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Does your resume stand out?

resume stand out

Does your resume stand out?

Does your resume stand out?

I have a friend who gets paid to watch porn. This guy brings a whole new meaning to the world of job shadow or bring your kid to work day. His job is to verify for his employer that the actors in the videos are of legal age. Sounds like an amazing job for a single guy but when I asked him about it, he confirmed the stereotype. Ninety-five percent of the videos he watches are all the same. It’s all a blur. Watch one video and you have watched them all. Look at any 5 – second clip within a specific genre of porn and you won’t be able to tell the difference between titles. Watching bad porn 8 hours a day gives new meaning to the saying “a bad day of fishing is better than any day at work”.

Seen one you have seen them all

I thought about what he said and felt like I had a similar job, unfortunately without the porn. When I look at resumes all day it becomes a blur. Ninety-five percent of the resumes that pass through my hands are all the same. If you have seen one resume for a particular job posting (aka genre of porn) then you have seen them all.

Most of the resumes I see are not resumes at all.  Most resumes are really just job descriptions. Let me say that again. Most resumes are just job descriptions. For the record, I already have THE job description. I wrote the job description, I posted the job description on a number of websites and I saved it for future openings. I am not looking for a job description; I am looking for someone to fill the job description. The person I am looking for is bigger, better, and faster than the all the other applicants out there and their resume stands out as such.

The common mistake when creating a resume is writing a job description and not writing a resume.

Why your resume is a dud

It might look and feel like a resume, but if your resume only describes WHAT you did in your last job vs. HOW WELL you did it, it’s a dud. Your resume needs to give me an indication that you are better than the other applicants. If your resume looks like all other resumes, your resume qualifies as bad porn. Make your resume stand out. Do not describe what you did, describe how much bigger, how much better, and how much faster you did it. One way you describe how WELL you did something is to QUANTIFY your accomplishments. Descriptive adjectives are not as effective as numbers. Pretty adjectives are like DVD box covers. They look good on first glance, but they are just superficial eye candy.  Adding numbers to your accomplishment lets the reader know the scale of your accomplishments.  This simple adjustment makes your achievements individual. They don’t call them 36D’s for nothing! 36D is much more descriptive than “big”. They quantified the measurement. Below are a few ways to stand out.

  • Don’t tell me you were a sales person.  Tell me the number of widgets you sold.  Tell me your rank in the sales force.
  • Don’t tell me you brought in new customers.  Tell me how much new business you wrote in dollars. Were you a top performer? Top 25%?
  • Don’t tell me you mowed lawns during the summer.  How many lawns did you mow each week?  What was your week over week increase percentage? How many referrals did you receive?
  • Don’t tell me you cut company process and made it more efficient. Tell me how many steps you saved. Tell me how many man-hours or turn around time you saved.
A company’s bottom line is a number. Tell me how you affected the bottom line you’re your numbers.

Look at similarly titled job descriptions from any job board and you will see they are all the same. If you look at 5 job descriptions for a bank teller, you won’t be able to tell them apart, AKA bad porn. One reason resumes only receive 5 seconds is because they all read the same.  If your resume stands out I can sit in front of the screen watching your accomplishments for hours. OK, maybe only 6 minutes but you get the idea.

Here are a couple of tests to see if you have a resume or a bad porno:

  • If the accomplishments on your resume can be listed on your co workers resume then you have a porno. You may both do the same job, but I am sure that you can tell me how you perform(ed) the job bigger, better, and faster than your peers.  If not, then give me your co – worker.
  • If your resume is written such that the person reporting to you can use your bullet points, then you described what you did, not how well you did it. If you are a manager then your team should not be able to use your bullet points on their resumes.
  • If there is someone in training doing your job, can they use your accomplishment on their resume?

Every position is hired to add to the bottom. Describing your accomplishments with numbers and quantities vs. qualities will give the reader insight to the scale of your accomplishments and separate you from the rest of the chaff.

Next post, specific examples of how to make your resume stand out with numbers.

See you at the after party,


nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.

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