Tracking and sharing your impacts are vital to a successful job search
By Janice Burch, Executive Resume Writer, Career Coach, Co-Owner at Pro Resume Center, LLC
Janelle wanted to improve her career story and polish up her materials for a job search. A VP of Operations for a Fortune 100 manufacturing company, she has risen through the ranks of her company over the last 15 years. She struggled, however, to write about herself to create a powerful resume.
The one she wrote was getting very little traction.
A few things were evident – her resume first lacked polish, and each role read like a job description or
task list. It was void of impacts or results. However, a little Google research on Janelle showed she held a high level of national respect in her industry, was a frequent speaker at numerous conferences, and received industry honors. However, her resume did not reflect her powerful career history.
We got to work.
Who's Your Audience?
When writing your resume or any materials, always keep your target audience – your future employer – in mind.
- Are you focusing on executive and managerial achievements in alignment with the targeted role?
- What are the most important responsibilities that the targeted role requires?
- Examine the job description and company; let it guide you in what you choose to show a prospective employer on your resume.
It’s essential to show the hiring team how you delivered results and provide some context highlighting at what level you were operating – with company sizes, budgets, and people transformation. If your resume is mostly a list of responsibilities and tasks, this tells the hiring team zero about your ability to execute – deploy – and track bottom-line results.
Tracking your results is enhanced when you think about why you were hired.
- What purpose or goals were put in front of you – did you address them? Be sure to include them in your resume.
- Were you asked to lead transformation – – build new partnerships – – expand the operation, grow the brand – – tighten the company’s financial health, and identify cost savings? Include that in your resume.
While providing an overall opening sentence or a small paragraph outlining your primary responsibilities is important as an introduction
to the role you held, the bullet points supporting your accomplishments should dictate the rest of the job description.
Just a few examples to help illustrate for you how big of a difference including your results can make on a resume:
Managing company budget and team responsible for revenue growth and corporate expansion.
Overseeing large projects and identifying expansion opportunities.
Delivering a 35% revenue increase annually through new product development, lean manufacturing, and improved customer retention
while directing an $80M budget and overseeing the performance of a 20-member team.
Drove operational improvements through new management training programs that cut costs and increased profit margin.
Cut annual costs by 25% and increased EBITDA by 34% over two years with the development of new management training program,
ultimately strengthening overall operations and market leadership.
Implemented a new software platform to improve data entry accuracy, data accessibility, sales, and customer service.
Drove a 25% increase in customer satisfaction and 100% in improved database accuracy with implementation of a new customer lifecycle tracking program; negotiated the $500K vendor contract and oversaw full implementation, including a corporate-wide training program for 1K employees.
You will want to develop 4 – 6 bullet points showing results for each role. There may be situations where you have more or less, and that’s okay, as long as each point is clearly and concisely communicated while keeping the resume contained to two pages, in most cases.
Not all results will be quantifiable; they cannot be measured in some cases. If this is the case, don’t fret. Perhaps you can write a phrase about how it transformed the customer service team, drove the brand’s market share, or improved corporate culture. If 1 – 2 of your bullet points do not include a number or percentage, it’s okay.
When preparing your accomplishment list, think about these three questions:
- What was the result
- Followed by what you fixed or what the objective was, and
- How you fixed it
A basic list of questions to ask yourself to show your impact:
Below is an introductory list of questions to ask yourself if preparing your resume or simply trying to track your accomplishments. These are some of the questions we delve into during our exploratory session, of course, depending on your role – not all of these will make sense for every role:
- What was the annual budget size you managed in each role?
- Did you oversee a portfolio or were responsible for company or division revenue – and if so, how much? $$
- The number of people you were responsible for – overall and direct/indirect?
- Did you build a new division or open a new site? What kind of results have you achieved so far?
- Did you improve the strategic process or streamline it? If so, how and what was the result?
- Did you help identify new revenue streams for the company – – and if so, what was the result of that
- Did you identify and introduce new training programs or methods to improve productivity? If it moved the needle – by how much in dollars or percentage?
- Did you negotiate with channel partners, and did this improve profits or cut costs? By how much?
- Did you reduce administrative burden in any way?
- Did you oversee any M&As – what was your role, and what results came about because of this?
- Did you reorganize your team, function, or company? Why and what was the result of this?
- Did you champion purchasing new tech systems or programs – if so, what and how did it change things?
The more advanced you are in your career, the less “tactical” your resume should look. It is essential your resume and other materials scream executive leader – able to rally, motivate and influence, scale and expand, establish goals, develop the next generation of leaders, and track the big wins.
You can’t improve on what you don’t measure, right? Showing a company that you are committed to tracking results and improving on them, is a win for your resume, interview discussions and job offers.
If you are unhappy in your current role or are concerned about your future with your organization, being ready for change is always smart. Do some career hygiene. Ensure your resume, profiles, materials and talking points are current. Take the time to write down those important things you have done over the last couple of years and the results you delivered for your company and clients. There are numerous ways to define your value to help you stand out and secure that next opportunity.
To see what and how to track your accomplishments, see my next article Tracking Your Accomplishments
Visit www.ProResumeCenter.com to learn how we can help ensure you are prepared to pursue your next opportunity.