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Detailed Success Stories Improve Your Resume and Interviewing Results

Posted by Rob Riggins

Never give a one-word answer in an interviewYou know why you’d be a great asset if you’re hired.

The problem is that those that review your resume or interview you don’t have the time – or interest – in reading between the lines to uncover your talents. If you hide your professional triumphs in dense, off-point verbiage, your resume will likely be dropped in the pass pile. Or you won’t be in the next round of interviews.

Clearly showcasing your accomplishments with specifics is the first way you can be an asset to the company for which you wish to work. Showing them why hiring you is a smart move makes their jobs easier ­– and allows them to win points from their own supervisors.

As you know, recruiters and hiring managers have a lot riding on their recommendations. If they choose too many candidates that wash out – either as applicants or employees – their jobs can be on the line. So they want to be as certain as possible – within their own jobs’ time constraints – before they recommend candidates.

When reviewing your resume and preparing for an interview, first make sure you’ve focused on accomplishments and your success stories, not just your responsibilities. Most people in a given profession have similar job duties. Recruiters know that a receptionist answers a telephone. There’s no need to mention that. What a receptionist does need to point out is how they performed that task in such a way that it benefited the company, with tangible results.

Remember, what sets you apart from other candidates is how you helped your colleagues and the company succeed by excelling at your job duties. That’s what you need to communicate on your resume and in an interview.

A software engineer should not simply list that they debugged software. They should talk about their success in performing this duty. Did they quickly and efficiently uncover and debug the software? Did their work lead to solutions that were used across platforms? Specifically how did their work save the company time and money?

We’ve told you that customizing your resume for the position you’re applying for is critical to winning a job interview. Use the company’s specific goals to prove that your past successes will benefit them.

Review your resume and think about your success stories. Are you as specific as possible on how your work benefited your team, your department, your superiors and your company overall? Those details give the person reviewing your resume or interviewing you tangible examples of how you can impact their company.

As you outline your career trajectory, did you show how you built on past successes? So if you developed a timesaving protocol to debug software in one position, illustrate how that led to further successes in your more recent positions. That type of narrative not only shows professional growth, but makes your career narrative more interesting for recruiters and managers.

The most effective way to communicate success is to include metrics that illustrate your achievements, including how you lead a team, contribute to customer satisfaction or grow business. Rather than saying your debugging protocol “decreased system downtime” you could note that it “cut system downtime by 75% annually.” Written numbers stand out on a resume and grab the readers’ attention.

Then as you prepare for an interview, write the questions to ask your interviewers, both about the company, and about them. Be specific with your questions. That demonstrates that you are interested, and that you are a prepared professional.

During the interview answer all questions as specifically as you can. If you’re asked about your strengths, offer more than a list. Be descriptive with quantifiable success stories that are relevant to the position for which you’re interviewing. Even when asked a yes or no question in an interview, never give just a one-word answer. The interviewer wants to know more, but they may not be skilled at asking interview questions. Help them out by giving a descriptive example of one of your success stories.

After the interview when you send your thank you note or email, point out something that impressed you about the job, the company, or the interviewer. Or cover topics that you may not have answered well in the interview, or that may need further clarification. In all cases be specific and descriptive.

Communicate your success stories clearly and effectively with detailed metrics so your resume – and you – shine throughout the job search process.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 7:03 am

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