A winning resume must answer this 1 question:

Is yours a winning resume?Ah, the resume. A great one can earn you a coveted spot for an interview and a less than stellar resume is quickly put aside in the dismal pile of “pass.”

In addition to the usual important factors (error-free, reader-friendly layout) your resume must answer this one question to win its way to the “review more/contact” group:

“What can you do for ME?”

Recruiters and employers alike look to see evidence that you can not only do the job, but the experience you have with your current or former employer(s) all produced results that made an impact. When you list the duties for the jobs you’ve held, don’t stop there – indicate what those duties resulted in. Through this, a recruiter/employer can then see what you can do for their organization and where your strengths are, compared to the other candidates they’re considering. Something to keep in mind as you tailor your resume to the job you’re applying to: employers want employees who can make money, save money, or increase productivity.

A good way to demonstrate this would be the use of numbers to indicate the results of your work, making it measureable and providing evidence that is quantifiable. Here is an example of a work accomplishment statement before quantifiable results were added in, and after:

Before

  • Produced new company website on the Drupal CMS platform. Served lead designer, implementing UX best practices, and project manager to a team of 5.

After

  • Produced new company website on the Drupal CMS platform, which resulted in a 20% increase in web traffic. Served as lead designer, implementing UX best practices, and project manager to a team of 5.

By including the 20% increase in web traffic, we can see that this work made an impact by driving more visitors to the site.

But what if you can’t quantify your results to a number? This is a common challenge often faced by consultants/contract employees and talent new to their field where this information may not be readily available, or available at all.

You can also provide details including specific skills to demonstrate your aptitude:

XJtech (internship)                 3/2014 – 3/2015

Jr. Software Architect with experience in agile development processes/methodologies and project management. Skills:

  • Java, JAX-RS, Javascript, Node.js
  • Ajax, JSON, HTML5, CSS3
  • DynamoDB, MongoDB, Cassandra
  • Maven, Mercurial, Git
  • Mac OS X, Linux, Windows
  • Basecamp | Slack

 As you can see, the listing of this Software Architect’s skills make it clear what he or she can bring to the table. And aside from the technical skills, this person also posses abilities in project management and the agile environment which may be very beneficial for companies looking to move to/implement this methodology or, require it from the beginning.

Above all, a winning resume needs to showcase what you as a professional can do for the employer. At the end of the day, businesses are in business to make money whether privately or publicly held. When you can contribute to their bottom line in an impactful way, you’re sure to garner interest from their HR or a Recruiter. Be prepared to shine by making some simple changes to the content of your resume.