Resume Results that Get Results

Debra Wheatman Resume Writing Advice

One of the most common errors of omission that I see on the resume that come across my desk is the lack of quantifiable results. Most candidates focus on what they did at their previous jobs rather than what they achieved. They discuss duties and responsibilities, but what really gets hiring managers excited is your results.  Otherwise, why would they consider interviewing your for the role?  

What did you do that brought value to the company? How were your contributions instrumental in bottom-line profitability? Whether you are at the executive level or are a rising star, being able to provide detail surrounding how your efforts impacted the company you work/worked for in a positive way is essential when developing your résumé.

The best method for identifying your successes is to think about your accomplishments from start to finish.

S – What was the SITUATION that you were involved in?
A – What ACTION did you take to get the job done?
R – What was the outcome and how did the RESULTS improve things for your firm?

If you work in sales, this is easy because most likely you will have had a quota and achieved a certain dollar amount in revenue.  If you are in academia, science, law, or any of a number of other fields, this information may not be as easily quantifiable, particularly if you didn’t keep records. So what can you do?

  • One thing to consider is your performance relative to your peers.  If you were promoted repeatedly, given above average annual reviews, or received awards, this type of recognition should be leveraged to create compelling statements about your value.
  • Ideally you want to be able to quantify much of what you did with percentages and numeric statistics; but this isn’t always feasible.  Use of carefully selected adverbs can help to provide hiring managers with a general idea of the positive impact you made.
  • Think about the things you did that resulted in savings to the company.  If you redesigned a database or created a new system that was more efficient, reference it. Perhaps you eliminated or reduced unnecessary expenditures. You might be able to attribute numbers to that.

Craft your résumé in a way that draws attention to those things you did that make you stand out as a productive employee. Provide HR personnel and hiring managers with a reason to pick up the phone and call you for an interview.

If you simply state what you did on the job, but fail to back the information up with specific reasons why what you did was of great importance to the company, you will have a chronology of your work history rather than a strategic marketing tool. A résumé is about much more than simply stating what you have done in the past.  It is about showing potential employers in a clear and precise way why they need to see YOU above all other candidates.

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Author: Debra Wheatman (148 Posts)

CPRW, CPCC and President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career road maps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.