To know how to make your resume stand out, sometimes you need to think like an employer. In this third and final of a series of posts dedicated to crafting your resume, Human Resources explains how to word and format your job experience and accomplishments. As with all our articles, this post is for informational purposes only and is not meant as explicit advice or consultation.

Check out the other posts in this series to discover more ways to improve your resume!

What Should You Include in Your Job Experience Descriptions?

Keywords1

  • More than 90% of resumes are searched using job-specific keywords.
  • Scanning software will match an applicant with a preprogrammed set of words for a specific job posting.2
  • Include keywords in your description that were found on your desired company’s website; this will enhance the chance that your resume will be located in online databases.
  • Try creating a section of your resume that includes ​industry-specific keywords; label it “Areas of Expertise” or “Key Proficiencies”.
  • Also try embedding keywords in contextual accomplishment statements!

Transferable Skills1

  • Transferable skills are ones that you have acquired during any aspect of your life that areapplicable to a future job.
  • The use of transferable skills should be a key feature of your resume, cover letter, and interview strategies.

But Don’t Overdo It

  • Employers don’t expect candidates to possess every skill they desire, so hiring managers are always on the look-out for exaggerated resumes.
  • A Careerbuilder study of about 2,000 hiring managers determined that the most common lie hiring managers catch on a resume is an embellished skill set.3
  • So, before choosing whether to list a skill, be sure that you would be prepared to explain how a skill was acquired should you be asked in an interview.

Accomplishments1

  • Job-seekers should NEVER use expressions like “Duties included” or “Responsible for” since this is “job-description language,” not resume language.
  • Focus on accomplishments that set you apart from other job candidates
    • How did you do the job better than anyone else or than anyone else could have done?
    • What did you do to make it your own?
    • What were the problems or challenges that you or the organization faced?
    • What did you do to overcome the problems?
    • What were the results of your efforts?
    • How did the organization benefit from your performance?
  • How have you helped your employer to:
    • Make work easier and more efficient
    • Solve a specific problem
    • Become more competitive
    • Build relationships
    • Improve business practices
    • Improve customer experience

A Tip from a DME Intern Regarding Job Experience Descriptions

  • If you have a LinkedIn, make sure it is updated and that you have your personalized link that doesn’t have a bunch of random numbers.
    • Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey found 73% of employers have hired a candidate through social media.3
    • Include links to your personal domain or online portfolio, Twitter handle, and LinkedIn profile, to show potential employees both your personality and your professional background.3

References

2. Schullery, N. M., Ickes, L., Schullery, S. E. (2009). “Employer Preferences for Resumes and Cover Letters.” Business Communication Quarterly, 72, 163-176. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1080569909334015?journalCode=bcqd​

 

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