Obviously, if you are a job seeker, then you need to be marketing your talents and experiences to companies who are looking for people to hire. The way that job seekers market themselves to companies is through a resume or curriculum vitae. Everybody, for the most part, understands that you need a resume in order to even be considered by hiring managers in most companies.
The issue, however, is many people have a difficult time constructing a good resume. Believe it or not the layout and the structure is not the problem. Everyone knows that on your resume should highlight your past experiences, achievements, and accomplishments among other things. The problem is people do not have much of a clue about what their past experiences, achievements, and accomplishments are.
Does this sound like you? It definitely sounds like me. I know how to structure a resume but I have a problem coming up with my past experiences and accomplishments in great detail or with certainty. Of course you want to make yourself look good, but if the interviewer was to question you on or verify some of the things that you have in your resume can you back it up with evidence.
So why is it that we have a such a difficult time detailing our past experiences, achievements, and accomplishments?
The biggest reason why people have a hard time detailing past experiences and achievements is because we don't record anything.
Start Documenting Your Experiences And Successes Now
If you are not documenting your experiences and successes, then you need to start doing so now. Documenting is not only helpful for resume purposes but it helps with salary negotiations, promotions, and to dispute inaccurrate performance evaluations by your supervisors.
Anybody can say that they are a great salesman or marketer, but if you do not have any hard sales data or awards, then your claim does not hold water. The key to a great resume is having hard evidence to back up all of your claims.
For instance it is better to say that as a sales manager for XY Company you increased sales in the hard goods division by 15% versus saying that you are a great seller. A hiring manager recognizes that you are a great seller from the 15% increase. Your point is made from hard sales data.
Special Note: Good hiring manager usually will be able to spot BS from a mile away. With that said do not submit a resume full of claims that you cannot prove. Trust me if you do this it will only hurt you in the long run.
While you should strive to document and record any quantitative data related to your current position it is not always possible. If you were to receive awards like "Employee Of The Month" or "Top Salesperson Of The Year" this is also proof that you are good at what you do. So instead of mentioning on your resume that you increased sales by 15% you can say that you received a "Top Salesman Of The Year". Both prove that you are a great salesman.
You can keep records and document by:
Simply writing things down in a notepad.
Printing and keeping reports/data for your personal records. (specifically related to your current position)
Make sure your frame or keep all of your awards in safe place.
The things that you should be documenting are:
Any special project or assignment where the results can be measured using data.
Any situations or problems related to your position that you were able to solve.
All positions you have including your main responsibilities.
All strategies or plans that you have created to reach a specific results in your position.
The results strategies or plans that you have created and implemented in your position.
By documenting all of these things and keeping good records you will never have a problem constructing a resume and that will have human resource managers salivating over you.
Other Things That You Should Document And Add To Your Resume
Some other things that you should document and add to your resume, especially if you are a student or in an entry level position, is volunteer and extracurricular activities. You also want highlight any type of awards or recognition you have received as a volunteer or student.
Keep in mind that when you particpate in volunteering or extracurricular activities you may encounter experiences and utilize skills that can benefit you in a paid position. For example if you were able to develop and execute a strategy to raise money for your organization, then that experience is relatable to a sales management position.
If you are a student and you have no corporate work experience, then your volunteering and extracurricular activities is essentially your job. In this case you need to document these activities just like it is a real job.
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