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Old 06-30-2010, 02:20 PM
 
274 posts, read 909,772 times
Reputation: 152

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several people PMed me asking me about this, so i figured i'd share with the masses to help:

if you were part of an HR department for a company screening potential candidates and came across these 2 resume bullets, which one would perk your interest more to want to read on further?

A) "helped inventory accounts daily and trained hourly staff on new procedures"

B) "revamped 15 obsolete processes through implementation of $30K automated technology, saving 25 man-hours weekly"


i hope your choice was "B". here's the thing. you've heard this time and time again about catering your resume toward the job description/posting and making sure that you have impact. well, this is the physical example of that. the first example was so generic and vague which leaves the HR person wondering "what's the scope of the # of accounts?" and "how many staff members... 1 or 50?" especially now, if your bullets do not show any impact or breadth of scope, consider your resume trash. i understand it is difficult sometimes to quantify and make concrete a lot of the accomplishments/experiences you had at previous jobs but you need to.

most of the time, you can almost assume when a person at the company calls you for an initial interview (usually on the phone) and that they've only saw your resume once with a VERY quick skimming. and you can assume the reason why they "wanted to speak to you further" was because something caught their eye in your resume. remember, the goal of a resume is to get your foot in the door to get an interview!

in my other threads i mentioned that your resume bullets should be summarizing or highlighting specific accomplishments, recognitions, or achievements. they all should follow this format: ACT, FACT, IMPACT

ACT - what you did
FACT - how you did it
IMPACT - what was the result

if you read a bullet statement and can still ask the question "so what?", then you need more meat to it to answer all 3 components for the bullet to be considered decent.

EXAMPLE 1: "streamlined operations across 35 countries by negotiating 10 major contracts with 65 suppliers"

is the above a good bullet? it sounds good but it's lacking IMPACT. so you streamlined operations and i can tell the scope, which is great, but i don't know what the end result was. did you save money for the company? time? did it become a standard practice for the company? what?

a better bullet would be something like this:

EXAMPLE 2: "prevented 24 critical failure points by increasing routine safety auditing, which dramatically cut safety mishaps down from 50% to 3% annually"

not only is example 2 quantitative, but it also gives me the necessary information to understand what you did and what the end result was. the more specific you can get the better it'll be and not to mention, sound. tangible numbers (ie. percentages, numbers increasing/decreasing, $ amounts, etc.) all serve to add that extra punch to your bullet statement. there's a big difference if you read:

"managed a team" (ok, so how big was this team? 2 people or 100?)

"managed a 56-person team" (i understand how big of a responsibility this was)

bottom line, is that the more specific you get in your bullets the EASIER it is to speak to them during an interview. think of your resume bullets as a powerpoint presentation with those bullets as talking points and when you land an interview, YOU are giving a presentation about yourself to the audience (ie. your interviewer).

hope this is helpful and answers most questions they asked me about earlier. while i'm definitely not a guru or expert at this, i know by doing this, it should give you a leg up compared with your competition.

good luck!
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, trying to leave
1,228 posts, read 3,319,396 times
Reputation: 775
Very good! Thanks for the post, a very complete guide to polishing a mediocre resume.
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:03 PM
 
154 posts, read 460,162 times
Reputation: 110
Sell it to me don't tell it to me!

I have said the same thing in my postings about resumes but most people ridiculed me.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/work-...eing-lots.html
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:26 PM
 
3,651 posts, read 8,306,484 times
Reputation: 2763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rutt Roh View Post
if you were part of an HR department for a company screening potential candidates and came across these 2 resume bullets, which one would perk your interest more to want to read on further?

A) "helped inventory accounts daily and trained hourly staff on new procedures"

B) "revamped 15 obsolete processes through implementation of $30K automated technology, saving 25 man-hours weekly"
Frankly, neither. But then again I'm smart/savvy enough to know that just because numbers are thrown in to a bullet statement doesn't mean that person is a better candidate or "did more."

PS: that is not a criticism of you or what you're saying. On the contrary: the "make a resume that grabs attention" advice is good. But the resume game is just that: a game, and a stupid one to boot, frankly......but it's one that must be played, and so one should play it how the HR/hiring people want it if you want to get that interview. This includes following whatever current trends are being asked or looked for by such people, which includes the numbers game (which is frankly often rather easily fudged and not easy to disprove).

Quote:
especially now, if your bullets do not show any impact or breadth of scope, consider your resume trash.
True, but that doesn't necessarily equate to the numbers game. Further you yourself explained it well immediately following the above statement:

Quote:
i understand it is difficult sometimes to quantify and make concrete a lot of the accomplishments/experiences you had at previous jobs but you need to.
And yet often you either cannot, or it does little to improve your resume, so having less numerology in there hardly equates to a resume being "trash."

