Photo Credit: Jaypeg21 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Jaypeg21 via Compfight cc

Most of the resumes I read contain a bulleted laundry list of activities – things the person has done at each of their jobs.

These lists are fundamentally unsatisfying to me when I put on my “I’m an employer” hat.  I don’t really care that you did something.  What I want to know is if your activity actually accomplished anything.  Did you:

  • Increase some result?
  • Improve some condition?
  • Make something better?
  • Reduce some harm?
  • Initiate something new that then helped the bottom line?
  • Create something new?

I use the “so what?” test as in “so, what happened as a result of me performing this activity?” The answer to this question is your impact statement.  It’s your accomplishment. It’s the difference you made.  And employers LOVE those statements, because the best predictor of future results is your past results.

If you can’t figure out the impact or results of an activity, don’t include the activity.

You can describe your overall responsibilities in a 3-4 line introductory paragraph that outlines the scope of your job. Then use bullets for the impact statements.

Bulleted lists of your impact will draw readers’ attention and tell your story in a compelling way.