Earlier this week, a job-hunting article that appeared on Yahoo’s home page caught our attention. Authored by Liz Ryan, listed as a recognized career expert, the article expounded upon inclusion of any of ten of the most frequently used self-descriptive phrases as being one of the deadliest resume sins one can commit. While we agree with Liz’s overall premise for making one’s resume unique, we do not agree that the insertion of a well-used phrase or two, such as “results-oriented professional” or “team player,” will slam the door on any chance of having your resume taken under serious consideration.
While the “tried” may come off as trite, it is nonetheless often “true.” Confronting an overabundance of candidates and a grueling screening process, employers prize the truth in resumes. They also favor those resumes that highlight applicants’ accomplishments.
Written succinctly and powerfully, accomplishments are the “make or break” factor when one is in hot pursuit of gainful employment. Taking liberties with perhaps the most famous quote of our great President John F. Kennedy, who spoke of the quality and mettle of one’s contributions, “Ask not what your employer can do for you; ask what you can do for your employer.” Go the extra mile and tell the employer what you can deliver by showcasing your achievements-to-date. If you can quantify them with verifiable numbers or percentages, better still. If not, infer the impact of your contributions with phrases such as “significant increases,” “notable reductions,” “enhanced productivity,” “improved accuracy,” and “accelerated turn-around.” These are the elements that will make your resume a standout!
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