Whether you’re a new grad or an experienced job seeker, forget everything you thought you knew about resumes.
Let’s be honest: the job hunt can feel excruciatingly painful—and intimidating. Sure, your LinkedIn profile could be airtight, your references flawless. But if your resume bombs, so does your chance at acing your interview. On top of that, hiring managers only spend about six seconds on a resume—research says so!—which makes creating the perfect one even more crucial. What is the typical job seeker to do?Forget everything you thought you knew about resumes, including summaries and volunteer experience. According to experts, the secret to a great resume lies in the results.
Here’s what they mean: Listing your accomplishments on your resume with adjectives like “detail-oriented” or “self-motivated” might seem impressive to you. But odds are the employer won’t believe it until you prove your worth with numbers.
“If you want to make that indelible first impression on a hiring manager, you must show movement and real progress, and quantify your accomplishments with real, hard data,” Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha!, wrote for Huffington Post. “Your results-focused resume will present a more accurate snapshot of who you are and what you can do—and clear the way for others to see that too.”
Take, for example, a descriptor like “Successfully trained the customer success team to improve customer communications.” Although the task itself sounds impressive, De Haaff suggests trying this instead: “Created 25 template responses and trained the customer success team, reducing average response time to under two hours.”
See the difference? According to de Haaff, the second descriptor provides a clearer picture of the direct impact you made on the company. Plus, quantifiable achievements do more than spice up your resume. Regardless of whether you’re a new grad or an experienced job hunter, they also tell a story about your past success, work ethic, and credibility, de Haaff says. And for employers, that detail can make or break your chances of landing the all-important interview (not to mention the job).
Looking for more job advice? Forget technical skills. Before you hit the interview room, make sure you have the top soft skills that employers are looking for.