How to develop an action oriented resume on your own
In a job market flooded with applicants, your resume has to do more. Besides the obvious of ensuring no grammatical errors, there are three steps you need to complete to boost the level of your resume.
1. Your resume must show you meet all of the required job qualifications for the position you apply to, as well as make an attempt to meet as many of the preferred qualifications. Legally a company must only consider applicants that meet all of the required qualifications because the company has used this qualifications list to eliminate other applicants. If an exception is made for one applicant, the company must go back and review all other previously disqualified applicants.
Let’s say the job qualification list states “5 years experience in project management”. You do not necessarily need to have a “Project Manager” job title for at least 5 years; it simply means you need to have performed this skill for 5 years. Listed below are some examples of how you might start bullet points to meet the project management qualification.
- Project lead for …
- Participated in a project team of three members…
- Increased efficiencies and reduced costs by analyzing business operations and initiating projects…
Another great way to quickly show a recruiter or hiring manager you meet the qualification is to list your years of project management experience in the professional summary section of your resume.
Typically, required job qualifications are listed in order of importance to the open position (i.e. most important first, least important last; hence why preferred qualifications are almost always listed at the bottom of the qualifications section). Therefore, order your bullet points addressing these qualifications in the same manner.
2. Related to step #1, your resume should make a recruiter’s job that much easier by also showing that in your past positions you have performed as many of the job tasks listed in the open position. Recruiters are bogged down with an ever-increasing number of applicants to each of their open positions (depending on the level of position, I averaged anywhere from 30 to 50 open positions as a recruiter) and therefore a recruiter is making snap judgments. If the recruiter does not easily see the fit between your candidacy and the open position they will mark your resume a “thanks, but no thanks” and quickly move to the next.
Let’s say the job responsibility states “Work with clients in interview settings to identify processes that can be enhanced”.
Before: Centralized an internal department’s supply ordering process.
- After: Centralized an internal department’s supply ordering process by conducting interviews with key members from the internal department to determine business requirements and understand the current supply ordering process.
3. This last step must be taken into account when tackling #1 and #2. Your resume should list quantifiable accomplishments you have had in each previous position. If you resume currently reads like a generic list of tasks you performed in each role than I guarantee you will not get that next level job, nor will you get positive responses from your applications. Taking the #2 example above and applying this step results in…
Final: Centralized an internal department’s supply ordering process by conducting interviews with key members from the department to determine business requirements and understand the current ordering process; developed a new process for forecasting supply needs and developed a streamlined process for ordering required supplies. Resulted in $15-20k savings each month over prior year.
When compared to what we started with “centralized an internal department’s supply ordering process”, you can see that a recruiter will be more impressed with the final bullet point and thus more likely to contact this applicant for a phone screen or interview.