As you write your resume, you might think one or more of your recent jobs or View postinternships is nothing special – perhaps even too boring to mention.
You figure: “Who wants to learn about my boring job? I’ll play up my work ethic and personality instead.” So your resume is full of all-too-common words and phrases like “hard worker”, “team player” and “dependable.”
Wrong. Plain wrong.
You can make any job, no matter how mundane, jump off the page. It all starts with one question:
Where’s the drama?
Every job has moments of stress, high emotion and impact. Those are ideal opportunities to demonstrate HOW you’re the right person for the job! For instance: Jane Doe lands a job through a temp agency filing papers and answering phones at a medical practice. Maybe not the job she wants for 30 years, but it is the job she has has right now.
From that experience, Jane might put the following on her resume:
- Answer phones and provide customer service
- Assist people with concerns in a friendly and courteous manner
- File patient paperwork and help keep the office organized
Where’s the drama? Where’s the sizzle that sells? How can she add some ooomph to describe her experience?
Here’s how Jane can sell those exact same tasks in a remarkable way:
- Answer over 75 phone calls a day at one of the busiest medical practices in Houston
- Check in 50 to 60 patients each day and often work with 3 to 4 people simultaneously
- Help manage files for nearly 2,700 patients and digitize critical medical information
See what I mean? Do you feel the drama now?
These two ways of describing the work done sound like two different people doing two different jobs! The first version of Jane doesn’t help her sound like much of a contributor; the second version makes the reader focus on how well Jane handled the hectic moments in the workday and includes numbers to demonstrate the impact of her work.
I never give the first Jane an interview. I want to hire the second Jane; she can clearly handle stressful situations with confidence! I picture her hustling — and keeping order — in a crazy doctor’s office. Cool under pressure, yes. Doesn’t get rattled, obviously. Excellent patient support, heck yeah!
So… how do you add drama to YOUR resume?
Think about work experience like this: how are/were my jobs dramatic? What made them tense or stressful? Then, replace those not-so-thrilling “responsibilities” with quantified action statements, like this:
- Managed warehouse and handled ordering and restocking of supplies
- Managed 17,000 sq ft warehouse and handled restocking of over 500 different supplies, which were shipped from 37 states and seven countries
Which version do you find more appealing?
Yep. The employer does too.
When you write your resume, give people the drama, and watch what happens!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at News to Live By!
About the Author: Danny Rubin is the creator and writer of News To Live By, a blog for Millennials that highlights the career advice and leadership lessons “hidden” in the day’s top stories. In one short-and-sweet column, Danny recaps a top news story and explains how it can make us better at our jobs. He’s a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Business Insider, and his work has also been featured in The New York Times. Follow News To Live By on Twitter.
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