So you have come across a job that you’re interested in applying for. When you read the posting, you know your qualifications and experience make you the perfect candidate. But, there are other candidates with your same qualifications. How can you make your resume stand out from the rest of the pile?

Make sure potential employers know exactly what you have achieved. You may think that showing your promotions and advancement is important—and you’d be right. But just listing titles can be a mistake—those titles may mean something different at another organization, or they may mean nothing at all to a hiring manager.

Be sure to explain what you actually did in each position by summarizing your employment duties. Here’s how:

1. List Duties Relevant to Your Target Position.
If you’re applying for a specific job, be sure you understand what is required for the position you want. Read through the job posting to identify the duties and responsibilities, and list them on a separate piece of paper.

Now write a short job description for each of the jobs on your resume that includes what you specifically did, breaking it up by day, quarter and year. Don’t forget to include any task force and committee contributions. Now you have a list of your employment duties.

2. See How Your Duties Compare
Are your past employment duties similar to what this new company is looking for? If so, great—move on to Step 3. If not, see if you can re-word or re-frame your responsibilities, without exaggerating or falsifying.

3. Punch up Your Resume’s Language.
Use strong action verbs, such as “built” and “succeeded,” to display your accomplishment in high impact, bulleted phrases. Employers like to see items such as:

  • Increased revenue
  • Decreased defects
  • Began a new process
  • Solved a problem
  • Saved company money

And when you list employment duties on your resume, put the most significant ones first.

Review Your Resume.
Have you presented a realistic picture of what your jobs entailed? Have you used language that echoes what is in the job description but does not copy it exactly? Do you have other accomplishments or talents that may add value to your current job search?

Now you have a resume that will give a hiring manager a great first impression. You’ve shown what you’ve done, and what you can do for them!

Still feeling unsure? At WorkSource, we know the manufacturing industry, and we know what employers are looking for. If you’d like resume assistance or help in finding some of Iowa’s best manufacturing jobs, contact us today.

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