We all know that resumes need to show achievements. A laundry list of weekly job duties and plethora of technical jargon? Not so much. Hiring managers and HR representatives can just read a general job description for that.
If you want a job, a raise, or a promotion, then you have to understand how your work fits into the “big picture” (e.g., How did the results of that advertising project you just finished benefit the company and/or the clients?). Remember, figures count, especially when it comes to hiring decisions. Telling a compelling story around those figures? Priceless!
Which has more impact and tells a powerful story?
- Interactive designer responsible for mood boards, storyboards, design briefs, prototypes, information architecture diagrams, etc. to create user experience designs.
- Interactive designer on 20-person NYC wonder team that overhauled White House website for Barack Obama and tripled total billings—from $15M to $45M—in 2 years.
(I want to call this girl in for an interview! Don’t you? If for no other reason than to hear more about that White House project).
“What if I don’t have access to metrics?” If you don’t know how your work affects your department, the business, or clients, then I strongly suggest that you start setting up meetings with department managers and project stakeholders. Go find out how your work has positively benefited their performance, goals, revenues, profits, productivity, output, customers, etc. and get some figures from them. Keep a log of all the great things you’ve done on a weekly and/or monthly basis. Jot down those “I’m proud of” stories. It’ll be worth it when it comes to writing your resume.
“What if I can’t provide any quantifiable achievements?” is another question I tend to get from clients who are in jobs that don’t lend themselves to numerically quantitative achievements. Well, sometimes achievements ARE hard to quantify. Don’t forget about qualitative results, though.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
- Maybe you developed, trained, and mentored a programming team with zero morale and high attrition into company award winners who cut the SDLC in half and positioned your department as #1 in employee retention rates. IMPACT!
- Maybe you solved some difficult client confidence problems or team conflicts. If you cracked a problem that 2 others before you failed to solve in the past 3 years, then there’s your IMPACT!
- Maybe you tapped into your network of connections to refer a couple of programming wunderkinds to your boss, which resulted in finishing a critical development project 2 weeks before deadline. IMPACT!
The key to remember is that every single person in an organization should be able to quantify or qualify exactly how they add value to the business. Whether you’re a programmer, a graphic designer, or a sales executive, you have to demonstrate to the hiring authority that they’re getting a great return on investment (ROI) for hiring you. When you do that, the odds of landing an interview rapidly tilt in your favor.