“I just do my job and go home.”
“It’s impossible to put my work into numbers, percentages, or dollars.”
“I can’t quantify my work tasks.”
While I hear this from clients and job seekers on a regular basis, these are not good enough reasons for leaving strong accomplishment statements off your resume. In fact, there is really never a good reason to present a resume without accomplishment statements! By just listing your responsibilities, you fall into the trap of creating a resume that reads like a job description. This is not the impression you want to make.
Strong, quantified accomplishment statements are the key to presenting hiring managers and recruiters with a resume that tells a memorable and relevant story. You must work on creating a resume that demonstrates specific examples of success and value you will bring to your next employer. Let the hiring manager see exactly how you will benefit the company, and demonstrate this with concrete numbers that back up your claim.
How do we accomplish this seemingly daunting task? Well, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Stick to the tried and true “CAR” and “STAR” methods to get to the “meat” of your experience and accomplishments.
CAR: Challenge or Context/Action/Result
Whether you choose to use the CAR or STAR approach, you will have an organized, systematic way of arriving at the strong accomplishments that are a vital component of resumes. Let’s look at an example of a CAR approach:
1. Put the situation into CONTEXT by giving a background of the problem.
2. Spell out the ACTIONS you took in order to resolve the issue.
3. Describe the beneficial outcome or RESULT of your actions.
As a result of going through this process, you will avoid generic statements like “Advised clients on investment options and ensured great customer service.” Instead, you will elevate your resume with statements like this: “Established 5 new corporate clients while retaining core client base to generate 15% revenue increase and grow sales $2.5MIL.” Now, doesn’t that sound much more impressive?
I can’t stress enough the importance of powerful – yet truthful – accomplishment statements on a resume. Don’t be afraid to brag on your resume, as long as you back up your claim with numbers. And remember to start your strong accomplishment statements with action verbs. Every word, sentence, and bullet point should have a strong reason for being included in your resume, so make sure to write clearly and concisely while framing your resume around your achievements.