Your resume needs more than content – it needs context

Let’s talk about your resume.

Most resumes I see contain a career history; a list of jobs where the person has worked, and often some description of their duties or responsibilities.  But what is missing is context.  Someone may tell me they managed this, or implemented that, but there is nothing to suggest that they managed it well or what impact the implementation had on the organization.  Without the context, their “responsibilities” are interesting, but not particularly helpful.

A list of accomplishments tells the recruiter what you’ve done and how successful you’ve been. It provides context to your work history.  The premise is that what you have accomplished for prior organizations, you can accomplish for the next one.  The good news is, that premise is usually accurate.

Separate your career history (which you still need) from your accomplishments.  Include a section where you quantify what you’ve accomplished.   A “responsibility” might read: “Responsible for managing a staff of 14 with an operating budget of $500,000” which is impressive.  But imagine instead that the “accomplishment” said “Successfully managed a staff of 14 with an operating budget of $500,000 with turnover substantially below the organizational average and expenses within budget,” then we’d know a lot more about you.

Put together a list of 10-15 of your career highlight accomplishments, then pull the 5-7 that really fit the job you are applying for, and sort them by order of importance to the job you are applying for. Now you have a customize resume for a specific position.  In your cover letter, highlight the top one or two accomplishments.  Tell the hiring manager how much you increased sales or profits, reduced expenses, expanded market share, etc.  That is what will open their eyes, and get you the interview.

If you are struggling with your job search, this might help.  https://im-fired.com/about-the-book/


One Comment on “Your resume needs more than content – it needs context”

  1. […] Hand them your resume. […]


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