Beware! These two small words could be impacting your resume's success.

Every job seeker wants to be thought of as successful and capable of producing results. The problem is, they think that by using these two words on their resumes, (especially in their career summaries) they've communicated this to potential employers.

What two words am I referring to? Success and results. What people fail to realize is that everyone thinks they're successful or able to produce results. In actuality, not everyone is. By utilizing these words on your resume what you've accomplished is looking like every other job seeker on the market. Exactly the opposite of what your resume is designed to do.

Validate your contributions

In place of these vague choices, focus on providing evidence. Think about how you can validate your contributions with very clear-cut statements about what you've accomplished. Originality is what makes you stand out as a candidate, and for your resume to generate interviews (its primary purpose) it needs to articulate why you're a success and what results you're able to produce.

Think about your successes

When you're drawn to use the words success or results on your resume think instead about what successes you've brought to former employers and what results you've delivered. Every time you want to say results-driven or results-oriented, in its place validate the statement with details, facts, figures, or outcomes. For example:

  • If you led a team, answer the following questions: how many? For how long?
  • If you managed projects ask yourself how many, how much, and to what end?
  • Did your activities help to cut costs, generate revenue, increase sales, and/or meet or beat quotas or other goals? If so, by how much?

Be sure to include the numbers that support your claims wherever possible. 

Be specific

By being specific and answering how much and how many, you're proving your success and results to the employer! And at the same time, you won't look like every other candidate — you'll look results-driven, successful, accomplished, and confident — and will have proven all those things without having had to say so.

Want to see how your resume stacks up? Try out our free critique today!

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