Two resume tips that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE

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We looked at literally hundreds of millions of student resumes during our time in public accounting.  And what came out of that?  Two critical pieces of feedback that we guarantee will make your resume stand out.

When writing resume bullet points:

  • QUANTIFY your impact wherever possible; and
  • Demonstrate how you went ABOVE AND BEYOND

Step #1: QUANTIFY your impact wherever possible

Quantifying your impact is powerful in that it paints a concrete picture of what you accomplished. Unsure of how to go about quantifying your impact? Here are some ideas:

  • Do you have a part-time job while taking accounting classes?  Highlight how many hours per week you work part-time.
  • Do you manage a budget for a student organization?  Highlight how large the budget is and how many students are in the organization.
  • Have you trained new employees or team members at your job or organization?  Highlight how many people you have trained.
  • Did you get promoted at your job?  State how many months it took to get promoted and throw the word only in front of it.

Congrats! You’re already halfway to powerful bullet points.

Step #2: Demonstrate how you went above and beyond

OK so this is the more challenging part.

You need to demonstrate that  you made a significant or lasting impact.  Participation alone doesn’t stand out.

Sound daunting? Language is your friend, and it’s all about stating the truth in a powerful and effective way.

These are the things you should be highlighting:

  • You assumed or were elected to a leadership role
  • You created something that the organization will continue to use going forward
  • You were given the responsibility to train new team members
  • You received positive feedback from your supervisor that you were hardworking, paid close attention to detail, efficient in your work, etc.
  • You were promoted
  • You recruited [X number] of additional volunteers and team members
  • You improved an existing process

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples how good bullet points can be transformed into great ones.

Example #1 is a student who manages a full-time class schedule and works 20 hours per week waiting tables at Beef O’Bready’s.

Before:

Beef O’Bready’s– Server

  • Trained new employees
  • Provided excellent customer service
  • Cleaned my section at the end of each shift

After:

Beef O’Bready’s – Server, 20 hours/week

  • Recognized by my manager as providing exceptional customer service by being placed in charge of training 3 new employees after only two months of experience.
  • Created an acronym for the wait staff of 8-10 employees to use on a nightly basis to ensure that all cleaning responsibilities were performed, which has resulted in a more effective closing process.

Example #2 is a hypothetical student who just completed an audit internship last summer:

Before:

Shelton, Shakira, & Levine LLP– Audit Intern

  • Tested cash and fixed assets for a nonprofit
  • Performed statistical sampling of various accounts
  • Summarized board minutes at a public software company

After:

Shelton, Shakira, & Levine LLP – Audit Intern

  • Performed substantive testing over various accounts including cash and fixed assets, which involved creating 4 new audit workpapers from scratch at a first-year non-profit client.
  • Created a template in Excel for the engagement senior which automatically selects a random sample, which she will use for random sampling on all of her engagements going forward.
  • Summarized board minutes at a public software company, receiving feedback from the reviewing manager that all work performed was completed in an efficient manner and demonstrated close attention to detail.

 

Does this make you feel like you’re bragging? Good! That means you’re on the right track. You’re supposed to brag on your resume.

Worried you won’t be able to fit your resume on one page? Minimize or remove areas where you participated but are unable to identify ways you went above and beyond. Better to spend the real estate highlighting your most impressive accomplishments than to list as many involvements as possible.

So one day when you find you have some free time, sit around for a few minutes and think about how awesome you are. Really pump yourself up, and then knock out some powerful resume bullet points.

And if you’d like some suggestions on how to take some of your resume bullet points to the next level, send ‘em on over to Josh and me.  We’re happy to help.

Brad Hughes

Brad Hughes

Brad is a co-founder of RocketGrad.com, the premier network for Accounting and Information Systems students to land jobs and internships with leading firms.