Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 30th 2014 Contents B15
Tuesday, September 30 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Recruiters want to fill a job opening as quickly as
possible and get on to the next assignment.
Hiring managers similarly want to hire someone as
quickly as possible and get back to their work. Your
resume is the tool that gets you in the door.
What recruiters and hiring managers despise is an
overabundance of self-praising descriptors: superior,
excellent, team player, detail-oriented, thought leader,
self-motivated, hard worker, and the like.
When recruiters see a resume filled with adjectives
unsupported by skills and achievements, they read a
phrase like, "Excellent Accounts Receivable skills;
detail-oriented" and mutter, "I ll be the judge of that!"
Understand Why Jobs Exist
What recruiters and hiring managers want to see
are resumes that show relevant skills and how you
applied them on the job. How do you do that?
No job gets added to the payroll unless it helps the
employer make money, save money, or increase pro-
ductivity. This holds true for all jobs, at all levels and
in all professions.
Consequently, jobs exist to identify, anticipate, pre-
vent, and solve the problems that prevent the company
from making money, saving money, or increasing pro-
Put another way, every job exists to prevent and
solve problems within its area of expertise and thereby
contribute to company profitability.
Consider the deliverables of an Accounts Receivable
(A/R) job - perhaps boring, until you realize that
unless the people in Accounts Receivable do their job,
the company won t be able to pay its bills and your
paycheck will bounce. Thought about this way, A/R
jobs are not about tabulating the income derived from
trouble-free paying customers, they are focused on
actively bringing in revenue.
This means that an A/R candidate is hired because
she knows the professional landscape of the job well
enough to identify, anticipate, prevent, and solve prob-
lems by bringing in the receivables, and in the process
effectively dealing with late-paying customers, and
so contributing to profitability.
Why Skills and Achievements Rule
Regardless of profession or title, employers want to see a resume with skills
applied to the identification, anticipation, prevention, and solution of the
typical problems that crop up every day of the week in that job - and they
want to see the results of these efforts. So, in a resume, our A/R specialist
will talk about skills and the results of their application:
4 years A/R experience: Excel, Quickbooks, ZenCash
• Reduced 30 day+ payables by 20%
• Reduced 45 day+ payables by 18%
In 19 words, we know the candidate has experience, understands the job s
deliverables, has the tools to do the job, and can point to the results (achieve-
ments) of their application. Much more powerful than, "Excellent Accounts
Receivable skills; detail-oriented"!
Sell to the Customer's Needs
The first lesson learned in our professional lives is: The customer is always
right. The second lesson is: Find out what the customer wants and sell it to
them. Combined, these lessons tell you that you need a template for the story
your resume must tell.
Here s what you do: Collect a half dozen job postings and pull them apart
to find the common experience requirements and skills employers seek when
hiring someone like you. This is called Target Job DeconstructionTM (TJDTM).
Once you know what potential employers want, you can determine skills and
accomplishments you need to show yourself in the best light.
How to Identify Your Achievements
Employers look to what you have achieved in your work as an indication
of what you are likely to achieve. It might help you recall relevant skills and
contributions using CAR:
C = Challenge (Think of a challenge you faced or problem you had to
A = Action (What actions did you take?)
R = Results (What was the result of these actions? What was the value
to your employer?)
You can apply CAR to the following questions. When you think about
results, try to think in terms of percentages and amounts:
What gives you pride in your work? How does this relate to the success
of your job?
• Did you increase sales, save money, or otherwise increase productivity?
• Did you meet an impossible deadline through extra effort? What was the
benefit to your company?
• Did you conceive, design or (help) launch a new product or program?
• Did you assume new responsibilities that weren t part of your job?
• Have you completed any special projects?
• Did you introduce any new or more effective systems, processes, or tech-
niques for increasing productivity?
Tying It All Together
Recruiters and hiring managers needs are simple - they want to fill a job
opening as quickly as possible with someone who will do the job well. A
resume that replaces empty adjectives with skills and achievements will get
you interviews and immediately set your candidacy apart.
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