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05/30/08
The 3rd Question Your Résumé Must Answer
Filed under: Résumé
Posted by: John Hadley @ 9:49 am

Finally, let’s look at the last of the 3 questions your résumé MUST answer to get a hiring manager to sit up and take notice:

  • Does it prove you will deliver?
  • Once your résumé has passed the first 2 tests mentioned in my earlier postings, you’ve got my interest. Now you need to demonstrate that you can produce results that will be relevant to me. Don’t waste your time telling me a laundry list of the duties you’ve been assigned and responsibilities you’ve held. (And don’t get me started on bullets that say “Responsible for…”Just get to the point and tell me what you did!)

    This is about results. Don’t bother will all the details of what you did, just get straight to the high level accomplishment, and the results you achieved for the company or client. No one pays you just to perform duties. They pay you because the work you are doing produces results. Get really clear on what those results were – whether you completed a difficult project on time, delivered a new program under budget, made a procedure more efficient, or turned around a dissatisfied customer so that they continued to purchase your products or services. And wherever possible, include metrics so that I have an idea of the impact. “Increased efficiency” is a result, but it’s much more meaningful as “reduced run time by 25%.”

    I invite you to post your comments on what other critical questions YOU think your résumé must address to gain the reader’s attention.

    2 Responses to “The 3rd Question Your Résumé Must Answer”

    1. Martin Buckland Says:
      Short and sweet, pertinent comments. I write only performance-based resumes. Potential employers don’t hire couch potatoes! However, it can be difficult for some to articulate their accomplishments. That is when it’s beneficial to hire a third person to make you look competitive.
    2. John Hadley Says:
      Martin: Thanks for your feedback!

      I agree - many people have trouble articulating their accomplishments. Having someone else asking the leading questions that draw out the interesting points, accentuate the challenges encountered along the way, and open up new ways to look at possible results can be extremely helpful.

      I was talking to a client this week, who was struggling with just that. He told me he had nothing of substance he could tell about his recent projects. I asked him some key questions, and he started to get really excited about one particular assignment. Within a few minutes, he had a very powerful story that illustrates several key qualities & abilities he brings to the table.
      John

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