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How to build an impressive resume

You don't need huge words from the thesaurus to build a resume that captures a recruiter’s attention. The key to grabbing their interest (and holding it) is to tell them about your accomplishments at work and include quantifiers in your experience bullet points.

I promise it's a lot easier and less scary than it sounds!

First, let’s talk about accomplishments. I’m always surprised by the number of clients I work with who tell me they didn’t accomplish anything at their last position. They assume that an accomplishment has to be something that means they went above and beyond in their job. But that’s not always the case. An accomplishment can be something that you achieved in the course of your general job duties.

So, for example, if you were an administrative assistant and you were asked to look for an easier method to maintaining office documentation and you developed and implemented a better process, then that’s an accomplishment! You might then say something in your resume like:

  • Researched and implemented a more efficient documentation maintenance method which streamlined the data maintenance process.

If you’re struggling to identify your accomplishments from previous positions, here are some questions you might ask yourself:

  • Was I assigned any special projects?

  • Did I receive any awards/accolades? For what specific reason?

  • Did I ever pitch any ideas or suggestions to management which they used?

  • Did customers/clients give me high service ratings?

  • Were my responsibilities increased because I easily completed my basic tasks?

  • Was I the go-to person when my manager had a special task?

  • Did my store/location win any awards as a direct result of my work?

  • Did my work directly result in an increase in customers or sales?

  • Did my work directly result in improved processes or procedures?

See if asking yourself the above questions help you to identify some accomplishments from your previous roles that you might be overlooking.

Next, let’s talk numbers. Almost every position can have a quantifying value added to some of the experience bullet points. The trick is to ask yourself the following questions when reading your experience bullet points:

  • How much was it/were they worth?

  • How many? Or How many were you responsible for?

  • What percent did you increase/decrease something?

So, for example, if your bullet point currently says:

  • Maintained a calendar of appointments for an office of counselors and the director of the organization.

Then you would ask yourself, how many counselors? Then turn that bullet into:

  • Maintained a calendar of appointments for 15 counselors and the director of the organization.

Here are some other examples of quantified experience bullet points that help make for a more impressive resume.

  • Managed the inventory and maintenance of over $600,000 worth of equipment and supplies.

  • Assisted over 55 customers on a daily basis while providing high touch customer service.

  • Facilitated classroom instruction for 15 personnel and maintained all relevant training records.

To really build an impressive resume, try combining accomplishment statements with quantifiers. So you might say something like:

  • Developed a more streamlined documentation process which increased production by 15%.

  • Created clear SOP’s and facilitated a yearly safety training course which decreased work accidents by 20%.

  • Implemented a more streamlined patient check-in process which improved patient satisfaction and allowed staff to increase the number of patients seen per day from 10 to 15.

By adding more specific accomplishments and demonstrating how impressive those accomplishments were by including quantifiers, you’ll be more likely to capture a hiring manager or recruiter’s attention.

Good luck out there!

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