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Showcasing achievements vs. listing job duties

From: Creating an Effective Resume

Video: Showcasing achievements vs. listing job duties

When developing your Professional Experience section, if you create a long, dull, mind-numbering laundry list of duties and responsibilities, chances are you'll send the readers straight to sleep. Don't start off this section with 'responsibilities included' or 'duties included', followed by an inventory of your daily tasks. Employers are looking for someone who will take action, someone who will get something done. Employers are looking for achievers; therefore highlight your achievements and accomplishments by saying this is what I've achieved in the past for employers and what I can accomplish for you now.

Showcasing achievements vs. listing job duties

When developing your Professional Experience section, if you create a long, dull, mind-numbering laundry list of duties and responsibilities, chances are you'll send the readers straight to sleep. Don't start off this section with 'responsibilities included' or 'duties included', followed by an inventory of your daily tasks. Employers are looking for someone who will take action, someone who will get something done. Employers are looking for achievers; therefore highlight your achievements and accomplishments by saying this is what I've achieved in the past for employers and what I can accomplish for you now.

Use PAR statements, or problem-action- result statements, as much as possible to tell your success story to potential employers of just how you can help them and what you can do for them. There's a whole movie dedicated to creating PAR statements, so check it out if you haven't already. For example, you might want to say designed new Flash web site based on competitive market evaluations and client needs resulting in a 70% increase in web site traffic and 55% profit margin. Or you might want to say created a contact management system using access to stored data from outdated Rolodex system, increasing efficiency of mass mailings to our clients by 90%.

By listing your experience in terms of accomplishments and achievements rather than duties and responsibilities, you can make yourself shine by showing the employer what you bring to the table rather than simply what you did daily. These results can be measured in just about any occupation, not just sales. This particular PAR statement was designed for a web designer, while this example of a PAR statement was designed for a secretary. Add quantifiable results as much as possible throughout your resume.

Take a look at this resume. They have included quantifiable results and amounts throughout. Take a look at the information that's highlighted in blue. For example, this first paragraph here that says delivering and designing comprehensive certificate-based training program throughout this international law firm with 12 offices and 1400 employees. Or this second paragraph here, managing, designing, and delivering classes for in-house continuing technical education program, offering over 65 courses in multiple subject matters.

Down a little bit further here, look at this paragraph. Providing application support and training for 800 secretaries, paralegal staff, and attorneys across five offices. And last but not least, take a look at this one: writing curriculum for more than 50 courses and conducting instructor-led and blended training across five offices. Also, don't forget to start each of your sentences or bullet points with action verbs instead of 'responsibilities included'. Take a look at this resume and just how MaryEllen here has accomplished this.

She started off each of her sentences with action verbs. She says delivering, managing, delivering again here, designing, traveling, providing, writing, evaluating, testing and analyzing, managing and developing, creating, deploying, troubleshooting and authoring. For more information, there's a whole movie dedicated to action verbs called "Incorporating Action Verbs." Focus on the benefits of your actions instead of the actions themselves.

So, what is an accomplishment? An accomplishment can be anything you have done that benefited a previous employer. If you are thinking you have no accomplishments, think again; each of us has done something in our careers that could benefit our employer. It's just a matter of remembering back and figuring out just what those things are. Ask yourself questions such as these: What have you done that you are really proud of? What have past evaluations said about you? What do coworkers say about you? Have you won any awards or honors? Have you created or designed something? Have you implemented any new ideas? Have you increased profits or reduced costs? Have you managed a budget successfully or maybe increased quality control? Did you resolve a problem or come up with a solution? Did you increase efficiency? One of the best ways of showing off and highlighting the Professional Experience section is by creating an attention-grabbing sentence or a short paragraph followed by a bulleted list of about three to five accomplishments and achievements.

Now, see if you can come up with three to five things that you are really proud of in each position you have held, and by the way, there is a place to include them in your career management worksheet that comes with this course. By showcasing your achievements and your accomplishments and avoiding a list of dry and dull job duties and responsibilities, you will outshine the competition. Using achievements oriented resume format to prove to the employer that you can do an outstanding job by demonstrating results and proving positive end results, potential employers will see your past achievements as an indicator and gauge for future performance.

Your resume will stand out from the crowd and be much more effective by highlighting and showcasing your key accomplishments.

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This video is part of

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Creating an Effective Resume

49 video lessons · 31439 viewers

Mariann Siegert
Author

 
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  1. 3m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 23s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
    3. Filling out the career management worksheet
      1m 34s
  2. 29m 13s
    1. Creating a marketing campaign
      2m 50s
    2. Discovering your dream job
      3m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of keywords
      2m 14s
    4. Finding essential keywords
      6m 34s
    5. Incorporating action verbs
      4m 51s
    6. Getting results using PAR statements
      4m 40s
    7. Researching the employer
      4m 25s
  3. 37m 2s
    1. Targeting your resume
      7m 16s
    2. Sidestepping blunders and the "10-Second Screen-Out"
      5m 44s
    3. Deciding on resume length
      6m 29s
    4. Keeping your resume concise
      5m 23s
    5. Refreshing your resume
      4m 52s
    6. Critiquing your resume
      3m 31s
    7. Avoiding identity theft
      3m 47s
  4. 21m 14s
    1. Entering the workforce
      7m 48s
    2. Filling in employment gaps
      5m 21s
    3. Dealing with long-term employment
      3m 9s
    4. Switching career paths
      4m 56s
  5. 12m 38s
    1. Understanding resume jargon
      1m 27s
    2. Reverse chronological
      2m 25s
    3. Functional
      6m 11s
    4. Combined chrono-functional
      2m 35s
  6. 7m 1s
    1. Understanding the curriculum vitae (CV)
      3m 29s
    2. Working with online resumes and portfolios
      3m 32s
  7. 41m 23s
    1. Formatting fundamentals for your resume
      6m 39s
    2. Including (or not including) an objective
      4m 10s
    3. Creating a headline
      5m 1s
    4. Writing a qualifications summary
      4m 47s
    5. Showcasing achievements vs. listing job duties
      5m 31s
    6. Including technical information
      5m 22s
    7. Putting your education to work
      4m 41s
    8. Including awards, honors, and other information
      5m 12s
  8. 19m 1s
    1. Knowing which file format is best
      2m 10s
    2. Saving to earlier versions of Word
      2m 48s
    3. Saving as a PDF
      5m 27s
    4. Creating a RTF version
      3m 54s
    5. Saving to HTML format
      4m 42s
  9. 15m 9s
    1. Evaluating online resume banks
      5m 32s
    2. Writing effective names for resume banks
      3m 43s
    3. Double-checking formatting after uploading
      2m 45s
    4. Becoming too visible
      3m 9s
  10. 21m 45s
    1. Creating a cover letter
      7m 47s
    2. Compiling your references
      4m 35s
    3. Writing thank-you notes
      5m 38s
    4. Printing, copying, and the importance of paper
      3m 45s
  11. 52s
    1. Goodbye
      52s

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