Talking Yourself Up on your Resume

Resume Writing

Hey Bragger… yeah, I mean YOU! or Why Talking Yourself Up on Your Resume is a Good Thing!

Are you bragging about yourself enough on your resume? I don’t mean bragging in an obnoxious or fictitious sort of way, but in a “look what I can do” sort of way.

One of the main things I notice with my clients and their existing resumes is that they don’t BRAG enough about their accomplishments. They don’t talk enough about what they’ve done above and beyond their daily responsibilities.

My worksheets are very C.A.R.-oriented. The C.A.R. methodology is this Challenge, Action, Results. What Challenge did you face? What Action did you take to rectify it? And lastly, what were the Results? It is a very accomplishment- focused method and works wonderfully every time I have a client who doesn’t talk enough. When I send these out to clients, I am amazed at the achievements that come pouring out. Why did it take sending a worksheet to get this VITAL information out of them? I ask each client. The response is generally the same– either, “I didn’t know how to word it” or “I didn’t want to sound too braggy”. Many of us were raised to be humble about our accomplishments, not to be boastful. I know I was. Not that we couldn’t be PROUD, but it was just kept a little on the quiet side.

Here are a few tips about bragging in a non-braggy way on your resume to get yourself noticed:

1) List your daily responsibilities clearly in your narrative under the job title. Even the ones you think aren’t worth being mentioned. If there are too many for more than a 5 or 6 line paragraph, then summarize.

2) Think of each thing you did in that made a difference, something you were praised for, something that saved the company money. Readers LOVE to hear how you saved the company money or drove revenue by 43%, etc. For example:

** Currently implementing a new sales method that will eliminate 6 trucks from the road and save company $45,000/year.

3) Add the accomplishment, even if it has a negative undertone or you were fighting challenging conditions. For example:

** Despite negative sales growth in Michigan’s harsh economic climate, met the challenge of producing positive topline growth successfully while managing net revenue and contributing to margin gains.

See how this one sounded? Even though my client struggled the last 2 years and saw a -2.2% sales decrease, to her company this was a good thing because of Michigan’s dismal economic climate.

4) Your resume is the place to SELL YOURSELF. Think of yourself as a product. What would you buy? The new ‘OKAY’ car model that has all the basics and does it’s job but has nothing super special about it? Or would you buy the ‘WOW, THIS CAR IS AWESOME’ car that is fully loaded, has a mini fridge in the dash, and wings to automatically make you airborne if traffic looks too heavy? The ‘WOW’ car may cost you a bit more, but isn’t it worth it? The same goes with your salary… but that is an article for another time. You have to sell yourself and turn yourself into the ‘WOW’ car. You have what it takes, you just need to put it on paper.

I hope this helps you rethink that bland little ‘OK’ statement, “streamlined processes and increased productivity” with something more ‘WOW!’. Let’s face it, we all want the WOW! car.

So does the employer.

Until next time,

Erin Kennedy