By Kiernan King, Toppel Peer Advisor
It can be overwhelming applying to what seems like thousands of jobs and going on a thousand more interviews and getting the same answer every time: “no.”
It’s very frustrating doing the best you can and not receiving the answer you want to hear which can lead you to believe that it must be the employer’s fault, not your own. In reality, the disconnect may not be from the reader, but in the reading.
Review your resume, specifically the experience section and the bullet points that describe each internship or job. Read through it quickly and from the perspective of a future employer – does it pass the five second test?
Often times you’ll run into the problem of having previous or current job positions listed as job descriptions detailing what you were hired to do. When I went through a practice interview and resume critique, I was told that if an employer reads my bullets points and can find the same description on hundreds of other résumés, than it needs to be edited.
In other words, employers do not care what you were hired to do, but rather what value you added to that company because it’ll give them an indication of what you can do for them. Companies want people that have transferable skills and value to bring to them, not just someone who shows up at work.
In the Toppel Career Center’s resume guide, there is a formula we use for accomplishment statements: What I did + Skills I used = Results I got.
More specifically, the “what you did” part of the formula is the starting point for your bullet statement and describes the task at hand. If you only indicate what you did, you’re not giving the reader a comprehensive understanding of what you accomplished.
“Skills I used” is the most important part of the formula. For example, skills can include oral/written communication, customer service, and proficiency with computer programs. Providing information about skills is also particularly important if you are applying to positions and lack relevant experience.
Finally, “Results I got” is effective if the results are concrete, measurable or describe the goal of your actions. For example, results can include an increase in sales percentage or improved customer service.
Each accomplishment statement should start with an action verb! Having trouble thinking of some creative verbs to use? Try these on for size: implemented, delegated, collaborated, synthesized, extracted, substantiated, programmed, integrated, streamlined, forecasted, generated, and mentored among more!
Remember, your resume is your story. Tell it in a way that they understand and can see you in that new position!