You’ve checked (and double- and triple-checked) your résumé for typos. You made sure it’s clearly organized, provides a relevant job history, and highlights your soft skills.
And yet you’re still not hearing back from the dozens of job postings to which you’ve applied.
The likely problem: Your accomplishments fail to stand out because you haven’t provided a concrete measure of your previous work, Laszlo Bock, former senior vice president of People Operations at Google, wrote in a 2014 LinkedIn post.
“You might feel like it’s hard to measure your work, but there is almost always something you can point to that differentiates you from others,” he says.
In fact, Bock has a simple formula for quantifying any experience that will transform your résumé from a list of duties into a clear picture of your achievements and skills: Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z].
You’ve got to differentiate your résumé to land a job at Google. (Adam Berry/Getty Images)
“Start with an active verb, numerically measure what you accomplished, provide a baseline for comparison, and detail what you did to achieve your goal,” Bock suggests.
For example, take this sentence from a sample résumé: “Studied financial performance of companies and made investment recommendations.”
Bock rewrote it to say this: “Improved portfolio performance by 12% ($1.2M) over one year by refining cost of capital calculations for information-poor markets and re-weighting portfolio based on resulting valuations.”
The second option clearly stands out because it gives exact numbers, clarifies how significant 12% is, and provides details about how the applicant achieved this, therefore boosting his or her credibility.
The more details you can provide, the better, because it proves that your skills live up to expectations. “Even if your accomplishments don’t seem that impressive to you, recruiters will nevertheless love the specificity,” Bock says. “‘Served 85 customers per day with 100% accuracy’ sounds good, even if the customers are people you rang up at a grocery store.”
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