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Advice from Your Next Boss

What do companies look for when they read a resume? Accomplishments showing how you used the skills and experience outlined in the job description.

What do companies look for when they read a resume? Recently I asked that question on an online business site. Replies came from 18 hiring and department managers working in colleges, electronics companies, banks, sales, engineering and human resources among others.

Overwhelmingly (11 out of 18), they first checked the resume to make sure the skills and experience met their needs as outlined in the job description. No one wants to hire a brain surgeon without a medical degree or a chef who's never worked in a kitchen. Often, the responders defined “experience” as the number of years in the field.

Does this mean you can submit a laundry list of skills and job titles and get hired? No.

After that first glance, most of the people responding looked for accomplishments or achievements. Your resume has to explain what you did with your skills. How did the company benefit?

Did you develop a new report, increase sales, interact well with your peers and managers, lead a team, volunteer in the community, meet deadlines, streamline a process, help make a project successful, complete a class, give a presentation, serve on a committee, receive praise from customers or earn a promotion? The way you used your skills to benefit your old company tells your new company what to expect. They know whether you’ll be a valuable addition to their team.

You may find it hard to boast about—or even recognize—your own accomplishments. If you need help, call or email Robin's Resumes®. Together, we can make sure the marketplace knows just how valuable you are.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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