Yesterday, my friend Rick Saia from Pongo Resume posted a comment on my article "The ultimate two-word question to evaluate your resume" that is worth a complete article on its own. Rick's very good at resume writing and this shows why.
Here were the three questions you should ask when building your resume:
1. How did I make money for my employer?
This question gets to the heart of your value to the employer and why another hiring manager would want to hire you. Now, most people think making money for an employer is all about sales. But there are other ways to make money.
For example, you could be in marketing and you develop a marketing campaign that knocks the socks off your competitors and results in increased revenue for the company.
The key here is that many people think their work (I write marketing campaigns) is what is important. Your work is not important -- the result of your work is the important part of what you do (increasing revenue through creating marketing campaigns). This gets translated, eventually, into making money; a great way to think about your resume.
2. How did I save money for my employer?
Not every employee can do work that generates revenue for their company. But every employee can work on ways to reduce the costs of doing business for the department and help the department stay on or beat their budget.
The value of cost savings is that the dollars drop directly to the bottom line (which is why companies, unfortunately, like laying people off because it drops straight to profitability...). So cost savings can actually be more important than increased revenue, especially in the Great Recession.
3. Did I make a process more efficient to help improve productivity
Productivity means the company doesn't need as many (costly) resources to support a customer. For example, reducing the number of days of inventory on hand by improving the buying process to replace inventory means the company doesn't need to spend as much money on inventory on hand.
Productivity increases, such as just-in-time inventory or Lean process improvements or e-commerce initiatives, can really help companies -- and your work can contribute to it.
Making money, saving money, and increased productivity are results
Hiring managers want to hire people that produce results. By asking these three questions -- and then evaluating your answer with "so what?" to get to the true benefits of your work -- you will set yourself apart from most of the other job seekers competing for the position you want.
Produce the results in your work -- then show the results in your resume through asking these three questions. It's killer.