Each sentence in your Experience section of your resume matters. Employers leverage this Experience section more often as a hiring factor over any other section. What did you do, and where, and for how long? This is that old adage, “Can you hit the ground running?” meaning can they not spend a ton of money or time training you? If at all possible, employers love poaching candidates from competitors. They know the industry, the product line, and are doing the same exact thing their doing so it’s a quick learning curve…maybe less than a week total of training time.
But to get them excited about your resume whether you’re going for a direct line job at a competitor or switching industries is to amp up that Experience section verbiage.
Just how do you craft sentences that appeal to the recruiters, technical personnel, hiring managers, or HR leadership?
1. Quantifiers – even if you don’t have a hard metric or sales result or number, you can still quantify the sentence. Figure out a way leveraging your bottom-line thinking. Did you cut costs, improve processes, save money, or strengthen revenue? Sure! Everyone does something that helps profitability. Figure yours out and quantify those tasks.
2. Eliminate task-driven sentences. They’re boring and employers understand already a majority of your duties based off your title. So make sure you eliminate yawns by using those quantifiers.
3. Keep it short. No lengthy, run-ons. “I saved money by implementing a process improvement that automated document flow.” Simple, done and done.
4. Think PAR. Problem, action, result. The most important being the latter two. Make sure your sentence completes this structure. Start with what the problem was, what action did you take to resolve the problem, and what was the result?
5. Strong action verb. Always lead off with a strong action verb and avoid using the same one twice. It’s not “assisted,” but rather “supported.”
6. Don’t be confusing or pretentious. Avoid verbs like “Championed” or over-excessive or proprietary acronyms. No one is going to think you’re smarter because you did a good job confusing the marketing major who is controlling the recruitment process. Sure, hiring managers might understand, but you need to appeal to the gatekeepers too! So keep it simple without losing integrity.
7. Don’t over-embellish. You will get caught, whether it be the interview or week one on the job. Once you say you do the certain task, make sure you can do it. You don’t need to say you’re an expert on MS Office Excel and then scratch your head when they give you complex formulas and tables to construct and interpret. Might have to move it down to proficient status, not expert.
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