Larry Polhill of Café Valley on Resume Writing: Talk More About Accomplishments

Larry Polhill, consultant at Café Valley, wants to help readers land their dream job by giving them tips and hints on the two most important components for the initial job-hunting phase: resumes and interviews. He hopes that by sharing his knowledge and expertise on the subject matter, individuals will finally get the boost they need to work at a job that they love and are passionate about. In this post, he shares his insights on writing a resume that stands out from the rest.

Every resume contains the following basic information: educational background, personal information, work experiences, organizations, affiliations, job-related awards, trainings, seminars, and courses. From time to time, an employer will come across such information as the applicant’s advocacies and other activities outside of their professional field. But all of these are pretty common, and while they do need to be included in your resume since these are vital details about your professional background, there is a way that you can give your CV that extra push. How? By highlighting your accomplishments instead of your job responsibilities.

Accomplishments vs Responsibilities

It’s good to mention your responsibilities at your past job/s just to give the company you’re applying for an idea of your basic capabilities. But responsibilities are more of enumerating specific tasks that fit your job description. What you want the employer to know is the value that you can give the company and you do this by talking about your accomplishments. What does this mean?

Simply put, talk about certain projects that you worked on, or tasks that you accomplished in a way that enhanced the company’s operations, gave its sales a boost, solved a long-time problem, or streamlined processes that enabled the organization to be more productive. And when you talk about your accomplishments, it’s best if you can attach quantifiable terms or examples to them.

For instance, instead of saying that you helped double the sales through a marketing campaign you developed and launched, you could quantify the increase in sales, as such: increased sales by up to 125%. If it’s about productivity, you can say something like, increased the team’s productivity by 95%.

When you present employers or companies with quantities and numbers, they are more likely to remember your capabilities and qualifications over the rest. Remember that businesses are almost always about numbers, and when an employer sees that you can deliver numbers, you’ve already got one foot in the door. The next step is to nail the interview, of course.

Larry Polhill of Café Valley has an interview page that you can refer to if you wish to learn more about preparing for and acing that interview.

Think of your resume as your print advertisement. When you look at an ad, what catches your attention more; details about the product (how it’s made, the ingredients it contains, etc.) or that line that tells you how it can enhance your life (and by how much, in most cases). It’s likely that you paid more attention to how it can enhance your life. That’s how it should be with your resume. How can you enhance the organization’s performance or operations?

So when writing your writing, Larry Polhill, Café Valley consultant, suggests that you focus on how you can help the organization more than what your past job descriptions were.


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