The job search process is already underway and if you're a member of the class of 2020, you and many of your peers are likely already gearing up for interviews for jobs starting during the summer and fall of next year.
So how do you know if your resume is ready to stand out against a backdrop of hundreds and sometimes thousands of applicants for each entry-level role? The biggest differentiator that will put your resume through to the next round is impact.
When we assess impact in a resume, for each bullet point in your work, internship, leadership, and volunteer experience we look for four things:
1. Does it highlight an accomplishment?
Accomplishment-oriented experience will not just highlight what you did (i.e. your responsibilities), but will also focus on the result. For instance, a responsibility-oriented bullet point for a customer-service internship might read "Answered over 20 customer service requests per day." On the other hand, an accomplishment-oriented bullet point might read "Successfully resolved over 20 customer service requests per day, with 100% resolution rate."
2. Is the accomplishment measurable?
Measurable accomplishments will not just measure the scale of the responsibility or the business, but will specifically measure the impact. For instance, an irrelevant measure might be "Managed monthly invoicing of 200 residential real-estate properties for property manager, totaling nearly $100m in property value." While it might seem impressive that the spreadsheet used to manage the data sums to a large number, this bullet doesn't measure the accomplishment. However, a measurable accomplishment might read: "Increased on-time payment rate by 15% across portfolio of 200 residential real-estate properties, by improving monthly invoicing process."
3. Is the accomplishment personal?
While the success of many organizations is shared across teams, the hiring process rewards personal accomplishments over department-wide, company-wide, or team-based success. For instance, a shared accomplishment might read "As fundraising chair for sorority, managed and promoted events to raise over $25,000 for charity." A more personal way to phrase the same accomplishment might read "As fundraising chair for sorority, increased funds raised for charity by 25% from prior year to $25,000 by increasing length of campaign"
4. Does it highlight the skills utilized?
The icing on the cake for a great resume bullet-point is finding ways to stuff some of the skills and qualifications that Applicant Tracking Systems recognize from the job listing into your accomplishment. For instance, you might have "Increased data accuracy in weekly sales reports from 90% to 99% by improving sales team experience with Customer Relationship Management tool," however by simply changing second half of the sentence to "by configuring personalized reports in Salesforce CRM using automation and triggers"
Ok... now go back to your resume, and for each bullet point, ask yourself the four questions above. Score yourself by totaling the number of "Yes" answers and divide by four times the number of bullet points. If you score above 30%, you'd place in the top ten percent of applicants to Nlyst!
Not sure where to start? Download our free resume template and apply to Nlyst to receive free resume feedback!