Have you kept your resume up to date with your latest accomplishments? Or is it lurking somewhere in the dusty cornice of your mind waiting to be dug out and brushed off at some time in the undetermined future?
It’s always a good idea to keep an updated resume with tangible accomplishments. Not just for application purposes but also for performance review purposes (why, specifically, do you deserve that raise?) and, if nothing else, a reminder of how good you are and what you have achieved in your career so far.
A good resume that’s up-to-date and ready to use is a great confidence-booster.
Many resumes are responsibility based however the most effective ones are accomplishment based. Accomplishments are examples of how you have actually used your knowledge and your skills effectively with tangible or intangible positive results.
An accomplishment based resume makes you stand out from the crowd. It demonstrates that you have made a difference in your role, you have not just ‘clocked in and clocked out’ each day. Everyone is hired to do a job. If you have simply done your job, well that’s great, but you are paid to do that job after all. It’s what you have done above and beyond that makes a difference to employers.
What have you done ‘above and beyond?’ Did you lead an important initiative, solve a difficult problem, identify a wasteful procedure and recommend improvements, improve profits, reduce downtime, improve team morale, consistently work ahead of deadlines and within budgets?
It’s always a good time to take a step back and review your professional career and identify important contributions you have made. You may be pleasantly surprised when you are honest with yourself. Many of us are too humble.
I have had so many clients say to me, “Well, I was just doing my job.” Some people do their job exceptionally well. Does this mean you too?
What do accomplishment statements do for you?
· They make you feel great about yourself
· They highlight the benefits you bring to any role
· They are the springboard for discussions in interviews
· They are the basis of a highly marketable resume
· They help to identify why you are a valuable employee
· They highlight why you are worth hanging on to (or deserving of that raise!)
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help you craft effective accomplishment statements:
· Did you generate new business? If so how much?
· Did you save time, improve procedures, save costs?
· Did you create something new or something better?
· Did you achieve more with the same resources?
· Did you improve operations or make things easier?
· Did you solve a previously overlooked problem?
· Did you streamline a process?
· Did you prevent something that could have been a disaster?
Once you have identified what could be your accomplishments on the job, turn them into statements that you can bullet point in your resume.
Start with an action verb in the past to make them punchy and to the point … use relevant words such as achieved, adapted, broadened, challenged, completed, devised, delivered, enhanced, improved, invented, managed, organised, pioneered, redesigned, secured, strengthened, transformed, etc.
Accomplishments in your resume make you stand out from the crowd.
They demonstrate that having you as part of the team will make a difference and you will contribute to the success of the organisation.
Take time to think about what you have done, have fun devising your accomplishment statements and include them in your resume! You will notice the difference and so will potential employers.
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