It’s amazing how often someone I’m working with will begin lamenting their lack of career success. And almost every time, during the course of our chatting and doing a “deep dive” into this person’s work history, I’ll come away dumbfounded at how wrong they are.
It’s not that you don’t have enough successes; it’s that you’re taking most of them for granted! Correcting this is essential if your resume is going to stand out. Here are three ways to get there:
1. From The Outside In
Let’s say you have a shortlist going of roles you’d be perfect for. Take a close look at the major things they’re asking for and ask yourself: What projects have I worked on that touch on this? Let’s take the following job posting excerpt for a Director of Change Management position:
Liaised with Organizational Effectiveness Leader on global HR change strategies and initiatives.
You can use this for fodder for a great accomplishment such as:
Played integral role in the development and launch of “ONECompany” initiative transforming a regional, U.S.-based HR function into a global one. Defined HR change strategies in close partnership with Organizational Effectiveness Leader, and worked heavily with counterparts in Asia and UK to achieve critical roll-out milestones.
2. From The Inside Out
What drives you? Is it the challenge and exhilaration of turning a cutting-edge technology into a launched product? Is it solving internal conflicts and getting teams playing on the same page? Is it leveraging analytics to improve the user experience? Jot down three to five of your key driving motivators. Now use them as fodder for resume accomplishments.
Here’s an example of a resume accomplishment inspired by a driving motivator:
Revitalized vendor and partner relationships through deploying a value-driven sales and marketing strategy emphasizing long-term relationships versus “quick wins.”
3. Progressive Granularity
Be on the lookout for opportunities to either elaborate upon, or else split up, major successes into a series of accomplishments. I call this “progressive granularity” because you’re finding new material through getting more detailed about the work.
Here are three “before” examples:
- I turned the underperforming New Mexico region into one of the biggest U.S. sales growth drivers for the company.
- I generated over $26 million in annual, recurring revenue through closing deals with major healthcare and security companies.
- I cut the formerly eight-day month-end closing process for product allocations down to two.
And now here are three “after” examples that demonstrate progressive granularity in action:
Transformed New Mexico region into a top-three U.S. sales growth driver through:
- Building three high-performance sales teams from the ground up and introducing customized strategies across Home Health, Hospice and TeleHealth product lines.
- Reinventing the product demonstration process for greater impact and a shorter sales cycle.
- Identifying and differentiating high-value (or Tier 1) business opportunities from lower-value (Tier 2 and lower) opportunities, and efficiently allocating company resources accordingly.
- Secured over $26 million in annual, recurring revenue through closing deals with Company X, Company Y, and Company Z, with the latter a multi-year exclusive.
- Leveraged deep understanding of the Healthcare and Security sectors to achieve buy-in at the highest levels.
- Cut eight-day month-end close process for product allocations down to two through building a comprehensive suite of standardized processes and tools, garnering buy-in from department heads, and training staff in adoption.