Four Tips for Defining Your Value

I say in Manage Your Job Search and Six Tips for Editing Your Resume that you have to fill in the details of your resume. It's the details that count.

Here are four tips that might help:

  1. For every line on your resume, what action did you take that added value to the project or organization? Think about it. If you didn't add value to the project or organization, should that line be there?
  2. What are the details that make that line on your resume come alive? Did you save the company money? Make a customer happy? Help bring the schedule in? Automate something? Think about what make a difference to managers: schedule, revenue and customer experience. Can you link your experience to any of those three things?
  3. Can you craft that line so it starts with a verb? Maybe you “Facilitated the team so we were able to swarm around the features. Swarming allowed us to reduce our work in progress and meet our desired schedule. This allowed the company to meet our external commitments. It also prevented cost of delay. I estimate we saved the company close to $1M the first year alone.” Not bad for facilitation, eh?
  4. Edit your resume so it sounds like you are talking to someone. You do not want bureaucratic-ease on your resume. You sound pompous and preposterous. Not like someone anyone wants to talk to, never mind bring in for an interview. You want to sound approachable.

The more you show the details of your value, the more a hiring manager can consider you.

If you've been working for more than ten years, show the details of your most recent ten years. You can briefly describe the years before the most recent ten years. Why? Because the most recent behavior is the best predictor of your future behavior.

Do you have a better way to articulate your value? I'd love to hear about it.

5 Replies to “Four Tips for Defining Your Value”

  1. Great advice. You really struck a cord about making sure that every line on a resume provides insight into how you’ve positively affected the company. I’ve read a number of resumes and noticed that some of them tend to repeat things in a slightly different way which adds little to no value to the resume. I’ve also seen times where people list their position, job description and daily routine on their resume, but not the impact their efforts have had on helping the company grow, improve its profits, maintain its customers or develop its teams. Focusing on those elements where you the employee have made a large impact can give you a huge advantage towards getting hired for your next job.

  2. Thanks, Patrick. As you said, it’s the impact. (Sorry for my delay in replying. I thought I had. My comment is nowhere to be found. Argh.)

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