How to create a resume that has impact.
Is your resume full of fluff or strong achievement statements?
An impactful resume can make the difference between getting an interview and being tossed in the ‘no thanks’ pile.
During a long career most people go beyond expectations, achieve goals and show excellence in numerous ways. So why is it that so many people indicate very few of their achievements when they write their resume?
Your resume is your marketing tool
You should keep a good current resume updated always in case you need it. Clearly, it makes sense to update your resume when your experiences are fresh and details are clear. This is especially true when you have achieved something special.
Any document you send as part of your application for a job is a marketing tool. Therefore your resume, and cover letter if required, should present a convincing argument for why you are the right person for that job.
By adapting your resume for every job application you show the natural connection between you and the exact role that has been advertised. Make sure to read our tips on successful resume writing.
Don’t fall into the trap of just listing your responsibilities.
Well-crafted achievement statements will illustrate what you actually achieved in the role. In this way you can create a true picture of your future potential.
Highlighting your achievements in a resume shows evidence of your capabilities to do what is required in this role. The reader of the resume is looking for good reasons to interview you or reject you. Therefore, impress them with reasons why they should interview you.
Keywords are vital clues
Fortunately, job descriptions include keywords that tell you what the company is looking for. Use these keywords to gain clear clues of what is required in this role.
Use these clues well. Include achievement statements related to the keyword phrases. This will increase your chances of being noticed.
Examples of how to create achievement statements
Here are 13 overused resume phrases, each with an example of how the same concept could become an achievement statement.
1. Strong communication, customer service and organizational skills
“Lifted customer satisfaction and on time delivery of assigned projects by 25% in six months through strong communication, excellent customer service and organizational skills”.
2. Introduced new products
“Introduced, developed and launched new products that increased our market share and lead to over $400,000 increased profitability in 2017-2018 financial year”.
3. Successful track record
“Constantly exceeded sales goal each year from 2013 – 2019”.
4. Became the go-to person of the team
“Appointed by CEO for special duties that benefited staff retention through an innovative program of peer-support”.
5. Team player
“Demonstrated solid commitment to team dynamics, and recognized as ‘top team contributor’ three times in the last 12 months”.
6. Possess leadership skills, good communication, and inspirational and motivational knowledge
“A highly effective team leader, recognized for strong communication and the ability to motivate and inspire the team, leading to 50% increase in team profitability over the last twelve months”.
7. Contributed to productivity objectives for the department
“Exceeded productivity aims and objectives through establishment of best practices to promote employee output”.
8. Company spokesperson
“Highly successful company spokesperson who has developed very positive media relations with local and national television and radio journalists”.
9. Liaised with others in the company on a project
“Collaborated with senior finance and information technology managers to improve and establish a new sales tracking tool. Two subsidiary companies have adapted this tool for their exclusive use”.
10. Talking to existing customers each day
“Developed successful relationships with clients to make recurring and referral business, which resulted in orders of $1.3 million in the last financial year.”
11. Negotiator and presenter
“Negotiator and expert presenter whose relationship building with clients has led to three contracts for multimillion dollar developments between January and May this year”.
12. Managing cross-functional teams
“Currently managing a cross-functional team which has already shown a proven upward trend in company productivity and the quality of customer service in three months”.
13. Solved customer problems quickly
“Consistently solved customer problems in an expedient and tactful way, and with several letters of thanks sent to the management as a result of this work”.
An impactful resume must include examples of your achievements. This helps the reader understand clearly what you can offer them.
To improve your chances
- Don’t submit a job application until you have included powerful achievement statements that use the main keywords.
- Be aware of all your transferable skills and how they could be relevant to the job for which you are applying.
- Don’t make some of the common job search mistakes that are often made by older workers.
Want to find work that you’ll love? Are you unsuccessful in getting job interviews? Need job search advice? Let’s talk! Career Renovation can help you.
Need more resume writing tips? Grab these books: