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Generating Interest

An effective resume will generate interest, not just provide information. What creates the type of interest that hiring managers are looking for? Accomplishments, achievements, and detailed and measured accounts of contributions to former and current employers that resulted in profit or revenue to your company. These can make a potential employer realize that you might be a valuable addition to his or her staff.

Consider these two brief, hypothetical resume samples. These might be from two engineers who worked for the same manufacturer during the same time. They even worked on the same projects. However, their resumes might not look alike at all:

    Engineer #1:
      1992 - 1996 Production Engineer, ACME Aircraft Co.
      Worked on production of next generation space shuttle.
      BS Mechanical Engineering

    Engineer #2:
      1992 - 1996 Production Engineer, ACME Aircraft Co.
      Worked on production of next generation space shuttle.
      • Participated in development of new production technique which reduced product manufacturing time by 3%.
      • Led Quality Assurance team which reduced scrap waste by 6%.
      BS Mechanical Engineering, graduated top 10% of class
Which one would you be more likely to interview? It could be that #1 achieved more than #2, but the resume doesn't show it. Suppose they had attended the same college and #1 graduated ranked as the very top of the class but didn't say so, while #2 graduated in the top 10%. Who would you interview?

Tell your story of accomplishment. Don't "save it for the interview" because you may not get that chance. A resume is a personalized and customized marketing document. If it is written as a routine, chronological record of jobs you have held, it will fail to generate interest.

You need to get a strong message across in a very short time. It is important that the information in your resume grabs the attention of the reader, that the achievements which make you a good candidate be presented in a way that will be easy for the reader to find. Your resume may not get more than 25-30 seconds of review before someone makes a decision to look at it further or throw it away.
PREFERRED
  • information contained in text in paragraph form must be hunted and may be missed.
  • information in bold, underlined, italicized, indented and l bulleted   format will jump out and get attention.
Regardless of your position, your contribution to your employer should be made obvious on your resume. Companies are in business to earn a profit and a resume which shows a positive impact on a corporate bottom line and is easy to read is much more likely to be reconsidered and reviewed after the others have been thrown out. Provide a list of key accomplishments, in quantitative terms, which would excite employers about your abilities. Include areas where you saved or made money for your company. All accomplishments can be measured and quantitative measures, such as those shown in the left column below are much more meaningful to prospective employers than qualitative descriptions, such as those shown in the right column:

PREFERRED
Quantitative Measures Qualitative Descriptions
  • improved attendance from 80% to 95%
  • reduced employee grievances by 20%
  • improved on-time schedule completion from 90% to 98%
  • lowered absenteeism
  • fewer disciplinary actions
  • fewer production problems
With whatever knowledge you have about the company and position you are pursuing, try to highlight the four or five accomplishments and skills which are most likely to arouse their interest in you.

Continue on to "Organizing Your Resume"
Return to "Presenting An Outstanding Resume"

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