By Margaret Hansen
Sitting down to update your resume can seem overwhelming, especially if it's been a long time since you've done so. You may think that a laundry list of past responsibilities and duties are all it takes. How could you change that list, since it's the truth, right? Wrong.
There's more to your job history than every task that you've ever performed. A job description is typically universal and unchanging, no matter who is reading it. However, this should not be true of your resume. Your personal contributions and outcomes should get center stage in order to capture the attention of a prospective employer.
Grab a pen (or a keyboard) and take a look at your resume. Jot down answers to these questions for every job (get all of your thoughts down first, you can edit them later):
- How did your personality, experience, skills, and strengths positively impact each workplace?
- How did each company benefit from you being there?
- Can you measure that benefit with numbers (i.e. number of people impacted, amount of money saved/earned, amount of time saved, percentage of growth within a time frame)?
Even if you didn't love a particular job, chances are there were aspects of it that you liked and that you excelled at. Think past the negative and focus on what you enjoyed about each job - this is a likely area to find your achievements.
When it comes to resume writing, many people ignore what they're good at and focus on what their former employers dictated or required. Take charge and give meaning to your resume with your own personal strengths and contributions. When you find a job that matches your personal strengths you will likely love it.