Your resume needs to attract the attention and interest of employers or it’s a complete waste of time. Job description resumes are boring and do absolutely nothing to distinguish you from the crowd.
Even in a good job market—that is, good for you as a job seeker—attention to the value-added aspect of your career remains critically important to your resume.
You don’t need to go “over the top” in creating the resume—throwing in all the graphic enhancements you can think of, for example. However, you do need to incorporate whatever you legitimately can to present yourself as a valuable member of the company you want to join.
What is a job description resume, and why doesn’t it work?
Let’s look at this excerpt from a position posting that gives the main requirements for a position:
- Evaluate operations and implement measures to improve and exceed guest satisfaction and operational efficiency.
- The ability to establish strong client relations, warm and compassionate customer relations, leadership and development of service improvements is essential.
- This position requires the ability to work closely with staff in a high-energy environment, where attention to details is essential.
- Experience in working in a high-volume, fast paced environment is highly desirable.
- Routinely audit site summary reports and records as required, submitting requested reports and statistics.
If that were the kind of position you wanted, you would undoubtedly need to possess most, if not all, of the listed qualifications. That doesn’t mean you should include such a list in the experience section of your resume. Why? For starters, it’s likely that everyone who plans to apply for that position will include a similar list in his or her resume. In that case, why would the employer pull yours from the stack?
What does it take to transform your resume into a value-added, “here’s what I can do for you” proposition?
It’s critical that your resume gives employers a reason to take more than a lightning-quick glance at it. The information and the way it’s presented need to convince employers there’s potential value for them in the document. They have to see—and see fast—a good reason to believe you could be worth spending their limited time on, so they’ll be motivated to at least skim through your resume and consider calling you for an interview.
How do you come up with the essential elements of a value-added resume?
Take a look at the following rewrite of a few of the job description items mentioned earlier:
- Increased the speed of response to guest concerns 25% and improved staff efficiency by planning and executing a program that eliminated redundant operational steps.
- Encouraged greater staff participation and reduced slowdowns by initiating weekly 30-minute mini-reviews to replace previous two-hour staff meetings.
- Saved three hours per week on routine auditing of site summary reports and records by establishing a semi-automated logging and tracking system that improved accuracy and accessibility.
See the difference? These statements show value. They make you sound like someone who takes a “responsible for” task and turns it into a “wow!” situation.
You don’t have to be a miracle worker, able to walk on water, to do this. Almost anyone who thinks hard enough and focuses on key aspects can come up with some desirable contributions. Yes, it can require diligent effort, but it’s well worth the time and trouble, especially since your competition might not bother to do it.
In short: Don’t settle for a job description resume that buries you in the crowd. Create a value-added resume that puts you ahead of the crowd! That won’t guarantee success in every situation, of course, but it can significantly increase the odds in your favor and give you the competitive edge you need.
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