One of the major challenges facing people who are updating their resume is to transform it from being a series of job function lists to a series of results statements. This is particularly the case for people in government. This change can be particularly challenging for people in jobs that don’t readily lend themselves to results, such as policy roles.
It is also challenging for people who are part of a process, and perform only one part of the process, such as a finance role.
People who repeat the same task many times during a day may also have to think creatively about their results.
What can you do to see the results buried in the mass of duties?
Some questions you can ask as you read your list of tasks are:
- What was the purpose of this work?
- How was this work relevant to the unit or agency?
- What goals was I contributing to?
- Did this work save time, save money, improve a process or policy?
- What value or benefit am I adding?
To write a results statement try these three steps:
- Start with an action verb.
- Provide concise information about the task, project, problem.
- Describe the result in terms of something that is measurable, quantifiable, tangible and/or about the impact this work had.
- Coordinated contributions to the 2007-08 annual report which met all requirements including tabling deadlines.
- Created new template that resulted in increased consistency and accuracy in project milestone reporting.
- Researched and wrote executive briefing paper on workforce planning through to 2015. Five key recommendations adopted for action to improve succession planning.
- Established proven track record of success in meeting finance data entry standards of accuracy, timeliness and consistency.
Notice the action verbs at the start are in the past tense and are specific. Rather than saying managed, assisted with, involved in, precise language is used to give greater scope to your experience. Generic terms will under-sell your capabilities and make for ordinary reading.
Resumes are not written in narrative form, describing what you have done. They are made up of concise, powerful statements that emphasise skills and results.
Here are some examples of results statement openings to kick-start your results statements:
- Reduced costs
- Improved customer service
- Implemented a marketing plan
- Coordinated a relocation
- Developed a team
- Researched and analysed trends
- Reorganised a system
- Streamlined a process
- Negotiated contracts
- Designed new products.