— September 7, 2017
How long has it been since you really sat down and went through your resume with a fine-tooth comb? Are you guilty of simply tacking on new information without reviewing existing content? This not only increases the length of your resume unnecessarily, it can also lead to redundancies and outdated information. It’s time to take pause and focus on polishing up the content of your resume.
Get Away from Responsibilities
If your resume reads like a laundry list of tasks and responsibilities, it’s time to make a change. Employers aren’t as concerned about what you did as much as what it accomplished. This is especially true if you’re listing tasks that are expected of everybody or are common sense for your position. Instead of making yourself stand out, you’re making yourself blend in with everyone else. If a friend’s response to reading a bullet point on your resume is, “who cares?” or “what does that mean?”, chances are it will be a recruiter’s response as well.
Focus on Achievements
Don’t just list tasks; think about their purpose and what you achieved. Do you have quantifiable results that you can show? Saying that you reduced turnaround time by three days, grew sales by 35 percent, or cut costs by $ 800,000 attracts positive attention. They are metrics that hiring managers can relate to and understand. It also shows that you accomplish results.
If you don’t have access to specific numbers, you can still position your statements in a way that emphasizes results. Use verbs such as increased, decreased, improved, reduced, streamlined, generated, secured, or launched. Each bullet point should be an action- or results-oriented statement.
Look for Connections
Read through a variety of job postings for similar jobs. Find out what it is that employers are looking for and how your experiences, skills, and accomplishments align. These are the items that you should be highlighting. If you can’t identify the purpose of including something, leave it out. Each statement should make an impact and give a potential employer insight into your capabilities and how you can make a difference at their company.
You want your resume to tell a story and show how you have grown throughout your career. Avoid listing the same things over and over again for each job you’ve held. Focus on what set you apart in those positions. What did you do there that you didn’t do in your last role? How did you grow and take on more responsibility?
Your resume should make an employer want to learn more about you. It should be clear how you fit into the position you are applying for and what you bring to the table. They shouldn’t be wondering why you’re applying or what your previous experience has to do with the role.