Friday, October 19, 2007

Does Your Resume Pass the Hiring Manager's 30 Second Test Part 3

THE MATH TEST: Strategies for building your portfolio of accomplishments

Problem-Action-Result Statements

Hiring managers believe that proof of past successes helps them determine how successful you will be in their organization. The best way for you to prove your success is to discuss accomplishments thoroughly rather than focusing heavily on job tasks. To create accomplishment statements, examine a problem you have faced in the past, the actions you took to fix the problem, and the associated results of your actions. Think of the before and after picture and try to assign a number, dollar value, or percent change to your results. Accomplishment statements must be present throughout the resume and the profile section of your resume should include overall accomplishments that help set the tone for and frame your candidacy.


§ Year over year success building businesses that yield as much a $250M in new revenue; couple innovative marketing concepts with solid merchandise planning and program development skills.

§ Accelerated purchases as much as 300% by successfully leveraging concept development to create connections between intrinsic brand elements and consumers.

Accomplishment Hooks

Hiring managers are looking for examples of how you have helped the companies you supported make money, save money, save time, improve a process, reverse an existing problem, be first to market, build relationships/brand identity, grow the business, attract new business, or maintain existing business. Accomplishment hooks should be woven throughout the document and the strongest hooks can be incorporated into the profile or career highlights section. Statements should be front-loaded which means that the key metric driving the accomplishment should be at the beginning of the statement.


Make Money

  • Accelerated profit margins by 30% with projected sales of $400M by launching seven innovative insurance and POS products in just three years.

Save Money

  • Cut expenses incurred by temporary staffing agencies by $5M; consolidated vendor list by 60%.

Save Time

  • Eliminated over 30 administrative hours weekly by authoring and designing 50-page web-application interface that standardized and automated responses to general support desk inquiries regarding the group’s flagship product.

Improve a Process

  • Streamlined 10,000-user email list to improve distribution and accuracy of mailings significantly.

Reverse an Existing Problem

  • Reduced product imperfections by 500% by implementing more stringent controls to improve fabric and product quality; achieved ISO 9002 status.

Be First to Market

  • Pioneered CarpetSafe® exclusive insurance product for ABC Carpets offering replacement carpet if original is damaged through general wear and tear or staining.

Build Relationships/Brand Identity

  • Garnered $13,000 in grant and donation money and free publicity for Furnish a Future by forging partnership with Corcoran Realtors.
  • Successfully launched $50 million gourmet sales market despite president’s skepticism of products’ earning potential.

Grow the Business

  • Boosted revenues for Virtual Auction from underperforming $12M to over $30M, with average markup of 18% vs. previous 3%, well above comparative auction margins.

Attract New Business

  • Grew female customer base from 15% to 60% by repositioning merchandising strategy and offering high margin apparel, home, health, and beauty products.

Maintain Existing Business

  • Reversed strained relationship with $22B supranational client; renewed three-year contract despite internal and external expectations that account was unsalvageable and secured an additional $4B in business.

Add charts and graphs

By adding a visual component to your profile section, you can quickly communicate dramatic results to your audience without taking up too much space on the document. Charts can chronicle success over time, across products, or across businesses.


NY Branch










Market Share





Client Retention





Referral Business





Great resumes tell an authentic and compelling story. Content, format, and design all play a role in your story and each component should be considered when crafting your unique message. Hiring managers need to read the “book jackets” of a lot of stories and quickly decide which ones to read in greater detail. Try some of these strategies to improve your chances of getting on the “must read” list and “must interview” list of employers.



  • You have hit the nail on the head with this post. As a hiring manager I am not interested in the job duties you have held. Lots of applicants had the same duties. What I want to know is what did you accomplish in those jobs. Building a resume based on what you have done, not the titles, will almost always get you in the door.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:55 AM  

  • Right! How many times have you looked at a resume and thought "cut to the chase! I haven't got all day!" You need to know what makes the candidate unique, not what they can do that the other 499 applicants can also do. Thanks for commenting!

    By Blogger Barbara Safani, at 9:55 PM  

  • This is very helpful. Now I understand why I have not been getting many interviews! Thank You So Much! Once I finished with my resume I'll be on top!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:23 PM  

  • When I was applying for my last job these strategies actually paid off, thank you for sharing it!

    By Anonymous Jacob, at 8:34 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home