4 Details That Spice Up Resume Job DescriptionsAugust 1st, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »
Does your resume sound generic, uninspired, or just plain boring? It’s probably because you are not properly talking yourself up. You may very well be the most qualified individual for the position you are applying for, but how is a hiring manager supposed to know that? Your resume is the key to getting you into the interview, and if it isn’t loaded with specific examples of your achievements you may be finding yourself stuck in the application phase forever.
Remember that resumes should be tailored to make you the perfect person to fit the job, and specifics on your resume can help hiring managers see you in the right light. So give your resume the extra boost it needs by adding these specific details.
Strong Action Verbs
Let’s say you previously worked as a front-end PHP developer for an e-commerce solutions company. Your job description may look something like, “Responsible for coding applications for clients’ websites.”
It is widely agreed upon that the phrase “responsible for” should be banned from resumes for all eternity. You were responsible for cleaning your room as a child. As a driven industry professional, the things you have accomplished at work are what define your career. They are not mere responsibilities.
Using strong actions verbs in place of “responsible for” will turn a drab bit of work experience into a shiny achievement. Change the previous job description to, “Guided applications through the full SDLC and implemented them into clients’ websites.”
Now the hiring manager will know that you were not only responsible for these tasks but you also completed them with gusto.
While action verbs can transform a boring achievement into something of wonder, it may not be the specific accomplishment that hiring managers want to see. Many companies employ applicant tracking systems that scan resumes for keywords relating to the position they are hiring for.
If your experience is in front-end PHP applications for e-commerce sites then make sure to include that in your job description. Take the previous job description and turn it into, “Guided front-end PHP applications through the full SDLC and implemented them into clients’ e-commerce websites.”
Facts and Figures
Although this description of your work depicts a specific and accurate description of what you did on a daily basis, it still provides zero specificity as to the volume of work you accomplished.
It’s not enough to simply state what you did in previous positions as the hiring manager has no reference point to compare your work to that of any other candidate. Adding a bit of quantifiable scale to your resume will show the hiring manager where you stand relative to other potential candidates.
Try quantifying your work output to place it in perspective for the hiring manager by saying, “Guided over two dozen front-end PHP applications through the full SDLC and implemented them into ten different client’s e-commerce websites.” This will alert the hiring manger to the fact that not only do you have experience with PHP coding, but you have completed many projects for multiple clients using that very skill.
Now that the hiring manger knows what skills you possess and the scale in which you have applied them in the past, it is time to show how your work has benefitted your previous employers. What good came from implementing your work to client’s websites and how did this benefit your company?
Once again, using specific facts, figures, and examples, you can demonstrate what your work will do for a potential employer. If the client’s web traffic went up because of the new application you employed for them, then say, “Average client’s web traffic was boosted by more than 200% in less than two weeks.”
The final result
If you put all the specifics together you have successfully transformed the phrase, “Responsible for coding applications for clients’ websites,” into:
“Guided over two dozen front-end PHP applications through the full SDLC and implemented them into ten different client’s e-commerce websites. Average client’s web traffic was boosted by more than 200% in less than two weeks.”
It’s all in the specifics.
By Kevin Withers