You could inscribe your resume on a gold bar and deliver it in a Lamborghini—but the company you are applying to will still hire the individual who has the right set of skills, accomplishments, knowledge, and experience. You could simply shout from the rooftops that you are the best prepared, best organized, highest potential, most focused candidate for the job—but every company still wants proof in the form of actual accomplishments.
That’s where the details count. Before you even begin a resume, gather all the information you can about your previous and current jobs, including job descriptions, reviews, and examples of your work.
Providing More Than a List of Tasks
You want each job description to contain more than a simple statement of duties or tasks. Check out the differences between these two descriptions:
- Worked on network security.
- Improved network security at a college by configuring Cisco firewall servers and routers and protecting private addresses with a new IP address scheme.
Clearly, statement (b) is more detailed. That detail sets the individual apart from the competition who may have also worked on network security but not at a college, not using Cisco technology, and not employing the same two techniques.
Any time you can put numbers on an achievement, you have added a detail that will catch the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager. You trained other salespeople; it is much more compelling to give the details: “Trained 30 salespeople in two divisions; subsequently, ten became sales employees of the month and one became division sales employee of the year.” You could simply state that you increased attendance at community events; it is more impressive if you give the details: “Increased attendance at community events 30% over 2 years through Facebook and Twitter campaigns.”
You also add detail when you provide the name of the project you worked on, the organization you led, the awards you won, the technologies you used (for example, Facebook and Twitter in the previous example), the departments you interfaced with, and the title of the individual you reported to. For example, “charged by CEO to improve communications between Finance and Sales Departments” or “led Lean initiative for all Midwest branches.”
When adding detail, make sure it is relevant to the job you are applying for. No one expects (or wants) your entire life history in a resume. Hiring managers and recruiter are looking for those details that match the company’s needs.