The Power of Context in your Resume
Turbo charge your resume with simple positioning statements that create understanding with hiring decision-makers. Get your resume to the top of the “yes” pile and open the door to an interview for your dream job.
Can you imagine reading the exact same book every day? Over and over? Corporate recruiters and hiring managers pore over hundreds of resumes every day. It can be monotonous to read the same statements repeatedly in hundreds of resumes that don’t really tell us much about the candidate.
How do you ensure your resume gets the top of the pile? Think about how simple enhancements to your resume entries can make the difference between getting a call and not getting a call for your dream opportunity in your dream organization.
Recently I worked with two clients who were completely underestimating their positive impact on their organization, diluting their brand. Here are their stories.
Mildred is a payroll specialist who is exceptionally accurate and precise in her work. In more than 20 years, her payroll audits have been perfect—not one write-up. It was time for Mildred to move on in her career, so she came to me for help. Here is one of the entries on her original resume:
“Process payroll for 565 union and non-union employees in the broadcasting business with exemplary accuracy.”
On the face of it, it sounds pretty good, but it doesn’t really tell the entire story. Here is how we changed it to paint a more complete picture of her work.
“Manage end-to-end bi-weekly payroll process for 565 union and non-union employees for a payroll of $1.75M with 0.5% error rate—against industry standard of 2.1%—translating to $210K in annualized avoided costs.”
The second entry paints a much more clear picture of what Mildred does, how she does it and the outcome.
Leon is a COO with expertise in the electrical power generation industry and whose bench strength is in process improvements.
“Improved environmental KPIs by implementing a comprehensive maintenance program, improving environmental compliance and due diligence, saving millions of dollars.”
“Cut dust emissions by 37.8% by implementing a robust maintenance plan to enhance operating bag house filter systems. Reduced NOx and SOx by 20%+ through process optimization and capital investments in noxious emission abatement technology, saving $3.4M in efficiency improvements.”
It is clear that Leon has made significant improvements to the operations of this large company. By using metrics and context in this entry, the hiring manager will be able to imagine Leon working in his company. Shareholders will certainly be impressed with his ability to save the company money and increase share value!
Before you sit down to write your resume, take the time to collect the information you will need to create powerful stories that will inspire the recruiter to pick up the phone and dial your number.
With 185 applicants per open position (according to recent intelligence from Gerry Crispin, CareerXRoads, April 2015, http://www.careerxroads.com/about/), help the recruiter decide on you by writing a resume that creates context and demonstrates your unique value proposition.