We’ve all heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words.” Well when it comes to resumes, “numbers speak louder than words.” When you start changing your resume to be achievement based rather than duty based, a great thing to focus on is quantifiable experience. Wherever possible, try to use numbers in order to make your resume shine.
When adding quantifiable experience to your expert resume, always ask yourself “How Many?” or “How Much?” for each of the tasks you performed. Obviously you might not be able to do this for every job function but approaching your resume writing this way will help you to develop a strong, quantifiable document. You can do this by including:
It’s always best to first think about the number of reports, files, clients, etc that you dealt with in previous jobs. Numbers almost always sound more impressive than generic statements of tasks you performed. If, for example, you worked at a restaurant as a waiter and were a shift leader, you could say it in 2 different ways:
“Waited on tables in a high-paced restaurant environment and supervised fellow waiters”
“Waited on over 50 customers per night in a high-paced restaurant environment and supervised 10 waiters per shift”
The first example tells you, while the second shows you through numbers. Which example sounds more like someone you’d want to hire?
Using percentages can be a great way to highlight your achievements and demonstrate your success in previous positions. Percentages can also be helpful when the numbers themselves don’t sound that impressive but compared to what they previously were, they are. For example, if you were in charge of social media at your previous company and increased followers from 300 to 1000, you could either say:
“Increased social media followers by 700”
“Increased social media followers by over 300%”
Both are achievement statements but percentages can sometimes sound more impressive than hard numbers or give context to your numbers if employers might not be familiar with examples.
You may not realize it but ordinary tasks can sound completely different when you put them into context. Maybe you performed some mediocre tasks in previous positions but at high-volume rates. If you worked at a call-center, for example, answering calls and responding to customer complaints, you could either say:
“Answered incoming calls and responded to customer complaints”
“Managed incoming calls and responded to over 200 customer complaints per day.”
The second sounds much more impressive.
We don’t always realize the achievements we’ve made in our past work experience. Thinking about numbers can help put these achievements into perspective and demonstrate our professional success to employers.
© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com/
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#1 for Australian Resume Writing
As if it isn’t hard enough to design a resume, when it comes to looking for work in another country, you also have to know the acceptable formats and guidelines for writing a resume that gets noticed by foreign recruiters.
Join us for an info-packed session designed to show you some of the top secrets to making sure your resume gets noticed AND accepted by hiring managers in the country where you are applying for jobs.
Co-Founder of RedStarResumes.com, Gavin Redelman will share some of the little-know tricks of the trade to developing a resume that works for a foreign audience.
Come learn how differences in spelling, pictures and even design format could send your resume to the “no” pile!
If you are looking for work in another country, you can’t afford to miss this session!
Date: February 21, 2012
Time: 7.00pm ET
Duration: 60 minutes
Host: Gavin Redelman
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Gavin Redelman is the founder of RedStarResume and known as a career strategist and master of “Achievement Based” resume writing. Recognised as an expert in the field of resume writing, job search strategies, job interviewing and also as a prolific blogger and author, Gavin has had articles published around the world in newspapers, journals, student and graduate publications, career websites and magazines.
We have often heard economists say that the Australian job market is the envy of major economies around the world. While certain areas of the domestic economy such as retail and construction continue to struggle, other areas such as the mining industry continue to grow. With all the drama and lack of job security presently occurring in Europe, it is no surprise that Australia is seeing a growth of overseas workers hitting our shores.
The Australian job market is very different to overseas job markets, and in order to get ahead there are many rules that need to be followed. From writing your resume to preparing for your interview, the more you can adapt to the “Australian way”, the greater your chances will be of finding success.
Australian Resume Writing:
The Australian resume is very different to a European, American or Asian resume, and it is very important that your resume is written, formatted, styled and presented accordingly.
10 tips to “Australianise” your resume
Use Australian English or English UK spelling as opposed to American English (words such as “specialise” or “realise” need to be spelt with an “S” as opposed to a “Z”)
No picture is required on your Australian Resume
Focus on achievement-based statements rather than basic responsibilities and daily duties
Provide examples as much as possible to highlight the value that you added to the organisation or business. The more you can quantify your examples the better!
The only contact details that are necessary on your resume are your name, address, telephone number and email address. Information such as your birth date, race, age, religion or marital status is not required and not recommended. Do not open yourself up to prejudice or discrimination
Professionalise your email address. Your email address portrays an impression of the type of person you are. Weird and crazy email addresses need to be replaced with more professional addresses
Simplify the layout of the resume. This is open to interpretation, but the fancier you try to make the resume, the less appealing it becomes. Use dot points rather than writing long paragraphs and an easy to read font to make the hiring manager’s job as easy as possible
Prepare the resume from the reader’s point of view. This is often one of the hardest things that candidates struggle with when writing their resume. No matter what role you are applying for, make sure you target your resume toward that role. Even if you are in the process of changing your career, you still need to highlight the key transferable skills that you can bring to this new job
Providing a description of your organisation can be a good idea for overseas job seekers, especially when the business is not known in Australia but for large multinational companies (such as PWC, HSBC, Hewlett Packard, etc), there is no need to provide the reader with a description. This only wastes room on the resume and does not provide any value
While there is no exact rule on how long your resume should be, it is accepted practice that a resume should be no longer than 1-2 pages for a student / graduate and no more than 4-5 pages for a senior professional or executive. Remember the golden rule of resume writing is to show value to the reader. Quality, not quantity, will make your resume stand out from the crowd
© RedStarResume Publications – http://www.redstarresume.com
Do you need an Australian Resume Writer with an in depth knowledge of the Australian job market who can construct your professional resume specifically for the Australian job market?
