Writing Your Work History – Part III
Today I want to get started with:
How to Find Your Accomplishments in NON-Performance Based Jobs
Not everyone is a position to directly make the company money.
For example, you may be a programmer in the Information Technology department whose job it is to create or maintain an accounting software program that your company markets.
You’re not responsible for marketing or selling it, just supporting and developing it. Therefore you are indirectly making money for the company.
It’s very easy to apply the 3-Step AR Formula from the previous section to everything you do at your job and create powerful accomplishment statements that make you look like a star.
Keep in mind that it is not necessary to only have accomplishments on your resume. Many of the resumes in this guide have both accomplishments and job descriptions. Though it is best to minimize the number of job descriptions on your resume.
Still not sure of your accomplishments? Use the following guidelines to help jar your memory and energize the creative part of your brain into remembering your productive contributions.
Try talking to yourself and asking yourself the following questions. These questions should help you realize what you are best at doing and help you discover your accomplishments.
1. Look at it from your co-workers point of view and ask yourself what they would say. I’m sure they are always saying how you are much better at something than they are and that only you can do [that] job.
2. Pretend you are moving up to a new position and need to train your replacement. How would you train someone to take-over your job responsibilities? What would you say to them? You may consider creating a small training manual that describes how to do your job.
3. Obviously there are things at your job that you are the best at and everyone knows it. Imagine leaving your job for a new one – what would your co-workers miss about the job responsibilities you do? Which ones of your job responsibilities would they dread doing?
I’m sure your employer or the customers you service have recognized you for many of contributions and you don’t even realize it. Have you ever received an overly positive performance evaluation? I’m certain there were areas in your job where you excelled and exceeded your boss’s expectations.
1. Have you received any thank you letters or letters of appreciation from the outstanding service you provide to your customers?
a. “Received 17 letters of gratitude expressing outstanding service received.”
2. Have you ever been asked by your boss to take on additional responsibilities? Maybe you had to take-over for someone who became ill, or went on an extended vacation, or maybe your co-worker was terminated and you had to assume their job in addition to your own until a suitable replacement could be hired.
a. “Selected out of 25 employees to attend a new product training seminar.”
b. “Hand picked by my manager to be the lead product specialist at an international convention.”
3. Have you ever received an achievement award or been promoted as a result of your outstanding work ethic and commitment to your company?
a. “Received Sales Achievement Award for exceeding quota 257%.”
Layout and Design
You’re not writing a book, keep your statements short and to the point. There’s always a better way to rewrite a sentence to make it shorter and more powerful. The shorter your statements are, the more impact they will have. Don’t expect to have a perfect resume after your first attempt.
You will need to continuously review and rewrite your resume until you have it perfectly streamlined so it commands attention.
Don’t make them struggle or strain their eyes to read your resume. Use a 10 -12 point font and make it easy for them. Stick with Arial or Times Roman fonts because they are the best choice for business.
List only your best accomplishments and achievements, thus holding their interest, so they will want to read more and can’t wait to meet you in person.
Bullets set off your experience and breaks up your work history statements so they are easy to read. This also signals to the reader where all the good stuff is on your resume.
• Bullets set off your work history statements
• Bullets are a great way to inform the reader where to look
• Bullets break up your work history into small pieces so it’s easily read
Job seekers who write generic resumes, resumes that make them look good at many things, but an expert at none, find it takes much longer to get hired, verses someone who has tightly focused their resume on towards their target job.
• Less is more. The less you write the more effective your resume will be.
• Never lie on your resume.
• Create a resume that is very specifically geared towards the job you want.
• Avoid writing a generic resume that make you look good at many things, instead write a new resume for each profession you are targeting.
• You don’t have to tell everything on your resume, only what you want as long as it’s truthful and factual.
• Customize your resume to more closely match the job description for the job you are applying.
• Try to keep you resume to one page, but no more than two.
• Write powerful accomplishment and achievement styled statements.
• Understand age discrimination and how employers can figure out your age from reading your resume.
• Use your self training and volunteerism to help mask unemployment gaps.
• Job descriptions carry very little weight with employers. Too many job descriptions on your resume may keep employers from calling you.
• Put only good quality content on your resume, and you’ll have a much more powerful resume that is exciting to read.
Okay, that wraps Writing Your Work History.
To be able to get through this section in such a short amount of time, I had to leave off a few tips and techniques, but you can find those in inside the Resume Masterpiece.