You know your resume should go beyond duties – spelling out your accomplishments is key to providing hiring managers with tangible examples of how you can impact their business. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.
After all, day in and out and week after week, you’re focused on performing responsibilities in your job that are often hard to measure. Plus, you’re not always keeping track of your accomplishments, or you might not be fully aware of how your work impacts the company’s bottom line. This can make writing about them difficult – even for the most experienced professional.
But as resume writing experts, ResumeSpice knows that accomplishments are what set you apart from other job candidates in the minds of hiring managers. They’re what demonstrate your experience, drive to deliver, and proven track record, all in a tangible way.
So how do you take a resume that’s too focused on duties and make it more centered on accomplishments? Here are some tips to help you:
Understand the difference.
A job duty is a task you perform each day, such as “managed the customer billing system.” The accomplishment is the impact it had. For instance, you might write something like “reworked the customer billing system to ensure invoices are consistently distributed on schedule.” These are the kinds of details that will help distinguish you on the job market.
Compile your list.
Once you know the difference between duties and accomplishments, start making a list of those that are important to highlight. When you’re thinking about examples, focus on the most relevant ones for the job you’re applying to. To help you, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- How did I save the company time or money?
- How did I implement or improve any processes that weren’t working? What kind of an impact did that have?
- How did the work I do help customers and clients?
- Did I ever go the extra mile on a particular project or with a specific client? How so?
- Did I ever win an award or was I ever recognized on a certain project or in any way at work?
- In what ways did I stand out at past companies?
- What kinds of problems did I solve on a regular basis? What impact did my solutions have?
- Were there times I exceeded goals or sales quotas?
- If asked about you, what would your boss or co-workers say makes you great at your work?
Quantify wherever you can.
Adding facts and figures to your accomplishments will strengthen them. While you don’t have to do so for every achievement, if there is a way to quantify one, then do it. For instance, instead of just stating that you “negotiated a new contract with an office supply vendor,” you can say that you did so and “cut costs by 10%.” (assuming that’s accurate!). This will better paint the picture of your experience, abilities, and the value you can offer.
Hiring managers only spend a few seconds reviewing resumes. Make yours stand out – for the better – with tangible benefits you’ve offered to past employers.
Want professional resume writing help that can transform your resume?
Call the resume writing experts at ResumeSpice. We can get to know you and your background, then take that information to produce a winning resume that gets the results you want. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.
Is the cover letter dead? While most job candidates would love the answer to be a resounding “yes,” that’s just not the case. Hiring managers still rely on cover letters to learn more about the job seekers they’re considering interviewing.
Yet, if you’re like many job candidates, writing a cover letter is a struggle. You’re not sure what to say, how to say it, and which details are going to make you stand out the most to potential employers. That’s where the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice come in. Below are some tips and tricks from our team to help you craft a quality letter that gets noticed:
Start with research
Before beginning the writing process, do some research. Learn all you can about the company, including its services, customers, mission and vision. When you have a solid understanding of what they do and who they serve, you’ll be able to demonstrate relevant examples of the value you can offer.
After some leg work you’ll also gain a better sense of the tone you should be using in your letter. For instance, if you’re applying to work in a more formal, corporate setting, then you’ll want to be more conservative with your language.
Make a memorable opening statement
Avoid the “I am applying for the position of ABC analyst.” This simply wastes valuable real estate on the page and does nothing to convince a hiring manager of your worth. Instead, stand out with a strong opening statement. Talk about what grabbed your attention about the job or what excites you about the company. When a hiring manager has read through dozens of cover letters with the same opening statement – and yours offers a fresh and interesting perspective – you’ll differentiate yourself in a big way.
Show the value you can offer.
Hiring managers want to get to know candidates who have a solid track record of achievements. It’s therefore smart to offer relevant examples of a problem you helped solve, a successful project you initiated and completed, and any other results you were able to deliver in past positions.
Many times, hiring managers are used to seeing dry or boilerplate cover letters from job candidates. That’s why a little energy and enthusiasm can go a long way in helping to set yourself apart. So talk about why you want the job and what about the company stands out to you. For instance, “I read your company blog daily and would be thrilled to be a part of an organization known for setting industry standards.”
Writing a cover letter can be a daunting task for many job seekers. If you would like professional help with the process, connect with the cover letter writing experts at ResumeSpice. We will learn about your background, experience, and accomplishments to help you produce a winning letter that showcases why you’re uniquely qualified. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more.
Your resume is your ticket into the interview process. If it’s not working as well as you hoped – and you’re not getting calls for interviews – then it’s time for a makeover. As one of the top resume writing services, ResumeSpice can help. To start, here are 5 key areas to focus on and freshen up your resume:
Do you have two years of experience, but your resume is three or four pages long? That’s a problem. If you’re in the entry-level range, then cut your resume down to a page. If you’re a more skilled professional – with 5+ years of experience – then you can submit a resume that’s two pages. Here’s a good guide on how long should your resume should be.
Is your font size tiny? Are margins tight? Style matters when it comes to your resume. That’s why you need to use a font that’s easy to read and professional So, skip the Comic Sans and instead use a font like Cambria, Calibri, or Times New Roman.
In addition, make sure your resume doesn’t look too cramped. You want it to be as easy as possible for hiring managers to scan, which means one-inch margins and a reasonable amount of space between each line of text.
