What Makes A Great Resume
This question originally appeared on Quora: What makes a great résumé? Answer by Matthew Lancey
Facts about what you’ve achieved, backed up with specific details about how you did it, rather than broad generic statements about your capabilities.
Did you save your employer a significant amount of money or help them win a significant chunk of revenue? Put those details in, specifying the elements of your expertise you used to do it.
If any of the dollar values you want to mention are commercially sensitive, give an order of magnitude instead – “several hundred thousand dollars” or “multi-million dollar deal”.
Just get details into your resume. Every single other applicant for the job will have the same broad technical capabilities and educational background as you, so generic statements about your ability to program in lots of different languages (for example) won’t make you stand out from the crowd.
It’s details and specific examples that make you stand out – even better, specific examples that are directly relevant to the job and the employer you’re applying for.
I saw time and time again in my 10 years as a recruiter, across multiple industries and at all levels, that the person who got the job at the end of the day was usually someone who had been involved in solving similar problems to some problem or challenge that the employer was faced with at the time of hiring.
So if you want your resume to stand out, you need to include details of:
- The problems you’ve helped to solve
- How you helped to solve them
- What the outcome of you solving those problems was.
Because then the employer can hire you with the confidence that you help them fix their problems too, which makes them and you look good!