The ABC’s of Resume Writing | “L” is for LEAD

L: Lead Off Accomplishments With Results.

Accomplishments can make or break your resume. Accomplishments are why employers read your resume in the first place and when I say read, I really mean scan because employers do not read resumes thoroughly, at most, they give them a casual scan. Because resumes are a marketing tool, your accomplishments need to be written to sell your skills and abilities to the employer. Your accomplishments must entice them to make a purchase, e.g., to “buy” you and invite you in for an interview.

You may be thinking, “What is the best way to write my accomplishments?” Of course you should start each accomplishment with a strong action verb, but there is one little trick to help your accomplishments really stand out.

Move Your Results to the Front of the Line

Take a look at the accomplishment statement below:

“Orchestrated a complete redesign of the IT organization by introducing sophisticated software and hardware technologies and exceeding internal production objectives by 38%.”

This statement is not bad at all. It implies the challenge (the IT organization had some software and hardware deficiencies), describes the action taken to meet the challenge (the IT organization was redesigned and new software and hardware technologies were introduced) and details the results of the actions (internal production objectives were exceeded by 38%).

However, in order to get to the results (the most important part of the sentence); you have to read the entire sentence. In the seven-second world of resume scans by employers, resumes written with results placed at the end may not get a fair shake. Let’s rearrange the sentence, moving the results to the beginning of the sentence and you will immediately see the impact.

Exceeded internal production objectives 38% by orchestrating a complete redesign of the IT organization and introducing sophisticated software and hardware technologies.”

By simply moving the results from the end of the accomplishment statement to the beginning of the accomplishment statement, the impact of the accomplishment is immediately evident. Bolding the results portion of the text adds additional emphasis and makes the most important part of the statement stand out even more.

Note that it is not necessary to rearrange every single accomplishment statement by moving the results to the beginning of the statement because then all of the sentences will start to sound alike. The key is to do this for your most impressive accomplishments. This way, there will be some variety in your sentence structure and will keep the reading interesting.

So take a look at your resume and see where you can rearrange some of your accomplishment statements. You should find that your most impressive accomplishments will stand out even more if you position the results at the beginning of the sentence.

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