It’s often said that accomplishments speak louder than responsibilities on a resume. And that makes perfect sense. There are thousands of accountants applying for any given job but how many can say they saved the company $100,000 a month or some other suitably lofty accomplishment? The trouble is, many of us haven’t really got stuff quite that big to talk about on our resume. The majority of people in this world are just quietly going along doing our jobs, without any big breakthrough moments.
Finding the Hidden Accomplishments That Set Your Resume Apart
The truth of the matter is that we all have accomplishments we could put on our resume. We just either forget them, write them off as all in a day’s work, or we don’t look at them in the proper context. Finding noteworthy accomplishments from your career is largely a matter of simple recollection and reframing.
Start by looking back at the challenges of your job. What were some of the problems you encountered in your career? Was there a crisis you had to deal with? It’s in those problem times that we often have our greatest moments. Think back on when things went wrong in your various jobs. That’s where you’ll often find the real meat for your resume.
It doesn’t have to the sort of world-shaking catastrophe that nearly ended the company to be good material for a resume. Let’s say for instance you were running a department that was severely short-staffed, and within a week three key people quit, making it almost impossible to get the work done. To cope with the problem, you asked people from a few other departments to take over certain tasks when they had time. Then you called a staffing firm and brought in two temps for a month to handle some basic administrative tasks.
Doesn’t sound like any big deal, right? Well, here’s how a professional resume writer would portray it: “Created and initiated transition plan for understaffed department faced with sever labor shortage. Analyzed needs and defined critical areas requiring additional staffing. Collaborated with staff from other departments to allow completion of mission-critical, time-sensitive projects. Directed temporary workers in crucial administrative functions, freeing remaining permanent staff to focus on more critical departmental workload.”
All in a day’s work, you say? From the above resume excerpt, it sounds like you’re a real go getter, who solves problems effectively and efficiently. And it isn’t exaggerating. It’s exactly what you did. You just don’t think much of it because at the time you were only trying to get through a difficult month.
But that’s what business is about. Problems are inevitable in even the best companies. And that’s why hiring managers want people who can jump in and tackle things. Focus your resume on accomplishments, and those managers will see you as exactly that sort of person.