It is common knowledge that recruiters have very little time to examine a resume-6 seconds to be precise! Employers are increasingly using Application Tracking Systems (ATS) (automated resume screening applications that detect relevant keywords as mentioned in the job description) which amplifies the need to include highly specific and relevant keywords in your resume. Using specific keywords can really bolster your chances of securing an interview call.
Let’s say a company is looking for marketing specialists. How can they evaluate the weight of your efforts merely through your resume? If you mention the spike in the user engagement due to your marketing strategy or the conversion rates of your campaigns, you offer a tangible evidence to the recruiters of your experiences and your potential. Matter-of-fact descriptions of your responsibilities don’t really help employers understand your unique strengths. That’s why it’s pertinent you create a resume which demonstrates your academic and professional accomplishments powerfully. Specifics help you achieve just that!
What Are Specifics?
Specifics are terms that highlight the scope and extent of your actions. With specifics, it becomes easier to register the impact you created in your role, team or process.
Once the recruiters are introduced to the exact details of your project, they are in a better position to gauge your competence and contribution. Your skills, capabilities and knowledge areas also become crystal clear. For instance, when you specify the size of the deal you were responsible for or the monetary gains realized from a project you supervised, teams collaborated with (the size of those teams), or the resulting revenue growth, you define the extent of your actions.
Other examples are the size of a procurement deal you helped execute (say, $23,000) or the amount of operating costs you saved the company.
Why Does Your Resume Need Specifics?
An impressive and impactful resume is your key to a stellar career! So don’t be vague with what you did and the impact you made. If your resume reads like a laundry list of activities rather than a compelling description of your strengths, and accomplishments, you are limiting your credentials. It is important to focus on ‘how long should your resume be’ but at the same time it is also important to focus on ‘what should you include in your resume.’
If leveraged correctly, specifics are powerful tools to set you apart from the competition. Having to choose between someone who ‘handled customer complaints’ and someone who ‘resolved 23 customer complaints daily’ is a no-brainer.
Specifics can cater to a diverse set of parameters on which your resume is judged, you must delve deep to employ them properly.
1. Skills Employed
You can define the entire gamut of responsibilities while emphasizing soft and functional skills. If you mention the nature of your project – whether client-facing or a back-end role, you allow recruiters to get a glimpse into the capabilities you acquired.
2. Functional Focus
If you mention the departments or teams you worked with, the functional focus of your job becomes clear. You can use specifics to highlight the functional focus of your task-whether you dealt in one department or spanned across many each with its own functional domain. The number of external teams you liaised with and the associated number of instances, helps express your cross-functional exposure.
Mentioning whether you completed a task/project on-time or in advance of an attached deadline denotes your commitment to not only perform but excel under pressure. You can also mention the duration of the event or task in order to chart a timeline of events.
4. Financial Aspects
Every business cares about costs, revenues and other such monetary aspects. Elaborating on such metrics, either through percentages or absolute numbers is important. A 23% reduction in operating costs, or $100K growth in revenue will surely grab attention from a recruiter!
In an organization, tasks are conducted with a beneficiary in mind. Even if you perform a role in an individual capacity, your actions are tied to the service of a broader objective, internal or external team as well as clients. Maybe the goal is to help customers navigate the interface, or to provide more efficient service. All these comprise the specifics of your resume bullet.
6. Achievement Related
Every action or task undertaken is carried out with a result or goal in mind. Adding such accomplishments or the end result adds significant weight to your resume. Don’t forget to add which business deals you helped crack, which events you won, etc. Highlight any grant or scholarship and don’t forget to include the monetary aspects of your accomplishments.
Tips On Building Impactful Resume Bullets
Quantify. Wherever possible, quantify the impact you helped deliver through percentages, range, or absolute numbers. Not only does quantifying create an appropriate context, it self-explains the difference you made.
You also enable recruiters to understand your potential. Your skilfull management of a cross-functional project worth $45,000 will strengthen their confidence in your ability to perform for their enterprise once you join.
If you’re unsure about the exact quantity figure, you can still state a range or an average estimate. Closed 20-30 sales deals weekly, or reviewed 30-40 articles, are appropriate to highlight your work. Defining your actions and achievements in relative terms like percentages, averages or ranks works to present a larger picture. (Like-Drove an ML backed an application for launch, the first for the project)
Similarly, how frequently you performed a task emphasizes the magnitude of your work.
For instance, bullets mentioning ‘prepared website Google Analytics report daily’, or ‘sent reminder emails 2 times a day’, accentuate just how vital a particular task is for your overall job role. The consistency and urgency associated with your tasks define your expertise to the recruiter.
Also, the ‘how’ of achieving your goal is just as essential for your resume. Merely explaining the intent and how much you achieved is abstract if you don’t state the ‘how.’ It enhances the logical flow of your actions. You saved amusement park $1500 by digitizing ride tickets? So mention it!
To craft an ideal resume bullet, highlight the associated actions, skills, capabilities and the knowledge areas utilized for driving the action. There needs to be clarity in the flow along with some focus on the overall resume format or template.
Bullet Sans Specifics
Handled customer complaints for the restaurant
Bullet Powered With Specifics
Maintained customer database to design email campaigns, addressing 30-40 customer complaints for restaurant daily; resolved problems for purchase payments with 2-member Finance Team, improving customer satisfaction by 45%
As is evident from above, bullets peppered with specifics add weight to your resume by incorporating the how, with whom, within what time, for whom and worth what of the tasks undertaken
There are also industry-specific metrics which recruiters seek keenly in a resume. You must be aware of such metrics, and be particular about using authentic supporting facts. For instance, in client-facing roles, the number of clients retained, client queries resolved, or improvement in customer satisfaction achieved are few critical metrics to effectively portray your experiences.
Organised contact management systems with updated client information, formulating email campaigns for Product Lifecycle Marketing; resolved on average 20-30 client queries and conflicts daily, improving client satisfaction by 56%
The above-mentioned bullet categorically explains your workload (20-30 client queries) and quantifies the impact (improving client satisfaction by 56%).
Specifics add substance and weight to your resume, and once you start incorporating them, you’ll see the difference. If you’re unsure of how well your resume bullets stack against recruiter expectations, VMock Smart Resume Platform illustrates the same through targeted feedback on specifics in your resume bullets along with personalized suggestions about the best possible way to augment the impact of your achievements. After all, generalities do not serve any purpose, especially if it’s your resume we’re talking about. So, get specific with your resume!