The Most Important Improvement to Your Resume

Posted by Rob Riggins

Patra Frame relates the importance of using accomplishment statements vs. responsibilities on your resume. This is probably the single biggest improvement you can make to your resume, particularly in the security cleared sector.

The formula to use:

Task . . . Action . . . Results

Task: a critical requirement, a big project, a vital aspect of the work.

Action: what you actually did

Results: what was accomplished as a result of your actions

An example:

Took over failing project, taught teamwork practices and established better team communications, resulting in project being back on schedule and budget within 100 days.

Take the time to make these improvements to your resume and it will help you stand out from the crowd and demonstrate to an employer why you are the best fit for their position.

+Rob Riggins


This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 4:04 pm

5 thoughts on “The Most Important Improvement to Your Resume”

  1. Very well said. Nothing makes me cringe like when I read a resume which has obviously been copy/pasted from the job description of the position the candidate last worked. Laaaazyyyy.

  2. I had the opportunity to meet you at a job fair and I appreciate you. I my challneg is that I work in the Washington Dc area. I’ve held many postions being a consultant/contractor. The challenge thatI’m faced with is that job interviewer look at mutlple job are viewed as a deterent toward hiring. I can not help if these program end but I thnk that the experince that I have learend is invaluable. How do I get over this hurdle?
    [email protected]

  3. William, Consider placing all the consulting/short-term contract jobs under one heading – such as:
    WB Consulting 207-2012
    – consulting gig 1 achievements
    – contract A achievements
    – etc
    State under the contract ones something like: Hired to complete critical project X within 90 days, then achievements.

    That way you can show your achievements without having a lot of short-term job titles and companies distracting from them. And recruiters will see this as an intentional path, not worry that you cannot hold a job once you get it.

  4. Ms. Frame,
    Are you available for individual help? I have a variety of experiences that I am having a difficult time consolidating into one resume. I have been a teacher for more than twenty years and am not sure how to adjust the language of those tasks into the language needed. I am a former active duty Marine and for the past eight years, I have been an intelligence professional for the Navy Reserves, serving in IRQ and AFG.
    I appreciate any advice you can share.

  5. Crystal, Such a resume is always tough – but remember what you need to put into your resume is just the last 10-12 years. And you need to show those achievements from your past jobs which are most relevant to your future. So, for example, if you want to be an intel analyst in the contracting side to use your more recent Navy experience, you would show the most recent 8 years of that work and a job or two before it. Those jobs may have soft skills or analytic skills that also are valuable to intel and you would focus on those. The rest of your work experience could be safely ignored or it could be reduced to a short summary on the second page of your resume.

    If you still need some help, I can recommend several good career folks – reach me via @2Patra on Twitter or via my website [email protected]

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