Make Your Resume Stand Out with Key Achievements
There are so many times in life where, in order to get on, we need to sell our key achievements. The fact is, very few people feel comfortable blowing their own trumpet. No matter how good you are at what you do, many of us feel awkward spelling it out in a way that says “Hey, look at me, I’m awesome!”. But there are certain pivotal moments where it is absolutely the right thing to do. One of them is your resume.
Most people imagine their resume is what gets them a new job. The truth is, the resume gets you into the shortlist for interview and your performance in that interview is what gets the job. So, what is it that your resume will have that the next candidate with similar qualifications and experience probably hasn’t got?
Here at Select Resumes, we have found that one of the key drivers for securing an interview is compelling key achievements.
Key Achievements should not be mistaken for your key responsibilities – those are a list of your roles’ key functions that you are required to do to fulfil the requirements of your employment. In contrast, your key achievements are how you have brought to bear your skills to go above and beyond the obligations of your role to solve a specific situation in such a way that there is a tangible, measurable positive outcome that made a real difference to your place of work.
A tried and test framework to couch your key achievement is to use the STAR format.
Here at Select Resumes, a common problem we run into with clients is that they often cannot think of a single key achievement, let alone a three or four. Ultimately, after a little encouragement, the examples start to come, but for some, their achievements are so routine that they have become invisible.
With busy jobs, the big and small things we have done that truly made a difference can easily become yesterday’s news. And if you have been in a job for several years, this adds up to at least a dozen quotable, dynamic and impressive key achievements that you will probably have totally forgotten about. Noting your key achievements down is the best way to combat that. It does not need to be an overwhelming task.
Picking a Way to Keep Track
Start bringing a nice A5 notebook to work – not too big to take up too much valuable real estate on your desk, but not too small to be lost. If that does not appeal, open a new document on your laptop and make sure it is on your desktop at all times. It really does not matter how you track, as long as it is easy and always accessible as you think of things in the moment.
Commit to Making Entries
Should you make an entry every day? Every week? Do not stress; it is not a competition. If you pressure yourself into making entries, it will become a chore and once that happens – it will get forgotten about. Just pick a convenient way to track – bullet points, or even an abbreviated STAR-format note and remember to lodge them down when they naturally occur.
Things to trigger your notes would be things you have done that improves efficiencies, save money, increase productivity, or perhaps a WHS issue that you spotted and solved. Just jot them down.
In this way, when it comes to writing or updating your resume – and this time inevitably comes to all of us – you will have a veritable notebook full of detailed and quantifiable key achievements to choose from that will make your resume absolutely shine.
So, what will the HR Manager reading these key achievements learn about you? They immediately get a snapshot of you as an individual and will form an opinion about you that is more informed than just reading your work history – which they would expect to measure up to the role anyway. And given a choice between Candidate A and Candidate B – they will always go for the applicant that has articulated their ability to use their skills and experience in situations that are commensurate with the role on offer.
Key achievements are an essential and integral part of your resume, so contact Select Resumes to secure your order for a professional resume that will stand out from the crowd.