Face it–writing your resume to attract attention can be challenging. Not only do you need to recall and document your experience, but you’ll also need to showcase the biggest wins of your career.
Many people struggle to position top achievements where they’ll be noticed by employers. However, there are 3 simple steps you can use to pull these notable success stories to the forefront of your resume, ensuring they take center stage.
Follow these tips for creating an interview-winning resume that clearly conveys your value proposition and strongest accomplishments:
1 – Make a list of your top career wins.
There’s no need to bury major successes in the back of your document. No matter if these are prominent degrees, projects, or other career-defining accomplishments, they can also be featured on the front page.
To do this, first make a list of your biggest achievements – those that have helped you rise up the career ladder and earn promotions.
For example, this might include landing a Fortune 500 account, completing a prominent executive leadership program, or delivering a merger integration process ahead of schedule.
Next, write bullet-style achievement sentences that reflect the challenge, action you took, and the result, similar to these examples:
“Secured #1 most profitable customer account in company history by forming the first C-suite relationships, despite industry cost pressures.”
“Turned around low-morale operations team by leveraging individual strengths and building recognition program, leading to 35% better productivity and production output.”
“Identified cost savings and led post-M&A integration realizing $1.2M in synergies.”
“Created operational playbook used for 13 startup divisions and enabling consistent 65% process savings over original facility.”
Be sure to include metrics where possible, such as revenue growth, the speed in which you achieved each win, new technology capabilities, or improvements affecting the bottom line.
2 – Add an Achievements Section right under your summary.
Now, take these success stories and pull approximately 4 to 6 of these efforts into a front-page accomplishments section, which is typically positioned after your resume summary and before your professional work history.
By keeping it short for clarity and easy navigation, you’ll stand a better chance of catching the employer’s attention.
Next, give your achievements section a descriptive name, such as “Examples of Technology Leadership” or “Career Wins in Aggressive Sales Environments.”
You can also reference your industry or area of specialty (shown as “Sales” and “Technology” in these examples) in the section name for additional personal brand reinforcement.
Use the same bullet sentence style for each item, but also consider adding a bit of color to your achievements section, perhaps shading the metrics or names of major customers in a slightly different tone.
This strategy will also help draw the eye to these areas of your resume. The idea is to quickly gain reader attention and pique employer interest in your abilities.
3 – Incorporate Headlines to convey career wins.
If you have too many high-profile achievements to list in this section, consider adding some headlines to showcase your initiative and results throughout your career.
Headlines, also called taglines, are similar to the slogans you’ve seen from major companies. These short, powerful sentences can be used throughout your resume for impact. For example, several headlines can be positioned immediately before or after your resume summary.
You can also place a headline under each job title to describe the biggest accomplishments for that position, or as a “title” for a group of achievement sentences on subsequent pages.
The idea behind headlines is to emphasize your skills and industry acumen, while showing employers the results of your work. To be effective, a headline should be short and succinct, quickly summing up your personal brand.
For example, a finance leader skilled in cost savings and cash flow might use “Fiscal Controls for Strong Financial Health” as a tagline, while an IT leader might specify “Enterprise Systems Reliability Supporting Global Operations.”
In summary, don’t make employers hunt for your strongest career victories! Instead, point them to the highlights of your career by using headlines and an achievements section to set off your most significant talents.
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