“Don’t brag.” It’s a lesson we all learned as children. It’s also a deadly virtue when one is looking for a job or trying to advance as a professional. Of course, no one wants to listen to someone boast and talk constantly about him or her self. However, to land a good job or get a promotion, you need to project more than skill and confidence. You need to convince the hiring manager that you are the best person for the job. Humility is not an asset.
In writing your resume, it’s not enough to list the duties you performed. Everyone a company interviews will have a similar background of skills, experience, and education. To set yourself apart you need to show how you have contributed to the success of your previous employers. When possible and appropriate, your success should be quantified. However, some achievements can’t be supported with a number or percentage. Take credit for any success that will help an interviewer see you as a strong candidate for the open job.
Here are some examples of achievements as they might be stated in a resume:
• Set a company record by generating 23 leads at a national industry trade show, which resulted in more than $500,000 in new revenue.
• Saved 66% on new software by negotiating with vendors.
• Recognized by supervisor for improving sales training programs.
• Named Employee of the Year (2005); Employee of the Month (several times).
• Selected to lead teams that opened two new retail locations.
During an interview, be able to tell success stories. Turn your achievements into brief stories that will help convince the employer that you are the one she has to hire. Keep the story as concise and focused as possible. If possible, link what you did to what you will do in the job you’re interviewing for. Success stories help the hiring manager see you as an asset to the company, someone who will make a real difference.
The one simple rule is never lie or exaggerate.
Think about the contribution you have made to your previous employers. Use those facts to motivate potential employers that you are the person they need to hire.
Good companies hire winners – show them you’re a winner.