174: Developing Your Job Descriptions & Achievement Bullets for Your Resume

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By Lesa Edwards. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Here’s what I see on almost every resume that comes my way: either there isn’t an achievement in sight, or the few achievements that are there are mixed in with bulleted job duties.

This creates what we resume writers call “death by bullets.” A looooong laundry list of job duties, maybe a few achievements, that don’t impress the reader and causes them to lose interest fast.

Job descriptions

Let’s start with your job descriptions. This should be a 2-3 line paragraph of the daily job duties you performed – either most frequently or those that are most applicable to the specific position you are applying for.

There’s no room for fluffy words or extra verbiage in this paragraph. Stick with the most important, most relevant, and/or most differentiating tasks.

Here’s an example:

Manage daily operations of 23 facilities in Florida including all construction, remodels, maintenance, repairs, equipment installations, warranty work, and operations budgets. Hire and collaborate with contractors. Recruit, hire, train, and coach facility managers; develop managers for promotions. Directly supervise 28 including 23 general managers.

(This is 4 lines on her resume – written in present tense because this was her current job at the time I wrote her resume:

Here’s another example:

Identified opportunities and developed/implemented solutions for general operations management, project management, human resources management, and staff development. Managed project portfolio and facilitated monthly review of all projects and resource allocation breakdown with senior leadership team. Direct supervision of 3; indirect supervision of teams as large as 100.

(4 lines on resume – written in past tense because it is a previous job)

Achievements

You need achievements on your resume because they tell a prospective employer HOW WELL you did your job – not just THAT you did what was expected of you.

It is your achievements, not your job duties, that market you.

When you mix your job duties up with your achievements, you dilute the effectiveness of your achievements.

Ideally, you will have progressively more achievements as your jobs are more recent. At most, 5 achievements per role.

What makes an achievement impactful?

-Is specific

-Starts with an action verb (parallel structure)

-Leads with results

-Leaves the reader wanting more (2 lines max)

Example #1:

Instead of

Grew customer base

This high-impact achievement bullet:

Catapulted customer base 400% and revenue 700% by launching a comprehensive social media campaign.

Example #2:

Instead of

Managed new-hire in-processing

This high-impact achievement bullet:

Processed 140 new employees in just 30 days including all paperwork, orientation, security clearances, and computer access.

Example #3:

Instead of

Managed IT installation project

This high-impact achievement bullet:

Spearheaded 1200-unit IT installation project including beta testing, identifying and training superusers, and troubleshooting.

Are you in the wrong job that chips away at you every day? The CareerSpring coaching program will help you find a job that uses your zone of genius, recognizes your value, and pays you what you’re worth.

Schedule a complimentary consult to learn more: https://calendly.com/lesaedwards/zoom-meetings2

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