• Lori A. Jazvac, MRW

Integrate Solid Results in Resume Building to Articulate Your Unique Brand


While resume writing requires a strategic approach, it also necessitates honest reflection and evaluation of your strengths, added value, and milestones.

Resume building is not a matter of simply outlining your duties and responsibilities, hoping that your functions somehow demonstrate results for themselves. Resume building goes much deeper to ask: "what was the impact?" and dissecting further to uncover the actual results.

The achievements reflect the key elements of building the resume that will set you apart from other jobseekers. Yet formulating this critical piece is one of the most challenging elements to building the resume in a succinct and thoughtful manner.

RESPONSIBILITIES VS. ACHIEVEMENTS

Responsibilities are not the same as achievements. Responsibilities outline "what you do" in a specific role whereas achievements detail the "how". However, they can be transformed into achievements by expanding on and demonstrating tangible outcomes, both on a qualitative and quantitative level.

Achievements will allow you to differentiate yourself from your competition and show employers how you can meet or exceed their strategic objectives. In fact, your resume will be much stronger with achievements that will generate interest by employers.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT IN RESUME BUILDING

Another critical component of the responsibilities in the resume entails including the context of the company, responsibility, or position. Include how many direct reports did you oversee and the budget amount, as well as dollar amounts of projects. Unless some details are strictly confidential, including the context will help employers to see a clear snapshot of the scope of your role and responsibility, as well as the organization, and your capabilities.

THE S.M.A.R.T FORMULA

As a professional resume writer and career coach, I help jobseekers to unearth their accomplishments by using a strategic approach.

Resume building involves thinking strategically, asking the right questions, and patiently digging deeper to uncover results through the SMART Method.

· Specific -- Can you describe a challenge you encountered? What was the objective or goal of the project? How would you describe your best achievement?

· Measurable -- How much did you generate? How much money or time did you save? How many products, ideas, or strategies were produced?

· Action-Oriented -- How did you resolve the situation? What were the precise steps/strategies taken? What was your part in the team's activities -- leader or contributor?

· Results-Oriented -- What did you accomplish? How did you and the business benefit? What was the ripple effect or side benefit?

· Time-Bound -- How long did it take to complete the objective? How quickly did you see the results? Did you have to meet aggressive deadlines?

Example of a Smart Impact Statement offering relevant details.

SMART IMPACT STATEMENT:

Reorganized the filing system for the HR department, consisting of 150+ files within 2 days, which streamlined organizational processes and increased efficiency by 40% while saving 1 month of auditing time.

What the SMART Formula aims to do is to help you identify achievements by formulating high-impact statements.

THE SITUATION-ACTION-RESULTS METHOD

Another way of formulating achievements can be summed up this way in a simpler method with the Situation-Action-Result (SAR) Method.

Consider: What was the situation or challenge involved? The action taken to address the situation or challenge? Describe the result or outcome produced.

This method actually works well in both the resume building and interviewing process especially when addressing an employer's challenging questions. Another suggestion is to start with the results first (working backwards!) to capture the employer's attention.

By creating high-impact statements, the prospective employer will likely see your unique offerings and value proposition – what differentiates you from other candidates and distinguishes your brand identity.

Note that not all elements can be always present in a SMART statement. The key is to integrate the relevant components for a stronger statement --concisely. So do not hesitate to articulate what you have done, and be proud of the milestones that you have achieved throughout your career!

UPDATE AND MAINTAIN YOUR PORTFOLIO: TRACK YOUR KEY MILESTONES

Keep regular track of your milestones in a journal or log. When it comes time to create the resume with your professional resume writer, you won't have to dig deep to retrieve the information. You will have this information readily accessible at your fingertips.

Keep a portfolio throughout your career detailing all your accomplishments and milestones in each position using the above S-A-R formula. This method is an effective way of keeping your responsibilities and achievements updated. When it comes time to interview, you will be able to showcase your results.

By engaging in creative storytelling, you will be able to create a record of accomplishments. Consider all areas including professional experience, academia, volunteering, and community leadership experience.

Show examples of various contributions or successes using facts and figures – numbers, percentages, dollars, and specific details to make the accomplishment clear and distinct. Include compelling visuals and graphs of your project milestones if possible to reflect powerful results year-over-year.

Other effective strategies include evaluating performance review comments, project deliverables, and awards or honours received. Was there a turning point in your career that made you shine? Use powerful action verbs in high-impact statements in bullet points on the resume.

For a stellar resume package that features your distinct brand, visit http://www.creativeresumestrategist.com/ or contact 905.730.2374. Let's get on the path to building your branded resume package and to positioning you for career success!

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