Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Writing An Accomplishment Driven Resume

In the midst of hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes recruiters and employers receive for any given position, your resume needs to stand out from the crowd. You must make the Hiring Manager want to read your resume more thoroughly than just the rudimentary 10-20 seconds the vast majority of your competition will warrant. The way to do this is by designing an accomplishment driven resume.

What makes a resume that is focused on achievements so effective? Most job seekers tend to list their responsibilities of their past and current positions. While this may be important, it should not necessarily be the focus of your document. The higher level the position you are seeking, the more crucial the accomplishment aspect of your resume. You need to provide proof of the results you were able to achieve with the implication that you can bring the same, if not better, results to your future employer.

Say for instance, you are a CPA. Your current resume states things such as “Control accounting activities”, and “Invest and manage cash activities”. What does that really say about your abilities? How does that differentiate you from all of the other CPAs out there applying for the same job as you? It doesn’t. You need to show the potential employers what you can bring to their organization. Now is the time to brag. How have you improved a company’s bottom line? Have you spearheaded any projects that resulted in increased revenue, company savings, or employee morale? That’s the kind of information that Hiring Managers seek out amongst the resume clutter.

Your resume is your own personal sales pitch. Keywords are an integral part of that pitch. While you are describing your accomplishments, be sure to use powerful keywords to signify the importance and magnitude of those feats. It is not the time to be modest. Use strong action verbs that really drive home what you’re trying to say. Use industry terms, where appropriate, if you are seeking a job similar to your current position. The company will understand this terminology and be relieved to know that you are competent enough to comprehend them as well.

Another significant part of an accomplishment driven resume is the format. Do not clump your achievements and responsibilities together. You can write an overview of your responsibilities in a paragraph and then highlight your accomplishments with bullets. You don’t want to have everything in a paragraph, and likewise, not everything in a bullet format. You must draw the reader’s eye to the important parts that you really want to sell. If everything looks the same, nothing will stand out.

Using these techniques, you are on your way to writing an accomplishment driven, extremely effective resume. Your potential employers will not only see what you have achieved in the past, but what you could offer them in the future.

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