Applying for a new job is often highly competitive, with hiring managers reviewing hundreds of candidates for open positions. Showing prospective employers that you are detail-oriented is important to differentiate yourself from the applicant field. To do this, you need to build an accomplishment-driven resume. Throughout this guide, we’ll provide valuable insights to help you build an enhanced document highlighting your achievements and attention to detail.
Quantify Your Career Accomplishments
If your bullet points lack hard numbers, your resume is much less likely to garner company attention during the job search. If you mention that you drove process improvements but fail to back them up with meaningful data, the hiring manager will have no way of knowing the actual impact you had on your organization. In addition, a lack of numbers also sends a message to employers that you lack attention to detail. To mitigate this, you’ll want to be proactive in gathering numbers and metrics over the course of your career to help you paint a complete picture of your professional history for the hiring manager.
Accuracy is Important on the Resume
When incorporating data into your resume, you want to ensure that you can substantiate your claims during the interview process. For example, if you mention that you improved efficiency by 10% but have no way of backing it up, you may be stumbling if the hiring manager asks you to elaborate. In addition, you also don’t want to inflate numbers or provide inaccurate figures. It’s okay to provide an estimate if you don’t have an exact metric, but this needs to be done in good faith. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to substantiate it when you get to the interview.
Create Concise Yet Detailed Bullet Points
Although you don’t want to overwhelm the reader with walls of text on your resume, you do need to craft detailed bullet points to make a strong impression on the hiring manager. If your bullets are vague and lack an appropriate level of detail, you won’t be able to tell your story. The key is to strike a balance between explaining what you achieved and the steps you took to get there without losing the reader’s interest. Focus on the bottom-line value at the core of your career achievements and build detail around these results.
Eliminate Typos From Your Resume
If a hiring manager notices a typo on your resume, no matter how small, this will negatively impact their first impression of you as a candidate. If you can’t take the time to proofread your document, they may question whether or not you are detail-oriented enough to fulfill the responsibilities of the position. Although spellcheck will catch obvious mistakes, you’ll still need a thorough re-read to catch complex grammatical errors.
Use a Professional Resume Template
If you want hiring managers to notice your keen attention to detail, you’ll want to ensure that your information is organized effectively by using a professional resume template. Finding the right template for your needs can often be challenging, and there isn’t a consensus amongst thought leaders in the career services community on the best type of template. When choosing your template, the most important thing to consider is whether or not the information is organized logically. Using reverse chronological order for your professional experience and a traditional top-down template is a good approach to convey your expertise effectively.
Acquire Additional Industry Certifications
Acquiring additional industry certifications will show hiring managers that you’ve had advanced formal training within your field. For example, you can likely generate job interviews for project management roles with a PMP certification. However, you may garner more responses if you’ve also taken the time to achieve an Agile Certified Professional or Scrum Master certification, as this will show that you have a deeper understanding of the nuances of various project management methodologies.
Examples of Detail-Oriented Resumes
Now that you understand the process for building an accomplishment-driven resume, we’ll provide examples to help you effectively convey your own career achievements. Although the details you’ll want to highlight will vary from industry to industry, the core methodology for crafting your bullet points is essentially universal. You need to capture the project, the steps you took to complete it, and its overall impact on your organization.
Below, you’ll find two examples of accomplishment-driven resumes:
- Example 1
Senior SEO Specialist, PNC Bank, Philadelphia, PA
August 2016 – Present
- Developed and executed SEO strategy for the website of a leading national bank, redesigned sitemaps, integrated backlinks, and enhanced keyword optimization to improve unique, organic traffic by 140% YOY across product pages for banking services
- Managed a team of 15+ digital marketing professionals to conduct in-depth research on industry keywords, perform SEO audits, and refine sitemaps
- Reduced bounce rates from 45% to 34% by optimizing content relevance for audiences and identifying opportunities to improve page load times
For marketing professionals who work in SEO, metrics are essential for generating traction during the job hunt. You’ll see in these bullet points that the candidate has taken the time to break down complex industry metrics while providing enough context for the reader to understand how they got from point A to point B. One of the most important aspects of crafting bullets on the resume is providing enough detail and metrics while ensuring that your content is accessible to a wide variety of audiences.
- Example 2
Business Intelligence Analyst, Manhattan Finance Firm, New York, NY
June 2018 – Present
- Managed data analytics initiatives valued at up to $1.5M, served as the business intelligence SME, transformed KPIs into business insights, and identified data trends to inform business decision-making for the organization
- Improved data visualization for senior leadership and finance teams, which included developing a new dashboard to provide key insights on financial performance
- Identified opportunities to automate manual data entry processes for business results, resulting in a reduction of over 400+ work hours per year
When applying for an analyst position, you need to ensure that your data is precise and clear to the hiring manager. This type of role involves deep and complex analysis of data sets, and the job seeker is highly effective in showcasing how they translated these findings into reports for management using data visualization techniques. While the numbers in this example are substantial, they wouldn’t have the same impact if the job seeker didn’t provide details on how they executed these initiatives and why they were important for the company on an operational level.
Practice Responses to Interview Questions
After you’ve created an accomplishment-driven resume, you’ll want to spend time preparing for the interview by refining your responses to sample interview questions. You also want to prepare for specific questions that pertain to your bullet points. The last thing you want is to provide a detailed resume and then find yourself struggling to explain your content when speaking with the hiring manager. If you mention that you saved the company $50K per year, be prepared to explain how you achieved this cost reduction. If you improved customer service metrics by 10%, you should have a response ready for how you acquired this metric and generated the increase.
Examples of Detailed Interview Responses
What’s your work style? How do you prioritize tasks, projects, and job responsibilities?
As a Software Developer, I employ a highly analytical approach to product development. In my previous role, I was tasked with performing root cause analysis of bugs and defects during the feature development phase. Collaborating with my team, we prioritized project tasks by carefully analyzing the larger impact of defects on our products and customers. We also used these insights to create an extensive knowledge base to help us mitigate future issues during feature implementation.
Notice how the candidate uses terms such as “analytical” and “root cause analysis” to define their overall work style. Here, the software developer provides detailed insights into how they analyzed complex details to support product development and feature implementations. Using specific examples from your industry is important during the interview, as a vague answer won’t provide any room to spark a longer conversation with the hiring manager.
What is your greatest career achievement? What impact did this have on your organization?
In my previous role as a Senior Director of Operations, I found that my investment firm was paying substantially high fees to vendors for IT services. I created a detailed proposal and cost analysis report for the C-suite outlining the benefits of creating an internal IT department. I was also heavily involved in recruiting top talent for this team. Over the three years since we created the department, the firm’s IT-related costs have been reduced by over $400K. In addition, our IT team has been far more responsive in resolving network outages and technical issues, which has led to a 10% increase in client satisfaction.
Whenever a higher manager asks about your proudest career achievement, you want to paint a compelling picture that showcases your keen attention to detail. Notice how the candidate provides insights into how they aided their organization in growing while ultimately reducing overhead costs by a substantial margin. One thing to remember when creating this type of response is that even if your last company had issues, you want to focus on the positives rather than painting a negative image of your previous employer. This is a concept known as “negative selling,” which is an approach that will take the focus off of what you have to offer.