What EVERY Resume Should Have

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So no one likes to do it…but resumes are something we all have to deal with in our careers at one point or another. Whether it’s writing a resume, updating one, or reviewing one for an employer or friend – there are certain things a resume should have. And that number one thing is QUANTATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS!

Recently, I have been reviewing resumes for work, colleagues, and friends – I am actually one of these weird people that like working with resumes! My husband, Scott Sette, published an article titled, “1 Thing Every Resume’ Should Have” which outlines how to build a resume that leaves an impact on its reader.

Your resume should prove that you’re confident! It should contain specific measurable results that show you have the ability to make a difference in the company and the world around you. These quick tips are sure to have future employers taking notice that your resume stands out over others.

I hope you enjoy Scott’s article below… And HAPPY WRITING!



One Thing Every Resume Should Contain 

By Scott Sette, CPC

Recently, a friend of mine called me and said, “Scott, I am going to be applying for a new position and I need your help.  I would like you to review my resume and tell me what you think.  I really need for my resume to stand out because I expect a lot of competition for the interview.”  Of course, I told him that I would read his resume and tell him what I thought.  The next day, I called my friend back to discuss his resume.  I said, “If you want to stand out from the competition, this version of your resume is not going to get it done.”  He seemed surprised by my response and asked what was wrong with it.  I said, “Your resume looks exactly like everyone else’s.  Yes, it contains all the duties and tasks you performed throughout your work history, but so does everyone else’s.  If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to make your resume exciting and captivating.  You need to include the one thing that will make the hiring manager sit up and take notice – quantitative accomplishments.”


Unfortunately, my friend is not alone.  In my career as a search consultant, I have read thousands of resumes and the vast majority of them look exactly the same.  Most are nothing more than a list of duties and tasks performed at a variety of different companies.  They are informative, but not persuasive.  This is where most resumes fall short.  A great resume is not information, but an advertisement.  That’s right.  With your resume, you are trying to sell a product.  What product are you advertising?  Something that is more important than any other product on the market – YOU.  In order to create an effective resume, you must be able to write an engaging advertisement about your career.  And just like any good ad, your resume must imply one important message:  If you buy this product, you will get these specific benefits.


The resume has one specific purpose – to get an interview.  Typically, the person who reads your resume and, subsequently, determines if you get an interview is the hiring manager over the department where the position resides.  This person is ultimately responsible for the bottom-line productivity of the department.  He/she is concerned with maximizing revenue, reducing expenses, and streamlining processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness.  Therefore, you have to appeal to that person.  How do you do that?  By citing examples of how you positively impacted the top line (revenue) or bottom line (profit) at your previous companies.  Specifically, how you made your company money, saved your company money, or improved a process (or an intangible) with a measurable result.  Again, your resume is an advertisement.  Your resume needs to say to the hiring manager, “If you hire me, your department will be improved in these specific ways.”


Ideally, your examples should be specific, measurable, and, if possible, associated with a period of time.  An example of impacting the top line (revenue) could be, “Instituted new POS Collection program that resulted in $400K additional revenue in first 12 months.”  An example of reducing expenses could be, “Reduced Finance staff by 15%, which resulted in a $500K savings for FY2008.”  If you improved a process/intangible, your example might say, “Reduced month-end close process from 15 days to 8 days.  As a result, employee satisfaction scores increased from 65% to 88% in 3 months.”

You are probably asking, “How do I do that?  I don’t have these types of examples?”  I’ll admit – most people don’t think in a sales-oriented way.  It will take some leg work on your part.  But, I promise, it will be worth it, once you get an offer for your dream job!

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