How to Write Accomplishment Statements that Stand Out

How to Write Accomplishment Statements that Stand Out


Hey, it’s great to see you again. Thanks for stopping in. If you are new here, my name is Bill Benoist. I am a certified professional career coach,
here in Silicon Valley. I upload new career tips and strategies, every
Tuesday. If you’re in career transition, or you’re
looking for a new job, make sure that you subscribe to this channel. Hit the bell notification icon. That way, you’re not going to miss anything,
moving forward. In today’s video, what I want to talk about
is the structure of the professional work experience on your resume. If you followed some of my earlier videos,
you know that at times, I’ve talked about the professional summary, or the skills section,
and how to format those areas. Today, I want to talk about how to format
the professional work history. I’ve got some slides here. Let me start out with this first slide, which
is the heading. Now, when we talk about the heading, what
I mean by this is that you have headings out there. You have professional summary, that is heading. Professional work experience, that is a heading. Skills, that is a heading. Education, that is a heading. When we’re talking about the headings, what
I want you to understand is that should be at least one font size larger than the actual
content that the heading is referring to. Font sizes is in itself, there are best practices. Best front size is 14 maximum, 10 minimum. When I work with my clients, I will use 14
only in the person’s name, my client’s name. Everything else is going to be a size 10 or
a size 11. However, there may be times, where I go 10.5. the bottom line is this, the best practice,
no more than 14, no less than 10. In this example, I’m using a font size 12. For the heading, I have capitalized every
letter in the heading, and I bolded it, and I even underlined it. You don’t need to go to that. This is not a cookie cutter resume, that you
have to follow exactly. You could have a capital P, and then a capital
W, and a capital E, and everything else lowercase. You don’t need to bold every letter in this. In fact, I’ve seen some where they have the
headings in a very light blue. If you do a color though, I would encourage
you to be very subtle with the colors because they don’t often work well. But a very light blue for the headings, I’ve
seen it looks very nice. Going down, you want to create one space between
the heading and the first company name. Let me tell you why. The average length of time that a recruiter
spends on your resume is only six seconds. This was a study that was done by Ladders,
a few years ago, where they videotaped the eye movement of a recruiter. What they discovered was that a recruiter
only spends about six seconds on the resume. They don’t read it. They scan it, and they scan it in a Z format. So guess what? White space helps them scan it, and helps
things pop out a little bit more. White space is your friend. If you work with me as a coach that you would
hear that all the time, white space is your friend. Take that to the bank. The first thing that comes under the professional
work experience is going to be the company name. I want you to add the company name, and then
I want you on the same line, to have the city and the state. Do not bold that, all right? Over to the far right, I want you to have
the dates that you worked for that company, not just that position. In other words, if you had multiple positions
within a company, the dates on the far right of this line is going to be the overall dates
that you worked for that company in its entirety. Let’s say it was from 2012 to 2019, underneath
the company name is going to be your position title, and this is what I do want you to bold. Why? Because again, in that six-second scan that
a recruiter is doing on your resume, they’re looking for specific information in specific
places. The position title, it’s in the specific place,
but we’re making it a little bit easier for them by bolding it. We’re making it a little bit easier for that
to pop out. If you had multiple positions within this
one company, then right to the right of that position title, but still left aligned, not
right aligned, just to the right of the position title, go ahead and put the years that you
worked there. For example, if the overall time was 2012
to 2019, but for this last position, you worked there from 2016 to 2019, you’re going to have
that date, right there. Underneath the position title will be your
scope of responsibilities. Specifically, why was it that you were hired
to do what you do? What was the scope of the overall responsibilities? One or two sentences. And then, comes the most important part, accomplishment
statements. As a career coach, I cannot tell you how many
times I see a resume read like a job description. Responsible for this, responsible for that,
responsible for this, responsible for that. No. The overall scope of responsibilities, right
above this, now you’re going to tell me why you know you did a good job. I designed this. I created that. I managed this. If you can, use any numbers, metrics, percentages,
values, dollar amounts. Numbers stand out in that six-second scan. They stand out more than anything else. When you have some kind of value there, that
really catches the recruiter’s eye. Maybe your responsibility was to manage the
overall budget for this position. Well, how do you know that you did a good
job? You could sit there and say maintained a $750,000
budget, cutting costs, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. That’s not going to be responsibility. That’s going to be actually an accomplishment
statement. Designed a new database, created a new workflow. What are the accomplishments? How do you know you did a good job in the
scope and responsibilities? Best practice with accomplishment statements,
minimum of five, maximum of eight. The only time I would say use a little bit
less than this if you were actually making a significant career change. I’ll work with some students at times, who
maybe for the last three years, they were an elementary school teacher. And now, they’re becoming a full stack developer. Then, might want to kinda lesson the focus
on the actual position itself because we’re putting more focus on what it is they can
do in this new position. But for most of us out there, minium of five,
maximum of eight for that first position, last position, most recently worked at. If there was multiple positions out there,
what you’re going to do is you’re going to hit the space button, or space bar, excuse
me. Not a button, it’s a bar. Most computer keyboards are a bar. Hit the space bar, and then start the next
session. Section. Boy, I can’t talk today. Position title, and then the dates of that
position title, directly to the right of that. If the first position was 2016 to 2019, this
one would be 2012 to 2019. When we look at the overall dates up there,
it’s going to be 2012 to 2019. This is how you are going to format the professional
work experience section on your resume. By the way, because this is going to be a
second area here, you can get away with a little bit less accomplishment statements. I said the first job, the most recent could
be five to eight. Now, all of a sudden, this one may be three
to five. Earlier the dates are on the resume, the less
accomplishment statements that you need. You get to a point, where you have additional
work experience, and that could be for individuals that are in mid or more late-career, where
we want to hide the dates, altogether. We may just simple have the scope of responsibilities
and nothing else. Because something that was done in 1986, we
certainly don’t want to put a date there, but we also don’t need to really call much
attention to the accomplishment statements. The hiring manager or the recruiter is going
to be more focused on what you have done most recently. I hope you found this video informative and
useful. If it’s still a mystery for you, I do have
an online course that I created, and I’ll put a link in the notes section below, Finding
Work That Fuels Your Passion. It’s a three-and-a-half hour course. It goes over, step-by-step of the resume. Not only the professional work experience,
but the summary, and everything else in there. A lot more bells and whistles. In addition to this resume, I also talk about
LinkedIn and how to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is working for you 24×7, talk about
interviewing, the most common interview questions and best practice for those. And even, how to create a job search strategy. Check it out, if you’re still a little bit
uncertain. Very reasonably priced out there. With that said, I want to thank you for stopping
by, and I look forward to seeing you in the next video.

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