Creating a Resume that Optimally Highlights Your Talent

Creating a great resume isn’t just about making it visually appealing or using the right key words.  Granted both are key to a great resume, but there’s so much more!

Be Success-Oriented

As a resume writer, so many times I see resumes that read like job descriptions.   That, most likely, will not get you the job.  A potential employer doesn’t just want to know what you know how to do, they also  want to know that you can do it well.

The key here is to not share your experience in a neutral tone, but rather share it in a success-oriented way.  For example, share how you increased efficiencies by a certain percentage.  Or, highlight that you just didn’t meet sales goals, but that you exceeded them by xx percent.   Another example is to highlight how you implemented a process that cut costs by a specific money amount.   By being specific you are making the success story more real.  In addition, many of these statements are skills that an employer is many industries are focused on.

Not every success story is conducive to being quantified though.  However, in such cases you can still be success-oriented by highlighting your successes by your word choices.  For example, “efficiently trained,” or “effectively led.”   These statements will just as much show that you not only have the skills for the job, but also the talent for it.

Don’t Bury Your Success Stories

It can be tempting to share all that you do in your job but the reality is that only certain types of tasks resonate well on paper.  And remember, your resume is simply a teaser to leave them wanting to know more about you.   Share the core of your job and the most relevant success stories to the job that you want to get on your resume.

It’s likely this will mean letting some projects that you poured your heart and soul into go by the wayside.  However, it also means that the most relevant information to the potential employer will “pop” more and will not be lost in the “noise” of irrelevant information.

Extra tip:  User bullet points instead of paragraphs. One to two line bullet points will help your statements “pop.”   Paragraphs often get ignored and your success story will get lost in the details.

Focus on Your Translatable Skills

It can be easy to pulled into discussing your job in great detail.   The details of your job though likely will not translate to the next job.  Every employer does the nitty gritty of their work a bit differently. Instead focus on the skills that translate across any industry.  Tied to this, focus on the skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for.

So, what do I mean when I say skills?  Think leadership, communication, collaboration, service, etc….  These are all skills that will translate across jobs and even industries.  If you can effectively highlight these skills in your resume, you are golden!

You Tell Me!

What strategies have you used to create a resume that strongly sells your talents?  What tips above most resonated with you?

Check out Formatting Tips for Creating the Optimal Resume

18 thoughts on “Creating a Resume that Optimally Highlights Your Talent

  1. This is such a good reminder! It’s so hard to not focus on all the stuff you did and bring it up. A level, thanks for the great tips!

  2. I agree with being success oriented, I learnt a lot about building Resume in uni last year and it was super helpful. Your post came in handy too as I am still learning. Thank you for your tips

  3. These are such great tips to building a resume! I always love updating and cleaning mine up just to make sure I portray everything that’s valuable to me and my skill set! After reading this, I’ll have to go back and update again! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’m just about to start a new job but I wish I had read this sooner! Such a great point that your resumee shouldn’t read like a job description. Thank you so much!

  5. Great tips! I remember when I was hiring as a retail manager and I would receive resumes from people who hadn’t worked retail before. That’s all fine and good, the best employees may be those that have no prior experience… but then they would add their experience working in fast food, for example, and stress all the food-related tasks they did while overlooking the skills that would actually help in this situation (customer service, cash handling, etc). It’s so important to look over your resume with the job you are applying for in mind and, as you said, focus on translatable skills!

  6. These are great tips! I think the transferrable skills element is important, especially if you’re looking at different roles or switching industries where it may not be obvious based on your previous experience. It can be hard finding the right structure sometimes x


    1. It definitely can Sophie – I find it’s very hard to do ones own resume because you are so close to the job; often hiring out is the best option as then your writer can be more objective and pull out those translatable skills easier.

  7. I will need to apply for a new job soon, so will save this post for later! Great advice!!

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