The top 1% of resumes - e.g. the ones used in competitive industries such as investment banking and strategy consulting - focus on content over form; and on accomplishments over job descriptions. Typically, every single sentence or bullet point is presented in a P-A-R framework (problem, action, result), with an emphasis on that R – RESULTS. Content is supported with data, examples, and numbers.
There is no reason why this approach can't be applied to every single industry vertical or job function, regardless of whether it is corporate, non-profit, or public sector.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND QUANTIFIED RESULTS
It's always about impact. Whether you are a banker or a line cook, it should still always be about impact. What have you got done for people (past employers and clients) - did you do something faster? Better? Did you help cut costs, increase revenues, raise funds, built relationships, manage staff?
Let's develop that line of inquiry a little more:
Project Management – Completed all project milestones 30 days ahead of schedule saving the organization 20% in expenditures.
Digital Media – Ran a tight multi-platform social media campaign resulting in a 35% increase in page visits, a 10% increase in average time on site, and a 3% increase in clickthrough rate.
Marketing – Developed a sales and marketing strategy for a brand with the goal of increasing global revenue from $29M to $50M within two years.
Non-profit - Wrote XX grant proposals, and helped raise $120,000 on average per fiscal year over last 5 years; organizations included the Ford Foundation and the Gates Foundation.
Customer Service – Resolved 92% of customer complaints on the first call resulting in a 11% increase in Consumer Satisfaction Index (CSI) scores.
Operations – Streamlined processes resulting in a 25% increase in inventory turns.
Finance/Accounting – Successfully implemented restructuring initiatives leading to a 10% decrease in COGS from $683M to $613M, and a 10% increase in operating margin.
HR – Implemented new policies resulting in a 10% decrease in employee turnover.
TWO HUNDRED MORE EXAMPLES... BY INDUSTRY
We stand by it. The methodology above - focusing on a result, quantifying that result where possible - can be applied to every single industry, every functional role, every job. It applies to corporate as well as non-profit; to junior as well as senior. To unpaid work, to internships, to freelance gigs. It applies to start-ups, yoga instructors, and small business owners.
Since we have now racked up countless hours slaving over countless resumes, and we have had the opportunity to work across many many sectors, industries, types of jobs, and job functions, we are building a database of hundreds of real-life examples pulled from Careerly resumes.
“BUT I HAVEN’T DONE THAT!”
OK, so now you ARE convinced that it can be done. But you are thinking "but I haven't done that!" As in "me personally.. I haven't done things like that"
Trust me, you have! Everyone has. They just don’t know it. Either you have never thought of your work like this. Or you don’t know where to get the numbers and how to quantify. We can help you with that.
Sometimes people struggle to see their own impact, or have not really thought about their work history in those terms. But if you took a minute to think about it, you'd be amazed. You have accomplished many definable things for your past employers, clients, and others. You have probably done many good things in your community or for teams you have been part of .
In any event, you have to start thinking like this, A focus on value and impact is what will make your resume not just a good one (because let's face it, nowadays everyone has a good resume, especially if they’ve used the services of a professional resume writer) but the one that cinches the interview… and ultimately the job.
WHY IT'S ALL ABOUT IMPACT AND VALUE
Careerly uses an impact + value + numbers focused methodology based on thousands of hours of working on some of the world’s most competitive resumes and client profiles for top investment banking, private equity, strategy consulting, and marketing positions. Subsequently we developed the expertise to apply this results-based method to an extremely diverse range of positions in both the corporate and non-profit world.
You may feel like the impact + value+ numbers process we describe here appears to go well beyond resumes and cover letters. You are right. This isn’t just about the resume or what’s on one piece of paper. It’s about getting a handle on all your major accomplishments throughout your career and life and, thus, nailing down the best possible content from a marketing and positioning perspective.
Once you quantify the results you have achieved for your employers, as well as the overall skills development trajectory over the full length of your career, you’ll be amazed at the value you bring to the table. You will feel good. Your confidence will ride high. And you now have killer content to use on resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, as well as to rock your interviews.
Remember the point of your resume is not to get the job, it's to get the interview. It's to get you in front of a recruiter or hiring manager. It's also to have folks feel like it is worth their time when you request an informational chat or a coffee date.