Writing a resume is hard. Trying to recap an entire career lifetime down to one or two pages that will convey that you are the right candidate and in a way that someone will actually read is no easy task. It taxes you emotionally and takes a lot of time.
Trying to describe a job in which you now see as “just what I do” becomes more than a hurdle, it becomes a mountain to climb with a pebble in your shoe. Too often, people revert to job descriptions to fill in the blank:
• Reconciles bank statements by comparing statements with general ledger.
• Verifies financial reports by running performance analysis software program.
• Protects organization’s value by keeping information confidential.
• Work with executive leadership to keep current on organizational financials.
And what is wrong with this? It accurately describes what you do so why would I have a problem with this? A few reasons:
It only tells the reader what you were hired to do – not what you really did.
Just because you were hired to do something doesn’t mean you did it.
Even if you did what you were hired to do, it doesn’t mean you did it well.
In other words, it is not selling you and that is the point of your resume: to sell you. It may be one or two pages, but your resume should not be a cheap cliff notes version of your career.
How, then, do you take what you were hired to do and turn it into what you did? Through a series of questions:
Who did you work for?
How did you work with them?
What did you do?
How did you do it?
Who received value?
What was the value?
Not all of these questions will be answered in each bullet point; however, including value is the most important factor. The other questions help create demonstrative statements.
Looking at the bullet points above and having a conversation about what you really do, we can recreate into more impactful statements:
• Serve as an instrumental Principal and liaison with executive leadership by assessing and communicating current standing, options and opportunities to meet short and long term organizational goals.
• Depended upon by executive leadership to maintain meticulous records, processes and capitalize on opportunities to decrease expenses and maintain adherence to budgets.
• Maintain high degree of confidentiality in having access to all salary and bonus information for every member of the organization.
These bullet points tell a much more confident story of your value and gives a sense of how you do what you do.
Do not sell yourself short, no matter what you did there was a reason. You added value in every aspect of your position – your job is to tell that story so the reader can see you as the ideal candidate.