Your Greatest Declaration of Independence, The 2021 Edition

Writing Your Own Independence

“We hold these truths to be self-evident …” was an effective phrase in an effective document, the Declaration of Independence.
When Thomas Jefferson used “self-evident” to describe the rights of people, he was saying, “Hey, this stuff is obvious.”
Fast-forward 225 years.
When you “declare YOUR independence” by writing a resume, do you make it self-evident to employers that hiring you would be a good idea?
Here are three ways to make sure that you do.
 

  1. Put benefits first

You can improve much of your resume simply by turning the sentences around.
Let me illustrate with wording that takes too long to get to the benefits: “Negotiated new long-distance contract with carrier, for increased savings.”
If you flip the word order and put benefits first, along with some dollars, you’ll be onto something. Try this, instead: “Saved $42,000 in monthly long-distance costs by negotiating new contract with carrier.”
See the difference? Find the benefits of what you’ve done, then put them at the start of your sentences. This is an easy way to add punch to your writing.
 

  1. Be specific

In advertising, facts sell, because they help prove an advertiser’s claims.
Your resume is no different. When you make a claim, be as specific as possible and your benefits will leap off the page.
Let’s go from least-specific to most-specific examples:

(Poor)

Increased productivity and retention among workforce.

(Better)

Substantially increased productivity and retention with new training program.

(Best)

Increased productivity 15% and retention 23% over six months with new employee training.

How specific can you be when stating your claims? The more the better!
 

  1. Prove it

Anyone can (and does) claim to be “detail-oriented” or “highly organized” in a resume.
The way to convince employers that you have the right stuff is not to list 10-20 skills, as many people do. Instead, focus on the three or four skills that will help you do your next job, then back them up with facts.
Here’s how you might say it: “Highly organized. Experienced managing up to 425 accounts in territories covering up to 15 states.”
That kind of statement not only makes an attractive claim, it proves it.
So, to pursue your career happiness, do these three things in your next resume: focus on benefits, be specific and prove your claims.
 
Best of luck to you!
Photo by Morgan Housel on Unsplash

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