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Step Seven: Accomplishments
When you are finished, go back to each job and think about
what you might have done above and beyond the call of duty.
What did you contribute to each of your jobs?
Did you exceed sales quotas by 150 percent each month?
Did you save the company $100,000 by developing a new procedure?
Did you generate new product publicity in trade press?
Did you control expenses or make work easier?
Did you expand business or attract/retain customers?
Did you improve the company's image or build new relationships?
Did you improve the quality of a product?
Did you solve a problem?
Did you do something that made the company more competitive?
Write down any accomplishments that show potential employers
what you have done in the past, which translates into what
you might be able to do for them. Quantify whenever possible.
Numbers are always impressive. Remember, you are trying to
motivate the potential employer to buy . . . you! Convince
your reader that you will be able to generate a significant
return on their investment in you.
Step Eight: Delete
Now that you have the words on paper, go back to each list
and think about which items are relevant to your target job.
Cross out those things that don't relate, including entire
jobs (like flipping hamburgers back in high school if you
are now an electrical engineer with ten years of experience).
Remember, your resume is just an enticer, a way to get your
foot in the door. It isn't intended to be all-inclusive. You
can choose to go back only as far as your jobs relate to your
present objective. Be careful not to delete sentences that
contain the keywords you identified in step four.
Step Nine: Sentences
Make sentences of the duties you have listed under each job,
combining related items to avoid short, choppy phrases. Never
use personal pronouns in your resume (I, my, me). Instead
of saying, "I planned, organized, and directed the timely
and accurate production of code products with estimated annual
revenues of $1 million," say, "Planned, organized,
and directed. . . ." Writing in the third person makes
your sentences more powerful and attention grabbing.
Make your sentences positive, brief, and accurate. Since
your ultimate goal is to get a human being to read your resume,
remember to structure the sentences so they are interesting
to read. Use verbs at the beginning of each sentence (designed,
supervised, managed, developed, formulated, and so on) to
make them more powerful (see the power verb list in the Resume
Make certain each word means something and contributes to
the quality of the sentence. If you find it difficult to write
clear, concise sentences, send your resume to ResumeEdge.com
to put a team of Harvard-educated editors and professional
resume writers to work for you.
Step Ten: Rearrange
You are almost done! Now, go back to the sentences you have
written and think about their order of presentation. Put a
number 1 by the most important description of what you did
for each job. Then place a number 2 by the next most important
duty or accomplishment, and so on until you have numbered
each sentence. Again, think logically and from the perspective
of a potential employer. Keep related items together so the
reader doesn't jump from one concept to another. Make the
thoughts flow smoothly.
Step Eleven: Related Qualifications
At the bottom of your resume, think about anything else that
might qualify you for your job objective. This includes licenses,
certifications, affiliations, and sometimes even interests
if they truly relate. For instance, if you want a job in sports
marketing, stating on your resume that you play tennis or
are a triathlete would be an asset.
Step Twelve: Profile
Last but not least, write four or five sentences that give
an overview of your qualifications. This profile, or qualifications
summary, should be placed at the beginning of your resume.
You can include some of your personal traits or special skills
that might have been difficult to get across in your job descriptions.
Here is a sample profile section for a computer systems technician:
Experienced systems/network technician with significant communications
and technical control experience.
Focused and hard working; willing to go the extra mile for
Skilled in troubleshooting complex problems by thinking outside
Possesses a high degree of professionalism and dedication
to exceptional quality.
Effective team player with outstanding communication and interpersonal
Current Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmentalized Information
It is also acceptable to use a keyword summary like the one
below to give a "quick and dirty" look at your qualifications:
Hardware: IBM 360/370, S/390, 303X, 308X, ES-9000, Amdahl
V6-II, V7, V8, 3705/3725, Honeywell 6000, PDP II, NOVA, Eclipse,
Interdata 8/32, Wang OIS 115, 140, VS-80, VS-100, HP 3000,
9000, Vectra, IBM PC-AT, XT, and numerous other computers
Languages: FORTRAN, PL/1, COBOL, BASIC, BAL (ALC), JCL, APL,
DL/1, SQL, DS-2, HP-UX, and various PC-oriented software and
Systems: DOS, OS, CICS, VSI/II, MVS, SVS, VM/CMS, IMS, MVT-II,
MFT, POWER, TOTAL, DATANET-30, JES-2, JES-3, BTAM, QTAM, TCAM,
VTAM, TSO, ACF, NCP, SNA, SAA, ESCON, SDLC, X-25, TCP/IP,
UNIX, and TELNET.
This type of "laundry list" isn't very interesting
for a human being to read, but a few recruiters in high-tech
industries like this list of terms because it gives them a
quick overview of an applicant's skills. You can use whichever
style you prefer.
Busy recruiters spend as little as ten seconds deciding whether
to read a resume from top to bottom. You will be lucky if
the first third of your resume gets read, so make sure the
information at the top entices the reader to read it all.
This profile section must be relevant to the type of job
for which you are applying. It might be true that you are
"compassionate," but will it help you get a job
as a high-pressure salesperson? Write this profile from the
perspective of a potential employer. What will convince this
person to call you instead of someone else?