A friend of mine who was looking to change careers asked me last week for some ideas of tailoring his resume to expedite his search. Here’s what I told him, and this advice is for you too. Here are two examples but there are many; always keep in mind whether you are in sales or management this applies; “sales are sales”; if you know how to sell the product is incidental. Same is true of management. A personal friend of mine worked in management in six or seven different companies, all different products. If you understand people, “management is management”, only the product changes. If you are a machinist and run a lathe; you can be easily trained to run a mill or drill-press.
If you are seeking a job in a new area, you should first identify and describe any previous work experience in the best light possible while identifying the most relevant duties performed. Job descriptions are no longer seen as helpful ways for employers to evaluate potential employers, and many of them are looking for accomplishment-focused phrases and results-oriented statements. So tailor your resumes toward this.
Using Action Verbs in Resumes
Use action verbs. These are words that are used specifically in resumes to accurately and succinctly indicate what a job applicant accomplished in their last position. These phrases begin with an action word such as designed, sold or instructed and leave out unnecessary words such as the, a and also. The phrases sound crisp and leave the distinct impression that you have been active.
The best action verbs depend on the specific job duties you performed, but some example action verbs could include: billed, wrote, supervised, managed, analyzed, directed, trained, planned, taught, developed, maintained, organized, initiated or produced. When you write your resume you should pick one verb for each line and then elaborate.
Accomplishments to Mention on a Resume
If you haven’t had to look for a job for several years – you may have a difficult time figuring out which of their past accomplishments are best to focus on when choosing the action words for their resumes.
These questions may help when trying to determine which verbs are best to describe the results of each pertinent job duty:
- Did I improve efficiency – how?
- How did I perform the job better than expected?
- Did I implement anything new that benefited the organization?
- Did I receive any awards or special recognition as a result of past performance?
Tips When Changing Careers
Researching the new field or profiling the specific job the applicant is looking for is the most important aspect of changing careers. The more knowledge you have about the company the better your chance to market your existing skills. By using the Internet, research has never been easier. Employers are impressed by applicants who have taken the time to find out about their businesses.