributed to productivity objectives for the department”
- “Exceeded productivity aims and objectives through establishment of best practices to promote employee output”.
- “Company spokesperson”
- “Highly successful company spokesperson who has developed very positive media relations with local and national television and radio journalists”.
- “Liaised with others in the company on a project”
- “Collaborated with senior finance and information technology managers to improve and establish a new sales tracking tool. This tool has now been adapted for use by two subsidiary companies”.
- “Talking to existing customers each day”
- “Developed successful relationships with clients to make recurring and referral business which resulted in orders of $1.3 million in the last financial year.”
- “Negotiator and presenter”
- “Negotiator and expert presenter whose relationship building with clients has led to three contracts for multimillion dollar developments between January and May this year”.
- “Managing cross-functional teams”
- “Currently managing a cross-functional team which has already shown a proven upward trend in company productivity and the quality of customer service in three months”.
- “Solved customer problems quickly”
- “Consistently solved customer problems in an expedient and tactful way, with several letters of thanks sent to the management as a result of this work”.
When you give examples of what you have already done well your resume comes to life. Don’t submit a job application until you have included powerful achievement statements to show how your meet the job description, and have included the main keywords.
Don’t forget to consider all your Transferable Skills In A Resume.
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