Resume and Cover Letter Guide: Writing Job Descriptions
Before you start adding job descriptions to your resume, you may want to make a list of the most accomplishments for each of your jobs. This will prepare you for actually pulling your resume together.
Skills and Achievements
First, decide whether your explanations can be more concise. Effort should be made to create effective impact statements. Highlight skills and achievements, providing only enough detail to support your premises. Try to edit out pronouns and articles. Begin phrases or sentences with your verbs. You may find the Skills List on the following pages helpful in making your descriptions clear, dynamic, and engaging.
For resumes which will be submitted to organizations that will scan them into searchable computer databases, care should be taken to include as many industry and job-specific "keywords" as possible. When searching databases for potential candidates, employers seek resumes with the greatest number of "hits" on keywords. Keywords are most often nouns.
Be selective as to which information you choose to offer. Determine the relevance of any information by putting yourself in your potential employer's position: will this information help convince the employer that you are a worthwhile candidate to interview for the position they are trying to fill?
Prioritize Description Information
Next, think about prioritizing the information you provide in each description. Present that which you think is of greatest interest to your potential employer first. For instance, consider the candidate seeking a job in interior design. The resume might reflect a retail experience in which 75% of the candidate's time was spent on the sales floor and 25% was spent designing window and floor displays. Priority, determined by relevance to the employer, dictates that design of window and floor displays should be listed before sales.
Sales Associate, Retail USA, New York, NY October, 20XX - Present
- Designed all large windows using color as primary focus.
- Created engaging point-of-purchase displays for slow moving small items; increased sales of these items by 30%.
- Organized floor displays to maximize space and call attention to latest merchandise.
- Utilized strong interpersonal and communications skills to serve customers; received employee of the month award twice.
Quantify Your Accomplishments
Finally, quantify as much information as you can (numbers, dollar signs, percentages can all help to make your case).