The best resume format to use is a reverse chronological one. This is where you list your most recent job, and then end with your oldest experience. The same order should be used for your education credentials.
If you’re simply focusing on tasks, and not talking about your track record, then you’re not going to stand out to hiring managers. Within each position you’ve listed, think about and include at least one major accomplishment that you’re especially proud of and that aligns with the position to which you’re applying. Quantify these with numbers – such as time saved, costs reduced, or profits earned – wherever you can.
Today’s applications and resumes are often scanned by an applicant tracking system before human eyes see them. It’s therefore important to include keywords and phrases from the job posting. Doing so will increase your odds of making it through this filter.
Need more help creating a resume that produces better results?
Call the resume writing service at ResumeSpice at 832.930.7378 today. We know what today’s top employers look for in resumes and how to produce a winning one that leads to more calls for interviews. We also offer a range of services, whether you need a full re-write or just some quick tips on polishing your resume.
When it comes to job interviews, only the strongest survive – and either move onto the next round or get a call with an offer. So, what can you do to ensure you beat out the competition in your next interview? Prepare. Sounds simple, but too few candidates go into an interview fully prepared. Here are four tips to help you do just that, from ResumeSpice, one of the top interview prep services.
Tip #1: Research.
A big part of preparing for a job interview is learning all you can about the hiring company. What do they do? Who are their customers? What challenges are they currently facing? And what are their main products and services? You can read through their website, Google them for the latest news, and view their employees’ backgrounds on LinkedIn. We always recommend setting up a Google alert for their company name so you don’t miss any important news. You can also seek out current information by viewing their social media sites.
Tip #2: Assess
Once you know more about the company, you should have a good understanding of where you fit in. If you don’t, thoroughly read through the job description. Check LinkedIn for employees who are currently in similar roles or who may have left the role. What are their backgrounds? What similar skills do you have? Focus on your most relevant accomplishments.
Tip #3: Develop.
Develop your responses to common interview questions. In most cases, you’ll also be asked questions specific to the information provided on your resume, as well as behavioral-based questions, such as “Tell me about a time when you (fill in the blank).” When responding, try to tie in a specific example of how you went above and beyond or made a difference at a past employer. Just make sure you don’t give these interview answers!
Beyond responses, you should also be developing a list of your own questions to ask. Not only will you make a better impression with the hiring manager, but you’ll be able to dig deeper into the role and employer to ensure they’re the right fit for you. Here are some of the best questions to ask an interviewer.
Tip #4: Get ready.
A few days before your interview, make sure you have appropriate attire to wear. You should wear a business suit that’s neutral in color, paired with professional shoes. Keep any cologne, perfume, and jewelry to a minimum. Also, make sure you have several copies of your resume, a notebook and a pen to take notes, and the correct address of the interview location.
Preparing for an interview isn’t difficult. But it certainly takes an investment of time to ensure you’re completely ready once the big day arrives. Simply follow the tips above and you’ll be well on your way to setting yourself apart from your competition.
Ready to get expert help preparing for your next interview?
Connect with ResumeSpice. We provide interview prep services to all levels of candidates, whether you’re highly experienced or just entering or re-entering the workforce. Call 832.930.7378 today to learn more about how we can help.
Some candidates make the mistake of focusing on their resume without giving much thought to their cover letter. Others don’t even send one in at all, believing that hiring managers simply don’t read them.
But submitting a personalized and persuasive letter, along with your resume, is another vital tool that will help you stand out in a sea of other candidates. Here’s why:
- Your cover letter is a great place to get personal about your background, skills, and abilities. You can share a story that ties in well with the opening to which you’re applying. Or you can talk about your in-depth knowledge of the company and how excited you were when you saw the posting. Your cover letter provides space for you to showcase who are you as a candidate beyond just your skill set and past job titles.
- Another reason a personalized cover letter is so important is that it gives you the chance to get more specific about why you’re a great fit for the job. While your resume is talking about your past, your cover letter can highlight your present state – i.e. why you want the job – and the future value you can contribute. You can discuss what you bring to the table, the impact you could make if hired, and which specific skills and abilities the employer might be most interested in putting to work.
Whatever you do with your cover letter, avoid regurgitating what you have on your resume, just in letter form. The information you include in your cover letter should be unique to that document and either build on, or introduce, what’s in your resume. It shouldn’t be a replica.
Some other tips from our professional cover letter writers to help you craft a polished and powerful letter include:
- Research the company and their hiring needs so you can more easily align your background and abilities with their mission, culture, and job opening.
- Write a great lead. This is the opening sentence and should engage the hiring manager from the start, so they want to keep reading.
- While you should always be professional, it’s ok to go with a warm and friendly tone in your cover letter. You want to come off as a human, not a robot.
- Avoid clichés and empty statements, like you’re a “hard worker” or “team player.” Instead, get specific and offer details and stories that show you’re a hard worker, rather than saying it.
Clearly, writing a cover letter isn’t always easy. That’s why if you’re struggling with the job, then you should consider working with professional cover letter writers, like those at ResumeSpice. We can help you distinguish yourself from the competition, all so you get the call for an interview. Interested in learning more? Contact us at 832.930.7378 today.