In an uncertain climate, most employers have a close eye on staffing, so understanding the value you deliver in your role is more important than ever. If you are a job seeker with time on your hands, now is the perfect time to amp your resume so it stands out from the crowd.
As a recruiter, I review hundreds of similar resumes for the jobs we are seeking to fill. As I sift through the piles of resumes, the ones that really stand out are professional resumes that include relevant metrics and successes, including tracking and providing results year-on-year.
Update your career wins
In any role where you have measurable results you can directly attribute to your work, it’s important to list them on your resume. For example, if you work in marketing, communications, fundraising or sales roles, the key to your success is in the numbers behind the campaigns or projects you managed. The objective of a good professional resume is to show the direct results of your successes. Showing your results and providing some context for the initiative, project or campaign will help you stand out from the crowd.
Even if you are not currently trying to find a new job, my key resume tip is to always keep your resume and portfolio up to date with measurable results.
Why keep track of results?
Understanding the outcomes and results that your work yielded for your employer proves the value you can provide as an employee and helps recruiters and potential employers see you as a good candidate for the job, especially if the results align to the business objectives for the role on offer. Even if results are not directly aligned, understanding the context of the situation in which the results were achieved can tell a compelling story of your capability to add value to a business.
Details and numbers can be hard to access or remember years after the project wraps, so it’s a great idea to note them down regularly as you complete major pieces of work you are proud of. When the right job opportunity comes along, you’ll likely be scrambling to prepare for your interview or to put together excellent job application, so the last thing you want to be doing is trawling information to find precise numbers associated with wins or calling your ex-colleagues for the information.
Keeping an up-to-date resume
Tracking results is an ongoing process, but it’s also a good way to internally review and understand your recent wins and be confident of the value you deliver. While you are doing this exercise, if you’re finding it difficult to deliver or measure your value, you may want to ask yourself the question, what can I do to provide value to my workplace? At times, you may need to extend your mindset beyond delivering BAU, pivoting outside your position description to tackle important organisational problems or put your hand up to help in new ways.
How to include results on your resume
An easy place to start updating your resume is to answer the following questions in relation to the last financial year:
- What positive change or growth have you personally contributed to your organisation or business?
- When did you successfully hit or exceed financial or other targets? If it’s too sensitive to include exact dollar amounts or sales figures, use percentages and indicate change over an appropriate timeframe.
- Have you instigated an initiative that has led to business improvements? For example, percentage increases in click through or open rates, engagement rates, enquiry or sales volumes, quality of responses, process improvements or leadership wins.
Staying up to date with these aspects of your job on your resume will help you be prepared for any last-minute career opportunities that could come your way and help you stand out from the pack when applying for jobs.
Next steps to be resume ready
If you don’t regularly review your accomplishments at work, set yourself a reminder each month to take stock and review your wins, and note them in your resume in the "achievements" section for safekeeping.
Consider adding outcomes and results as a feature to your LinkedIn profile. Personal branding is so important, and many jobs arise when you may not be actively looking, so it’s a good idea to provide potential employers and connections with the results of the work that you’ve produced on your job seeker profiles.
For people following these resume and job-hunting tips, it builds your personal credibility and allows you to passively be open to future opportunities. Knowing your results and value will also be impressive for your current employer, safeguarding your job and increasing your chances of a promotion.