Time for a steady stream of blog updates that I forgot to post. Everyday Interview Tips may need to be renamed “Almost Everyday Interview Tips.”
Most people write terrible resumes. Based on this knowledge, there is a good chance your resume is terrible. Sorry. The truth hurts. You have a terrible resume. Embrace it. Acceptance is the first step towards recovery.
Your resume probably sucks for many different reasons, but one of the most common reason is the failure of most resume writers to put down successes and achievements on their resume.
The achievements section of your resume is designed for achievements. Achievements are areas of work that you were successful in the past. Achievements are not simply the tasks you were assigned. Most people’s achievement bullet points look like this:
- Worked with Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Access.
- Completed projects on a tight deadline.
- Hard worker with various boring skills.
This is bad. These are not successes. Anyone can work with any of these products, or claim any of these claims. If you open a complicated data analysis program, and you randomly click several buttons and then close the program, you can claim you “worked” with the program too. The question is – did you work with the program successfully.
Your goal with your resume is to show the things you have accomplished. Yes, it is a good idea to put a few keywords in there about what you worked with simply because it gives the employer a good idea of what you know, but that does not mean that you should take that as an opportunity to simply list off experiences.
Instead, list of achievements. Focus on what you have actually completed successfully, even if you achieved very little. Here is how the above list can be written better, even if you have very few good achievements to your name.
- Generated over 300 resource documents, 50 spreadsheets, and 10 Access databases.
- Completed an estimated four week marketing campaign project within a two week deadline.
- Established companywide organizational processes for hiring new recruits.
Even if you haven’t achieved much in your time at your previous employer, you have likely completed several tasks successfully. What were they? How can you write them in a way that impresses the employer?
The employer does not care what you worked with nearly as much as they care whether or not you worked with it successfully. The best way to show them that is to list achievements, rather than tasks, on your resume. Try to integrate keywords, but make sure that the focus is on what you actually brought to your previous company.
Take Away Tips
- Focus your resume on the items you successfully completed.
- Don’t simply list tasks you were assigned without mentioning their achievements.