Results, Not Responsibilities

Results, Not Responsibilities: How to Describe Job Experience on Your Resume


You’ve got years of relevant experience, a job history that charts your
steady upward progression in your field, and a reference list that
reads like a "Who’s Who" of the industry. Slapping together a
knock-’em-dead resume should be a piece of cake, right? Not so fast.
Even a job seeker with a stellar track record and impeccable
credentials might have a hard time landing a new position if they can’t
translate their experience on to paper effectively. Rather than looking
at your resume as nothing more than a dry chronological history of your
career, try looking at it as a marketing campaign designed to persuade
prospective employers that you’d be a perfect fit.



Don’t Just Tell Them What You Do, Tell Them How Well You Do It



One area that often trips up job seekers is the "Experience" section of
their resume. According to Rick Fox, a principal partner at recruiting
industry giant the Princeton Group, far too many job seekers waste an
opportunity to really sell their skills in this section, opting instead
for nothing more than a list of companies, job titles, and dates of
employment.



Instead of parading out a series of generic job-duty descriptions, your
resume’s "Experience" section is your chance to explain exactly why
prospective employers they should choose you over all of the other
qualified applicants that have thrown their hats in the ring. Here are
some tips to help transform your resume’s "Experience" section into a
more effective marketing tool.



1. Omit generic job descriptions.


Let’s face it – most hiring managers in the hospitality industry
already have a good understanding of what most positions in the field
entail. If you’re devoting too much space to describing your daily
duties in great detail, you could be squandering some prime resume
real-estate.



2. Highlight only unique or position-related duties.


One exception to the point above: if your responsibilities are
unusually broad or you’re tasked with duties that aren’t usually linked
with your job title, be sure to make that clear. Also, if either your
current position or past roles have included duties that are very close
to the one you’re applying for, emphasize the similarities.



3. Focus on your specific accomplishments.


So, you’ve deleted all of the lengthy job descriptions from your
resume’s "Experience" section. Now what? Create a bullet list under
each job title and list a few of your most significant achievements,
accomplishments, and successfully completed projects.



4. When possible, use numbers and figures to back up your claims.


Nothing can back up your resume experience more effectively than hard
facts. If you can, use specific details such as boosted sales figures,
improved efficiencies, and increased earnings or profits to make your
case. If you don’t have access to the numbers, try to describe your
achievements using specific and detailed terminology.



5. Verbs and action words lend a sense of dynamic energy.


The purpose of focusing on your achievements, rather than just
describing your experience, is to project an image of yourself as an
ambitious, hard-working up-and-comer who has a history of going above
and beyond the call of duty. If you lapse into stodgy, stilted
"resume-speak, " you could be doing serious damage to that image.
Instead, try to structure your statements around muscular,
action-oriented verbs and phrases. Have writer’s block? Do an Internet
search for "resume action words" for inspiration.



By focusing on results rather than responsibilities when you describe
your job experience, you’ll shine a spotlight on your accomplishments
and make sure your resume gets the extra attention it deserves. Good
luck!
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