Generally, there are two things that mark a not so great resume. Poor content and lack of style. While an eye-catching resume can help you stand out from the crowd, without compelling content it’s unlikely that anyone will be inspired to contact you.
The hallmark of most poorly written resumes are the phrases “responsible for” and “duties included.”
People mistakenly believe that saying that they are responsible for managing a team or running a department or overseeing a large sales territory will impress the reader.
Being responsible for something doesn’t show impact.
For example, if you’re a VP of Sales you may be responsible for opening new markets. But, what does that actually mean?
Where you successful opening new markets? What impact did that have on your employer? Your success and the sales increase that came from your efforts is what employers what to see.
Long lists of “duties included” are not compelling either. First, as with “responsible for” having numerous duties doesn’t speak to whether you accomplished anything.
Maybe you didn’t perform your duties to your bosses’ satisfaction. Even if you were a stellar employee, people in similar positions have similar duties. What you need to do is differentiate yourself.
The best way to stand out from the dozens of other candidates applying for the same position is by telling your unique career story. This is done by highlighting your accomplishments and demonstrating the impact you’ve made.
A resume that provides the “so what?” factor is the one that gets results.
This means eliminating “responsible for” and “duties included” from your resume.
Instead focus on results.
What impact did your actions have on the team, department, or company? Do your best to quantify the results in terms of making money, saving money, saving time, etc.
Remember you don’t need to be in sales to quantify your results.
If you work in operations, for example, maybe you redesigned a process so instead of taking a staff member 6 days a month it now takes only 3 days a month. This employee now has 3 days a month to perform other duties.
It’s all about conveying value.
When you apply for a job there are probably at least 30 marketing directors competing for the same position. Why should a recruiter or hiring manager be interested in you? What have you done that makes you different?
Think about this when writing your resume. Read through those bulleted items with “so what?” in mind. What was the result? A resume that demonstrates your ability to solve problems, to have a positive impact on your employer, is the one that will generate recruiter calls.