The secret to building a killer resume

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Great resumes show your job skills and results; the key features needed for securing the phone interview as part of the job search process.

But, exactly how does a resume communicate your results?

If I were to sit down with you and look at your current position on your resume, what would I see? Looking at that current position, could you answer these questions:

  1. How much money did your actions in the position help the company make?
  2. How much money did your actions in the position help the company save?
  3. How much improved productivity did your actions in the position help the company?

Do you have the answers to those questions right now about your current position?

Everything in business eventually comes down to money and productivity – the results produced by the people in the business. Hiring managers hire people who produce results in their job because it is a decent indicator that the person will produce results in the next position.

So pick up your resume, look at your current position, and ask if you can answer those three questions. Have you figured out the secret of building a killer resume yet?

The secret to building a killer resume is this: people who document the results of their work in their jobs have the numbers to put into their resume.

The blindingly obvious

On the face of it, this is blindingly obvious. I get that. But you know what else I get? In my coaching, most of the people don’t track the results of their work. Asked to produce a single number that would show they increased productivity, I get crickets.

I even ask if they have kept their performance reviews so they could extract numbers from a rare well-written review and get answers like, “I didn’t think I would need them.”

Combing through status reports, when they are kept, is like looking at how you played at work because they are all about the number of meetings you went to with nothing about what you accomplished.

The responsible career

Here’s another blindingly obvious point: companies don’t care about your career, only your work that helps the company achieve results (and that is not a condemnation). It is not like your manager will look over your shoulder, ask you if you are tracking your job results and then seeing that you take those results home with you so you can put them in your resume.

In fact, the less information you keep about your results, the easier it is for management to prove whatever they want about your work. Proving whatever they want, by the way, rarely means proving you have an outstanding performance review rating.

Today’s work imperative is tracking your results

In this job market, and all future job markets, the Cubicle Warrior will get the competitive advantage over others looking for work because the Cubicle Warrior tracks, documents and incorporates results from the work into the resume, the phone interview and the hiring manager interview. Facts and numbers show the people listening to your accomplishments the validity of what you are telling them.

Choose which of these is more powerful: “I increased the departments efficiency.” “I had a 70% deflection rate on my self-help articles resulting in a thousand fewer calls coming into the help center a month.” The first carries no water and the second is powerful and opens up a great discussion of how you went about accomplishing the result.

Every person contributes to their company’s success. Very few people track how their work does that so they can put it in a resume and talk about it during interviews.

What results are you tracking about your work? If you had to put your results in a resume right now, could you?

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