How To Create A Resume With Impact: Duties Vs. Results

When preparing your resume, remember this is a document to market your experience and skills, and showcase what you have to offer. Your resume is much more effective and attractive to employers when it demonstrates what you have achieved with your previous experiences and what you can potentially achieve for the new employer. Related: How To Quantify Your Accomplishments On A Resume Unfortunately, a bunch of the resumes employers receive today still read like a laundry list of duties. Avoid this common mistake with the tips below to create a resume with impact.

Don’t state the obvious

If you’re simply describing your job duties on your resume – a generic job description – there’s likely going to be little interest from employers. Although today’s Applicant Tracking Systems (the software that reads and ranks resumes) will need this information, employers really need to know how you performed against goals or your peers.

Quantify and qualify accomplishments

Your accomplishments on the job are what will differentiate you from the next candidate. It’s also what will help demonstrate you are the best candidate for the job. So for instance, if you have a career in sales, rather than state the obvious: “Contact prospective customers to introduce new product releases.” Tie in results you’ve achieved. A more effective statement would read: “Initiated contact with prospective customers on new product releases and secured sales contracts, ranking as the top sales person of the year.” This latter statement provides insight to why you make a great candidate for a job in sales.
Bad: "Contact prospective customers to introduce new product releases." Good: "Initiated contact with prospective customers on new product releases and secured sales contracts, ranking as the top sales person of the year."
If you are in a position that does not quantify accomplishments, then consider these questions:
  • Are you the only person doing this job?
  • If not, how many peers do you have and how does your performance compare?
  • Are you the go-to person for anything in particular?
  • What are some of the things that your managers have put in your performance evaluations?

Be the problem solver

Job postings will include details of responsibilities, but sometimes they may also hint at situations where they seek candidates with particular experience in the area. Be the problem solver by demonstrating on your resume a similar situation that you took action on and resolved. Whether it was to help streamline order processing or entering a new international market, bullet points to convey experience on the matter, and results achieved offer greater impact than detailing your general duties on the job. Employers simply want to hire the best talent so show them what you can accomplish for them, not the general job duties of a position. Keep that in mind and you’ll create a resume with impact! This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.   Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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Teacher lectures students in a classroom

My grandparents owned a two-story walkup in Brooklyn, New York. When I was a child, my cousins and I would take turns asking each other questions, Trivial Pursuit style. If we got the question correct, we moved up one step on the staircase. If we got the question wrong, we moved down one step. The winner was the person who reached the top landing first. While we each enjoyed serving as the “master of ceremonies on 69th Street,” peppering each other with rapid-fire questions, I enjoyed the role of maestro the most of all my cousins. I suppose I was destined to be an educator.

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