How to Make a Resume
Did you know that…
2016 resume formats put major focus on key words, key skills and are Achievement Based
If you want to make a professional looking resume, you’ll need to think about your career thus far, and how you’ve made a difference to your clients, colleagues and the companies you have served.
Think about your last 5 – 10 years and write some notes on the following:
- The challenges you have faced to meet company goals
- The obstacles you helped the company overcome
- Difficult situations and clients you have dealt with
- Ideas you put forward to increase productivity
- Major projects you have worked on that led to a positive outcome
To ensure your documents are filled with relevant facts that prove you have whatever it is they are looking for, we ask that you scan through the rest of this page to bring you up to speed on what hiring managers look for when evaluating whether you are a worthwhile candidate.
Preparing for Success in the Job Interview
This information will also help you in the job interview, as the recruiters will use the examples you provide in your resume as a resource to ask you specific questions.
Check out this short video that shows that when employers look at hiring you, they sometimes will evaluate your value like any other product or service they are considering to acquire for their business.
Your Key Responsibilities
Hiring managers and recruitment consultants are interested in finding the purpose / value / contribution of what you did, not just the tasks you undertook or the duties of your jobs.
Recruitment consultants will have recruited similar positions on numerous occasions and will be familiar with the main duties of the job. Therefore, spelling out your duties can be a waste of space.
The reader is more interested in the level of your accountability and the purpose of what you were or are doing. They want to know what you were or are accountable for ensuring or achieving in undertaking the tasks or duties comprising your job. We will delve into the purpose of the role and ask how you have provided benefit to the organisation.
To get the conversation going, we will probably ask you:
- Why does this role exist?
- what value does the role bring to the organisation?
This level of information helps prospective organisations understand what you were required to achieve in the job. It helps them to understand the level at which you were working.
If you provide the reader with information at this level, it will help to differentiate you from other candidates because most people do not go to this depth. It will provide organisations with greater insight about your abilities and the level of responsibility you have had.
It will help convince organisations that you have what it takes to do the job, and have thought through your value to the organisations with which you have worked.
To create an outstanding resume, we recommend at least 2 achievements for each of the roles you have been engaged with over the last 5-10 years. These can be obstacles you have overcome to meet your key responsibilities or accountabilities or challenges you and your team have faced in order to meet organisational goals.
Ensure each Achievement explains the three vital elements:
- What you did
- How you did it
- The result / benefit / outcome /impact / value of what you did
Achievements are things you did which added value, made a tangible or noticeable difference and contributed to the business of the organisation.
They are not skills you learned, abilities you developed, knowledge you gained or awards you won.
It will also help to outline the Scope / Context regarding each of your Achievements
If your achievements are quantifiable, don’t just provide dollars or other raw numerical data because these are not very meaningful until they are put into a context. For example, if you increased sales by $250K from last year, this might be impressive if the company was a $1m a year enterprise. However, if the company was a $1billion a year business, a $500K increase is not nearly as impressive. Therefore, express increases in sales, decreases in costs, increases in market share and other changes to an organisation’s key performance indicators as percentages or fractions.
If you improved customer satisfaction to 90%, or if you increased on time in full delivery to 95% or if you reduced machinery downtime to 1%, indicate the previous period’s figure. This provides the reader with an understanding of the magnitude or scale of the improvement. (For example: improved customer satisfaction from 75% to 90% within 12 months by …… ).
If an achievement is not easily quantifiable, you can still provide a meaningful indication of the value of the achievement. For example:
‘Reduced duplication and enhanced the re-usability of test suites by improving testing and planning through discussion forums which enabled team members to share knowledge and identify areas for improvement.
If you were not the person wholly or fully accountable for an achievement, indicate your role or contribution to it.
Saying you ‘participated in’ or were ‘involve’ in something is not sufficient.
An employer will rightly ask the question: “What was your role? What was your level of participation?”
Avoid weak and vague terms and phrases. Make your achievements as concrete and explicit as possible, while not getting bogged down in excessive detail.
It is useless to provide information about awards without explaining what you did to achieve it.
They want to know what you did to earn those awards or what you did with what you learned. That is, if the company awarded you, the reader wants to know what you did to earn them. If you have learnt new skills, the reader wants to know how you applied them to the benefit of the organisation.
Ideas to Finding Relevant Achievements:
- If you have sales targets, you’ll need to clearly articulate how you have achieved targets, be specific about what the budgets were, how they were measured and the time frame it took….
- Have you been awarded any commendations relating to your work, IE. Top Sales Consultant for 2010, Employee of the Month etc?
- Has there been an idea or suggestion that you have made to a supervisor that has then been taken on and implemented throughout the organisation?
- Talk about the implementation of processes and procedures or software programs etc. that have directly improved efficiency in the workplace.
- Can you recall a particular time when you were faced with a difficult customer and had to effectively negotiate a mutually beneficial outcome?
- Can you think of a time when you were particularly proud of the work that you’ve done with a client, where you may have gone above and beyond the realms of your job description to ensure that the client was extremely satisfied with your performance and maybe even sent a letter or made a call to your supervisor to ensure that you got credited with representing the company in the best possible light?
- Challenges – was there time when you were faced with a crisis in your role (Eg: staff not turning up, presentation equipment not working, unpredicted bad weather for an outdoor event, high staff turnover on critical projects etc) when you had to come up with a solution that allowed the work to be completed or the event to continue?
- Did you implement a marketing strategy that improved the profit margin on the organisation by a certain percentage, increase sales or become a leader in that particular field?
Read more about how to create your bullet points on your key achievements, by reading Resume Format – Key Achievements
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