Making your experience quantifiable is important. Achievements stand out that much more when they are measurable. In this video, Stacey Gordon walks you through the steps of you struggle with. There is no greater achievement than making money or saving money for a company and you will learn how to identify and demonstrate yours.
- What have you achieved in your career? Did you create anything? Implement a new procedure? Save your company money? Maybe you made them money. Were you top in sales? The best in recruiting? Promoted frequently? Or asked to lead a project? A great way to show your achievements is with a bullet point or two at the beginning or the end of your professional experience. In the exercise files you'll find an example of how to do this.
A caveat to this is that if you don't have enough achievements to add this to each of the jobs on your resume, you're better off taking those achievements and moving them into your summary of qualifications. Or, if they are spectacular enough to warrant their own section, you could add an actual section labeled achievements, below your summary of qualifications, but above your professional experience. If you work in sales, this is a far easier job to provide examples of achievements, and it's expected.
But don't just say number one in sales. While it sounds good, you really should add a time frame and a comparison. So number one in sales in the western region for the month of August isn't as impressive as number one in sales across the United States for the first and second quarter of 2015. If you were simply number one in sales for a week among six people on your team, you might not want to mention it at all.
Determine relevance and scale before making the decision to add it to your resume. So what do you do if you're not in sales? Administrative assistants always struggle with this. I hear, I don't have any achievements, I can't make money for the company, my position doesn't affect the bottom line. Well consider this, if you've ever ordered supplies, sent items via a courier service, or planned the office holiday party, you've had an opportunity to save the company money.
You might have caught an error in billing that saved the company a few thousand dollars. You might have sourced a better supply item that saved money, or if you worked directly for a team that does make money for the company, then you too have a role in that. I'll even take it one step further and give you a modified version of a tool I use when I'm working internally with a company client. I created a way to calculate what I call administrative value, and if you have difficulty coming up with achievements and quantifying your work, it will help you express your value and contribution when working in an administrative capacity.
Administrative value works by making the case that you are great at your job, and by doing your job well you make your team members happy. Happier team members are more productive at work. They take less sick days, and are more accurate in their tasks. Happier employees stay longer in their jobs and are more engaged in their work. Ergo you are effectively increasing the bottom line of your company by increasing the return on investment an employer makes in the salaries paid to your team members.
Adding an achievement of increased productivity of my department by 20 percent, or contributed to the 30 percent reduction in turnover rates within my division, isn't outside of the realm of possibility. The value of productivity gains and employee engagement, as well as the costs associated with employee turnover are backed by facts, figures, and lots of studies. And the same goes for any claims you make on your resume. If you have knowledge of an increase in productivity, a decrease in turnover, or an increase in profit margins that relates specifically to the division where you work, you can participate in those positive outcomes by reviewing the relationship between your role and the results.
While the goal isn't to calculate an exact number, the point of this entire thought process is to open your mind to areas of achievements you hadn't thought of before, or perhaps had discounted. Your work has value. It's your job to make that clear to a future employer. So get started on that list of achievements to make your resume really stand out from the crowd.
Stacey A. Gordon, cofounder of Career Incubator, has made it her life's work to help others find the jobs and build the careers of their dreams. In this course, she walks through the basics of resume writing for job seekers, as well as a few extra job search basics such as following up, sending thank-you notes, and identifying companies to work for and determining fit.
Stacey explains what you should include on your resume, what to exclude, and how to craft your resume to showcase your talents and best qualities. Using practical resume examples, Stacey walks through choosing the right resume format, tailoring the information to match job requirements, and writing alternative resumes that include industry-specific information. Last, Stacey shows you how to deal with some common sore spots—like job hopping, lack of experience, or large unemployment gaps—while concentrating on your experience.
- Writing an objective statement
- Adding a summary of skills
- Showcasing your professional work
- Presenting your education
- Customizing your contact information
- Tailoring your resume to fit a job
- Upgrading your resume
- Choosing a resume layout
- Writing resumes for marketing, entertainment, and design jobs
- Handling career gaps and job changes
- Standing out and following up with employers
- Using a resume effectively
- Determining fit at a prospective job
- Finding contacts at companies you want to work for