Resume Writing for Beginners (Pt 3): Summary of Job

jobwindowResume-Wrting-for-Beginners-part-3 (1)

Now that you’ve properly formatted your resume and decided on the information to include, it’s time to get down to business and write what you’ve done at each job.

This part is trickier than it sounds. There are two things you have to remember when summarizing your experiences: use bullet points (three to four) for what you did without making it seem like a list of duties and make sure that the description explains why you did it and how it benefited the company – all in one to two sentences.

Here are some rules to follow when summarizing job experiences in your resume:

1) Don’t Make it Sound Like a Job Description:

Your goal is to form a resume that is interesting to read. No employer wants to read a list of job duties. For example, don’t just put: “Stocked shelves”, “Helped customers with purchases”, “Input data on Excel spreadsheet”. This is boring and doesn’t describe the type of person you are or your capabilities and work ethic. Which brings us to the next point…

2) Explain Why You Performed those Duties and How it Helped the Company:

Go beyond listing your job duties and explain how it was beneficial to your (previous) employer. For example, if the majority of your duties was customer service, say something like: “Built professional relationships with customers by recommending products based on their needs which resulted in an increase of returning customers.”

This description isn’t a run-on sentence and it hits all the important points. You performed the job because you had to help customers with the store’s products and understood different people have different needs. You also formed professional relationships, which shows you did more than just answer customer questions. Finally, all your responsibilities led to satisfied customers.

3) Use keywords:

Recruiters and hiring managers receive so many resumes a day that they spend less than 20 seconds going over, (or rather skimming) your resume. When they do this, they’re often looking for the keywords that they’ve placed in the job ad or words related to the position. Make sure you clearly read the job ad. Pick out the important words that are relevant to the position and use those words in your resume.

4) Include numbers and achievements:

Numbers speak volumes on your resume so use them when you can – the higher the better. For example, if you worked in sales, there are many numbers you can use. If there was a sales quota you had to meet, use the weekly quota instead of the daily one because it’s a higher number: “Successfully met weekly sales quota of $10,000 and increased monthly sales by 40%.” Numbers are proof of your work ethic and performance.

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