Thou shalt include accomplishment statements using strong action words.
Resumes have changed through the years. The list of responsibilities is outdated and long gone. What recruiters and employers want to see now is what you've accomplished. What actions did you take in each of your roles and how did the company benefit?
Here's one from my resume: Reduced first-year turnover for new consultants from 35% to 7%, preventing $672K losses in annual training costs, by instituting a “side-by-side” onsite mentor program with senior consultants.
A potential employer can look at that and envision me doing the same thing for them.
Crafting your statements is a challenge. I frequently quote Mark Twain to my clients. "I'm sorry this letter is so long. If I had more time, it would be shorter." Yes, it is hard to condense what YOU want to say into what THEY want to read. Be concise. Tempt them with the highlights. Let them call you in for an interview to learn how you did it. That's when you can share more.
Let's talk about how to craft your statements.
1. Begin with a strong action verb, always stated in the past tense. (Remember, you're telling them what you've already done). Examples include Facilitated, Led, Introduced. For more, see a document compliments of hr.Berkeley.edu that I've saved to my website.
2. Feel free to use "I". Even though we live in a culture of teams, YOU are being hired, not the entire team. Be proud and OWN what YOU have done.
3. Just give the high level information. What did you do?
4. What were the business results that came about due to your actions? Hopefully you have quantifiable data (reduced error rate by 20%, increased customer base by 300 in less than a year). But don't worry if you don't. Tell them what you can. "Significantly improved customer satisfaction" can work quite well. Just be sure to be honest. Of course, some have to consider Nondisclosure agreements. Do not disclose internal information. See if it's been in the news, or published elsewhere. If so, you can use it. If not, use some general term that will adequately represent the results.
5. Try to put on the reader's hat. Ask yourself, "So what?" after each bullet on your resume. If you can't answer that question, your bullet may not carry any relevance to the reader.
6. Have the most bullets for your most recent job, with decreasing numbers for each successive position.
7. Finally, remember, the resume is not for YOU. It's for the EMPLOYER. Convey to them the value you can bring to their company. Don't tell them every detail. Entice them to call you in for an interview to learn more.
Wishing you success in your search!
Tomorrow - your opening statement provides a short overview of your strengths and experiences.
And, for those who simply want to see the entire list of commandments, click here.