By LaPora Lindsey
“People don’t know what you know. If you want people to see your accomplishments, you must share them.”
This was some of the best advice I received, and I wouldn’t dare leave it to myself because I know that this statement can help in your job search.
If you’re trying to get your foot into a new job and aren’t sure how to do it, staying true to that statement is a great way to improve your resume and interviews.
Hiring recruiters and managers are looking at hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes. While they may be familiar with the job description, they are not familiar with you or your accomplishments. The best way for them to become aware is for you to share.
When it comes to sharing what you know, the most important thing is to be specific.
If you want people to see what you can do, they need details of what you’ve done. Being specific means using numbers (dollars, percentages), units of time, or any other metric that shows the scale of your work.
This technique will help if you’re writing a resume or preparing for an interview where you have to share successes from past jobs!
The second thing to keep in mind when sharing what you do is to reflect on your accomplishments in story terms.
In almost ten years of resume writing, I have noticed that people often list many things in their resumes or cover letters and leave it at that. So, it reads like a list of tasks and duties. The problem with this approach is that it’s not very specific or memorable for the hiring manager. It’s a laundry list of all the stuff you did without showcasing what you accomplished and how it mattered.
You want to describe what you accomplished, how you did it accurately, and highlight the benefit to others. This will help provide some context on why your work matters and give specifics on what was done and how.
For example, suppose one of your responsibilities at work is managing a large project. In that case, it’s helpful to say something like:
Led a team of 20 people working across three different divisions to complete a company-wide database overhaul by the end of the year.
This statement is both specific and tells a story. It makes all the difference because whoever reads it will have immediate insight on the following:
- The scope of what you’re responsible for (leading an entire team!)
- The result (the project got done!)
- And how your efforts contributed something meaningful to your organization
When it comes to resumes and interviews, there’s a lot of information out there. It can feel overwhelming to figure out how to share your best work, but I’ve found it helpful to lay out what you did and the results of your actions in as specific terms as possible and tell a story.
But I hear you, it’s hard to tell your story, because you don’t want to brag. And to that I say, if you don’t share your story and what you did on your resume or in an interview, who will? So the next time you are working on your resume or in an interview, remember:
“People don’t know what you know,” so be specific and share your story. Your story is worth sharing, and you can tell your story better than anyone else!
Additional assistance: If you need some support along the way, I am happy to offer my Career Coaching Services. Let’s schedule sometime to chat. I am happy to see how my services can be of assistance to you. In the meantime, you can check out some of my guest podcast appearances, and Google Reviews here.