Resume Articles

What Do Employers really look for on a Résumé?

Monday 30 March, 2015

There are several sections to consider when preparing your résumé. However, the two most important sections employers look for on a résumé are accomplishments and job-specific responsibilities. In essence, these two sections together with your education make up your core experience—and that is what employers look for to determine whether to interview you or not for their job openings.

Achievements are what set you apart from other job seekers and what will help you gain more interviews because they demonstrate what value you can offer potential employers. Targeted job responsibilities show employers that you have successfully performed the same job, or a similar job to the one they are looking to fill.

Since accomplishments and responsibilities are the most important résumé sections, we have separated out and elaborated on these two critical areas to help you write a winning résumé—one that generates lots of interviews.

The Employment or Professional Experience Section

How do you write effective job responsibility statements one may ask? Simply follow these three steps and you will produce highly effectively resume statements that grab recruiters and hiring managers attention and generate winning job interviews.

Step 1

First, start by identifying your primary job responsibilities (the job functions you have performed and how you have performed them, using what skills or competencies) of each position that you have held.

Step 2

Second, prioritize each position’s responsibilities from the most to least important based on your job target.

Step 3

Third, clearly articulate your responsibilities starting each bullet point statement with action verbs and include why you have performed each job responsibility (to meet what business needs).

The Accomplishments Section

Accomplishments are what set you apart from the rest. Thus, this is the most important section of your résumé because it not only demonstrates how well you have performed your job functions, but it also highlights what tangible value you can bring to potential employers. Follow these guidelines to produce meaningful, credible accomplishment statements.

Step 1

Identify all revenant accomplishments from your current position and each prior position that you have held. Accomplishments are the results of performing your responsibilities very well.

Step 2

Be specific and tell what you have achieved for your current and previous employers (e.g. systems you have improved, policies you have developed, revenue you have generated, sales you have increased, time or money you have saved).

Step 3

Quantify your accomplishments. As a picture is worth a thousand words, it is important for you to quantify each accomplishment statement whenever possible—in numbers, dollar amount and/or percentage so that potential employers can clearly see the value of hiring you.