How to Craft a Resume That Highlights Your Value and Attracts Employers
You are exceptional. You have skills, qualities, and experience that set you apart from other job seekers. Your future employer doesn’t know this yet, so it’s up to you to inform them. That said, how do you put together a resume that leaves no doubt you’re the best choice for the job while also getting a recruiter to take you seriously?
The key is to provide proof of your accomplishments and demonstrate how they’ve benefited your previous employers, offering concrete examples that paint a clear picture of your competencies. If you’re not sure how to create a resume that paints such a picture, reach out to our resume experts.
If you’re up for the resume-writing challenge, this article can guide you. Let’s start with a strategy that easily showcases your qualifications and achievements: Crafting a clear and concise resume. To master this skill, envision each of your previous jobs as its own section on the resume. Use short paragraphs and bullet points to highlight your work history and accolades. Don’t crowd the page with details that don’t add value, and don’t demonstrate your ability to use a thesaurus—write clearly and concisely. This format makes it easy for a potential employer to quickly see what’s important.
How to best present your accomplishments
The goal of your resume is to make you stand out by highlighting your experience and achievements. An effective way to do this is by using bullet points to present them in a way that's easy on the eyes and gets the message across as quickly as possible.
To get started, ask yourself how the exemplary work you did benefited your previous employers. Consider questions such as:
- What did you do to make daily tasks more efficient?
- How did you solve difficult problems you faced in your role?
- Did you go above and beyond what was expected of you?
- What awards did you earn for your efforts?
When answering these questions, think about what differentiated you from colleagues in similar roles. Consider all the ways in which your presence benefited the companies you worked for. List those unique accomplishments as bullet points in the work experience section of your resume.
For each bullet point, use what's called the "RESULT by ACTION" format, where you start with the result of your work followed by the action that got you there.
- Cut costs by 15% by finding alternative services for telecommunications.
- Recognized as Employee of the Month for leading my team to its highest sales volume of the year.
- Doubled the number of repeat customers by focusing on providing top-notch service that included weekly check-ins, sending monthly hand-written notes, and offering appreciation gifts to make clients feel valued.
The length of employment at each company and the degree of similarity between your previous role and the position you're after will determine how many bullet points you use. In other words, expect to have more bullet points highlighting your accomplishments for a job you held for, say, five years compared to one you had for two years. Of course, if your achievements in the latter are more impressive, you can give them priority, especially if that job was more recent. Use your common sense to determine which accomplishments make the most sense to highlight.
If you don't have a lot of experience yet, don't worry too much about what you've achieved. Instead, focus on things like what you've learned so far in your career, the type of work where you excelled, and how your unique skills helped to move the company forward. There are many ways you could have added value, so make sure to cover all the bases.
- You have excellent communication skills, and you used them to help your team work together in a more efficient way, thus boosting productivity.
- You are a fantastic researcher, and you were able to find new office equipment that was of better quality and lower cost.
How to best present your work history
What makes you the best choice for the job? Is it that you always exceed your goals? Is it that your experience is better suited for the job than that of other candidates? Maybe it's just that you're blessed with innate skills others simply don't have. Whatever the case, explain how your past roles and responsibilities relate to the job you’re currently pursuing. You also want to consider what your greatest strengths are and what skills are most valued in the position you’re applying for, and craft your resume to best highlight the match.
Get specific. Include information about what you did on a day-to-day basis, what your management style is, and how you handle stress under deadlines or when your schedule changes at the last minute. Not everyone can think on their feet, so if you are someone who excels at this, shout it from the rooftops.
Including numbers (if possible) is always a good idea, too. Hard numbers and statistics add a level of credibility that’s hard to replicate through other means.
If you're struggling with how to best describe your roles and responsibilities, check out job boards for descriptions of positions similar to the ones you held. This should help you get the ball rolling.
When you focus on the skills, qualities, and experience that set you apart from other job seekers, you'll undoubtedly create a resume that highlights your value. By also including proof of your accomplishments, you’ll prompt a potential employer to take you more seriously, which may give you an edge in securing an interview. If you want a professionally written resume, consider our resume services.