For example, say you have a Business Analyst. He worked 5 yrs at a company helping to build this huge and highly complex system. But since it's only one system, can't use that. What else? Well, he worked very closely with a relatively small number of people to iron out what the system needed to do. Small number of people, so no help there. And so on. (PS no that's not me, just used as an example)

Again: I am not disagreeing with what you're saying overall. It's great advice, in fact. I guess this one has just been a sort of button-pusher for some time. Many jobs either don't have much in the way of "stats" to boost a resume, or putting them in wouldn't add much, if anything. HR people SHOULD be aware of this and not wrapped up in it...
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, trying to leave
1,228 posts, read 3,319,396 times
Reputation: 775
Quote:
For example, say you have a Business Analyst. He worked 5 yrs at a company helping to build this huge and highly complex system.
If that was the case, I'm sure it had some processes that could be explained quantitatively. And such large systems would generally either element redundancies (ex. merged 7 inefficient systems), or create lots of value. It's tough to give good examples because your example was pretty broad, but if you think it through, you can make it sound nice.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:53 PM
 
274 posts, read 909,772 times
Reputation: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by joey2000 View Post
For example, say you have a Business Analyst. He worked 5 yrs at a company helping to build this huge and highly complex system. But since it's only one system, can't use that. What else? Well, he worked very closely with a relatively small number of people to iron out what the system needed to do. Small number of people, so no help there. And so on. (PS no that's not me, just used as an example)

Again: I am not disagreeing with what you're saying overall. It's great advice, in fact. I guess this one has just been a sort of button-pusher for some time. Many jobs either don't have much in the way of "stats" to boost a resume, or putting them in wouldn't add much, if anything. HR people SHOULD be aware of this and not wrapped up in it...
having quantitative impact showing in your resume is an attention getter because we're more drawn toward numbers than just plain old text. that said, i do understand what you're saying where sometimes having "numbers" isn't always the best but there are appropriate ways of integrating them smartly into your resume. in your example, if there's only 1 system, then emphasize or highlight some accomplishment or specific instance of working on that one system where there was improvement, increase in performance, etc. if he worked with a small number of people, that's fine... focus on any specific clientele he worked with and anything he was able to directly help push forward or execute.

i'm not taking offense to your input, in fact, you offer insight from a different perspective which is great. my main point is that if you want to get your foot in the door, you need to stand out from the other 100-1000 applications that are piled in the HR department which are waiting to be looked at. i'm sure you understand that when HR reviews resumes (assuming most are screened out automatically by virtue of keywords), they're regular people and have a certain tolerance level as they review resume after resume after resume. just like reading a book, why would you continue to read something if it was of no interest to you or doesn't grab your attention? the same analogy applies to resumes... if it doesn't flow well and/or nothing really jumps out at them while reviewing the resume, that candidate's chance of getting a call will be very slim and their resume will most likely be passed over.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:56 PM
 
274 posts, read 909,772 times
Reputation: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthBound47 View Post
If that was the case, I'm sure it had some processes that could be explained quantitatively. And such large systems would generally either element redundancies (ex. merged 7 inefficient systems), or create lots of value. It's tough to give good examples because your example was pretty broad, but if you think it through, you can make it sound nice.
very true. even with a single complex system, you can also break things down into subcomponents or constituents and speak about them if you were involved with them. if you think about it, a lot of things can be explained quantitatively.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:06 PM
 
490 posts, read 1,599,516 times
Reputation: 259
What I have learned over the years working on my own resume is that the most important thing a person can ever put on a resume is the TRUTH. My resume is boring and repetitive but I would never dare to put something I have not done over and over and I know well. I don't include specific one time projects on my resume for that reason although I will mention them at an interview if appropriate/relevant.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Sumner, WA
358 posts, read 947,939 times
Reputation: 250
I myself have made it difficult to quantify my previous positions. My jobs have been pushing papers, ensuring accuracy, and trying to constantly do both more efficiently than before.

I can put relatively approximate numbers but they aren't really accomplishments.

I'm in the transition point of my career where I need a job that is between entry level and managerial. In entry level positions, you just support others in making accomplishments.

I used to have a resume that was bullets mania! But I figured that they actually de-emphasized. So now I only have bullets in my skills and knowledge area.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
4,807 posts, read 6,133,239 times
Reputation: 3742
I like the OP's ideas and think they're very helpful. I've bookmarked this thread so that I can use it the next time I work on my resume.

i just wish, though, that people wouldn't type like this. i used to be a secretary/typist back in the day. i know that we're just having a discussion, but i don't understand why it's hard to capitalize words. if someone typed their resume like this, i would probably not look at it.

Proper punctuation, capitalization and spelling are good ideas too. Employers like to know that someone is being careful when they put their resume together.
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