Thursday, February 25, 2016

Include achievement-based details in your resume

I often receive resumes from potential clients that look just fine. Okay.  I can tell they worked hard on the resume, and there are no terrible red flags, but their approach is typical to most job seekers/resume writers – providing more of a laundry list of duties rather than communicating what you can do for your current or new employer, depending upon your goal for the resume.  

The reason you often hear that a one-page resume is preferred is that the employer often doesn't turn the page on the first pass. That is why I use a customized format for each client- all the important information is included on the first page, which can stand alone if necessary.  Expanded information can be provided on a second and even third page if necessary.

An employer will review your resume, at least, three times for three different reasons, so we want your resume to address to those three separate occasions:

An employer will review your resume, at least, three times for three different reasons, so we want your resume to address to those three separate occasions:

#1 Deciding your resume goes in the Keep or Discard Pile
#2 Deciding if you are an actual candidate Pick me, pick me!
#3 When called for an interview – to write questions to ask or to refer to during the meeting

It is important that your resume meets all of these needs.  One good way to start is by including information that is achievement-based.  State what you have done in a way that makes it clear what you can and will do for the potential employer. This is all they really want to know!

Here is a good and short article that helps to guide how you should approach writing details in your resume: in short it says:  "The key is to frame your strengths as: 'I accomplished X, about Y, by doing Z.”

Achievements:  Objective information about your abilities – Won Best Employee of the Year Award 3 out of 4 years OR Numbers based information about your abilities – Handled 40 accounts concurrently or reduced anticipated costs by 40%

Another way to make sure you stand out is to communicate your personality and work qualities.  Soft Skills:  Qualities rather than skills - personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. Can also include qualities that make you a good worker – Creative, Persistent, Problem Solver, Team Player, Leader, etc  (more info here:

Want to go it alone?  Download free resume templates here.  If you find you do need help, I will revise your document based on any of these templates for only $50.
If you need my help to revamp your current resume: Typically I have a one-week turnaround, but I have taken as long as a month if a customer needs it. I prefer to finish up as quickly as possible so my client can start the job search process, but sometimes while working together the client decides to change course! This is fine with me as it is sometimes just part of the career planning process.

Here is a short list of what you can expect from my resume writing process:

I will rebuild your resume and your image by ensuring the skills and abilities employers are looking for are highlighted as well as your achievements! I will also change the formatting, which is very easy to change if you don't like anything or if you would prefer something specifically.
My main goals are to:

1. Make your resume stand out from others'. 

2. Make it easy for an employer to pick it up and very quickly see why you warrant a call for an interview! 
3. Present your particular information in a way that is appropriate to your job target(s) 
4. Use as much of your words from your original resume to keep it from sounding generic 
5. Ensure you are happy with the result and comfortable discussing the contents with a potential employer!

Mary Sherwood, MS, CDMS, CCM

Occupational Consultant | Landline 302.644.1827 | Mobile:  410.444.1989                                                     
Let’s Connect: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Website

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