”Money makes the world go around . . .” – lyric from the movie Cabaret
Money may not make the world go around; however sharing specific examples of where you’ve made money in the past for previous employers … and how you plan to do the same for prospective employers will definitely get their favorable attention.
Please understand. The purpose of a resume isn’t to tell – it’s to sell.
Unfortunately, many people aren’t comfortable doing this.
In fact, when people are asked to play “word association” and write down the first word that comes to mind upon hearing the words “sell” and “salesman,” guess what many say?
“Pushy. Manipulative. Smarmy” … and variations on that unappealing theme.
The good news, you can ETHICALLY sell yourself on your resume without making false or misleading claims.
The secret to selling yourself in integrity – is to showcase MEASURABLE monetary results you’ve produced in the past — and back them up with metrics.
That way, you’re not just “saying” you were responsible for a successful product launch … (what does that mean, anyway?) … you’ve provided specific financial details such as:
* “My team and I were responsible for a product launch – from start to delivery – that generated $250,000 in NEW revenue in its first 6 months.”
“I surpassed my quarterly sales quota by 18% by initiating B2B relationships with organizations outside our industry.”
* “I proposed a way to streamline our office operations (with www.Highrise.com which provided one central source for client contact) that saved our company more than $7,000 a month.”
Money metrics give your credentials and claims “teeth.”
Look at the example in my previous blog of the person who was applying for an executive director position for a national association.
See how she supported every single claim with a metric – a percentage – a specific dollar amount or number of people?
That makes her resume objective instead of subjective.
Employers can trust these are not sweeping, pie-in-the-sky claims plucked out of thin air. They’re not opinions that can’t be proved.
By backing up every credential with evidence and precedence, you clarify exactly how you have contributed to your company’s bottom-line before … and how you are positioned to do the same for them.
You are also showing you understand it costs money to hire someone.
In fact, it costs a lot of money to run ads, pay a staffer to review resumes, interview candidates, go through hiring hoops, train new recruits, and take on an additional salary plus benefits.
By including references to your financial performance– you’re showing future employers they can trust you to keep to a budget, bring a bottom-line mentality to the job and maintain a healthy Profit-Loss ratio.
You may be thinking, “Sam, you’re preaching to the choir. I know it’s important to back up my claims with names and numbers.”
You may understand how important this is – however most resumes I see have NO names or numbers in them. They just have line after line, paragraph after paragraph, of “neck-up rhetoric.”
They focus on vague (face it, boring) statements such as “was responsible for training and development.”
What does that mean?
How many employees? Six? Six hundred?
Training and developing what? Supervisory seminars? Safety lectures? Employee manuals?
I was preparing a pitch for an author who had several unclear claims under “Bio/Platform.”
In case you don’t know about my “previous life,” I emceed the world-renowned Maui Writers Conference for 17 years and have helped hundreds of people create and finish quality books and get published.
I told her, “Your book proposal is your book’s resume. It is how you convince potential “employers” (agents, editors and publishers) you’ll be worth their valuable time, mind and dime.
It’s not enough to write a great book. You need to convince them you’ve got the clout, connections and credentials to drive sales for years to come so they’re compelled to ‘hire’ you.”
This budding author had mentioned in her bio she was an “international speaker.”
I asked for clarification. “What countries have you spoken in?”
She blushed, hesitated and then ‘fessed up. “I spoke at a conference in Canada once.”
That’s stretching the truth – which serves no one.
It’s never in your best interests to over-state your experience or expertise (much less to outright lie).
Not only is it unethical; it’s illegal. It can ruin your reputation and you can be fired if an employer (or the media) discover you made an inaccurate claim on your resume.
Neither is it in your best interests to under-state your credentials.
If you say you’re a “speaker who presents to a variety of groups,” what does that mean exactly?
By attaching a specific number to every claim, “I’ve spoken to more than 30,000 people in 10 states and in Canada,” you increase believability. Or, as Steve Colbert likes to say, “Truthiness.”
Imagine the Training and Development manager says on his resume, “I’ve conducted more than 100 orientations for a total of 3500 employees.” That’s specific. Now potential employers will know (and respect) what he’s bringing to the table.
Another example? If you put down you were a “sales rep,” that doesn’t translate into dollars and cents. There are thousands of sales reps. What makes you special? What specific awards or impressive sales figures can you share that make you stand out?
For example, what size company did you work for? If you were a sales rep for a Fortune 500 company and in the top 10% of sales reps for them nationally … now that’s saying something.
Comedian Chris Rock said, “Wealth isn’t about having a lot of money; it’s about having a lot of options.”
Want more job options? Include more money metrics in your resume and during your interview.
Check back for the next blog post (or subscribe so you’ll receive these automatically) … and I’ll reveal how one of our best qualities can actually work against us when it comes to landing a job.