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Think Like an Employer when Writing Your Resume
 Career Advice

By Sarah Michel,
Career Coach,

Sarah Michel works with organizations and companies who want to improve their connections with people, opportunities and ideas. She is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer, career coach and author.

For more information on Sarah's programs or to purchase her Perfecting Connecting® products or book visit her website

Want to know more about this article? Visit Sarah Michel's website --

Did you know that the best time to update your resume is while you're still employed? Unfortunately, people never think about giving their career a tune-up while there actively employed.

If there is one thing we have learned from this economy, it's that there are no job guarantees. To protect yourself from being caught up in a downsize, a right size, or a "blind" size, update your resume every six months. So if and when it is time to look for a new position, you won't have to scratch your head to try and remember what you've accomplished over the past five years!

Whether you are actively seeking a new job right now or would just like to freshen up your resume, you need to think like an employer when writing it. Companies hire people who they believe will produce results. An employer will ultimately hire you because you've convinced him/her that you are the solution to a problem or that you can increase profits, improve productivity and contribute to the overall success of the organization.

Well-stated, result-oriented examples of your past accomplishments will enable the prospective employer to see you as the right choice for the job.

The best formula for resume writing is: ActionResultsBenefit.

"Incorporated X, with results Y, which benefited the company by Z."

If possible, always try to identify your accomplishments in quantifiable terms, such as: saved the company $25,000; increased sales by 30%; reduced employee turnover by 20%; saved 30% overall on supplies. Remember, numbers and percentages always jump off the page on a resume and get noticed first.

To help you identify your accomplishments, ask yourself these questions.

  • Did you help increase sales? By what percentage or amount? What were the conditions under which this occurred? Did you lead the effort to support others?

  • Did you generate new business, attract new clients or forge affiliations with new organizations in your industry?

  • Did you save money? If so, how much? Under what conditions? Did you develop any cost-cutting measures?

  • Did you finish a major project within budget? How did you achieve this?

  • Did you train anyone? What happened to those you trained? Are your methods used by others?

  • Did you take on new responsibilities? Did you ask for new projects or were they assigned to you? Were you selected?

  • Did you suggest or launch a new program? Did you take the lead or offer support? What type of skills did you contribute?

  • Did you design or institute new systems or processes? If so, why were these systems needed? What were the results?

Here are some great examples of accomplishment statements that would get any employers' attention. Notice how these statements are typically one sentence long and use a bullet point to separate them so that they are easy to read. Another tip, always start the sentence with an action verb.

  • Streamlined recruitment program, curtailing dependence on contract workers by 50%, which reduced employee turnover by 30%, and generated a $35,000 savings the first year.

  • Initiated and directed a customer service program to process every complaint or request within 24 hours.

  • Conducted over 50 meetings and marketing presentations a month to healthcare professionals, which resulted in a 40% increase in referring hospitals and physicians.

  • Revised shipping procedures, introducing improvements that substantially reduced cost and shipping time.

  • Streamlined the accounting system so that no additional staff was necessary when the company expanded from 18 to 23 centers.

If you think like an employer when you write your accomplishments, you will create a winning resume that will get results. Write on!

Want to know more? Visit Sarah Michel's website --

Copyright 2005 Sarah Michel.