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Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.

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Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

Achievements on Your Resume – Don’t Bury the Lead

Kent Nolen

The importance of including quantifiable achievements on your resume is a constant theme in this blog. There is simply not a more effective way to communicate your potential impact than by outlining how you have made a positive impact in the past. But that is not the whole story. Not only are quantifiable achievements important, the structure of these achievements – the way you present them on your resume – is also very important. 

Very few readers are going to take the time to actually “read” your resume. Most will do a quick scan, looking to quickly see that you are qualified and that it is even worth their time to take a closer look. So, in addition to having very engaging introductory elements that quickly establish your qualifications, you need to make sure that your accomplishments are formatted in the most eye-catching way possible.

Here is an example of a good achievement:

  • Established the social media strategy that included use of Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.  Increased followers by 300%+ in just two weeks.

Notice how the metric is at the end? If someone is just scanning, they might only read “Established the social media strategy...” That’s important, but it is certainly not as eye-catching as the last part of the bullet.

Now, here is that same accomplishment formatted in way that is more likely to catch the reader’s full attention:

  • Increased engaged followers 300% in two weeks and expanded the organization’s reach by establishing a multi-platform social media strategy.

Notice the difference? In addition to moving the metric up front and leading with the word “increased,” I also made room for the terms “engaged” and “expanded the organization’s reach.”

Here is another example:

  • Restructured the website to allow for easier navigation.

Good, but not great. Here is the same achievement, slightly expanded and written so the impact / accomplishment is first:

  • Simplified navigation and enhanced user experiences by restructuring the organization’s website.

These small examples highlight the difference between good resume content – strong quantifiable achievements – and great resume content, achievements written in the most engaging and high-impact way possible.