At RedStarResume we have writers to suit every job candidate’s needs.
We can help you no matter where you are located in Australia. From working in the mines in Perth to working at an investment bank in Sydney, the team at RedStarResume will strategically target your resume to ensure that your application stands out from the crowd.
Why is the Australian Resume different?
All job markets around the world are unique in their own ways. The culture of a certain country plays a large part in how the job process works. In Australia, for example, it is neither necessary nor required to put a picture on your resume. Providing additional personal information such as date of birth, marital status, religion etc. is also very much discouraged. In order to write a good “Australian”, resume you need to have an understanding of what the Australian employer is looking for in a resume.
Highlight Achievements in your Australian resume.
Recent reports have indicated that recruitment agents and hiring managers will only spend up to 15 seconds reading your resume before deciding to either read on or delete. Once the resume has been deleted there is no way for the reader to give the resume a second chance. The number one rule with your resume is to highlight your achievements. When you apply for a certain job you can expect that a large percentage of the candidates will share relatively the same skills and education as you. In order to stand out above the competition you need to highlight your achievements and show the reader where you can specifically add value to their business.
Top 5 tips to ensure your new Australian resume is targeted toward the Australian Job Market:
Achievements are essential – Use examples to back up statements
Target your resume – Each time you apply for a job, ensure that your resume and cover letter is targeting that specific job.
Use correct “British English” – Words such as “realize” are spelt with a “z” using American English, but in Australia the “z” is replaced with an “s” – “Realise”
No picture or unnecessary personal information
Use strategic keywords (Strategic selection of keywords and phrases designed to highlight your resume and cover letter)
© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com
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Read my article from http://www.expatarrivals.com
Let me know what you think – How else do resumes differ from country to country?
Just how important is having a country-specific resume to your chances of getting employed? Can the resume that got you a job in the UK be used for the Australian job market? Do you really have to design a new resume depending on the country?
The answer is simple. Just as every resume and cover letter you write needs to be targeted and focused toward the company you are applying for, the same concept is applied toward the job market you are applying for. Different countries expect and require certain information to be present on resumes, and therefore it is critical that your new resume meets the unique requirements of that country.
Just because one country requires including personal details such as marital status or date of birth does not mean this standard applies to others. Not only can this be seen as inappropriate, it can also possible be illegal, and your resume will be deleted before it has even been read!
Recently in Europe, the rules for resume writing changed substantially. As part of the European Union (EU), all members follow the same resume criteria and format. The Europass CV was created to “provide citizens with the opportunity to present in clear and comprehensive way information on their qualifications and competences”.
This is a fantastic idea for people applying for roles in Europe as there is a standard template to complete that avoids issues such as cultural differences and different requirements between the countries.
While this may be good for a French national applying for a role in Belgium, the rules change when applying to countries such as the USA, Australia or Asia.
- It is typical to see information such as nationality, date of birth and gender on European and Asian resumes.
- In South Africa it is even required to have even further personal information such as ID number and ethnicity (the latter to clarify one’s BEE or affirmative action status).
- In Australia and the US, however, stricter privacy laws make this personal information unnecessary. In the US, an employer has no legal right to know your age. (They do have a right, however, to ask your age only if local, state, or federal law requires that employees be over a certain age.)
In today’s society the terms “CV” and “resume” are often used interchangeably. Take note, however, if you are applying for a job in the USA, as there are major differences between a “resume” and a “CV”.
An American Curriculum Vitae (CV) is NOT the same as a CV from countries around the world. What countries outside of the USA know as a “Curriculum Vitae” (or “CV”) is called also called a “resume” in the US. A “Curriculum Vitae” in America is not a resume – it is a longer document and is usually written only by a researcher, educator, or academic.
Thinking of including a picture?
When it comes to putting a picture on your resume, different countries have different approaches. In the UK you would never attach a photo, whereas in Germany or France you would. Many Asian countries also include pictures with their applications. In the US and Australia it is not recommended or encouraged.
My personal opinion is to leave your picture off your resume. The most important aspect of your resume is the content and it’s vital to ensure that the reader of your resume is more interested in your skills than what you look like.
With all the differences between resumes around the world, it’s important that you do your research into the country before submitting your resume. A professional resume writer can often help you with the “dos” and “do nots” of resume writing in a certain country, and he or she can also provide assistance with resume format, structure and presentation.
With any resume (no matter where you are applying in the world), focus your content on achievements and value-added duties you have performed. At the end of the day, the employer wants to know how you can add value and what skills, experience and expertise you can bring to the business.
And finally, never embellish or fabricate achievements or qualifications. These will often be exposed sooner or later and can result in dismissal, expulsion or even criminal prosecution in those countries with punitive legal codes.
Two years ago a Brazilian lady, aged 28 spent thousands of dollars getting the right visa to come to Australia to work and live. This girl had a bachelor degree in engineering and three years of work experience in her field. She was extremely driven and extremely intelligent and although her English was not 100% fluent it was certainly good enough to get by.
Having arrived in Australia with her brand new visa – Her and her partner quickly found accommodation and were loving life in their new country. It was summer; the weather was fine everything was going along perfectly.
Then it was time to start the job search. She wrote her own resume and then started applying for jobs online at seek and other job websites. She was applying for 10 jobs a day all in her field of expertise. She even told me one of the jobs she applied for was identical to her job she had back home. She was certain she was going to get that job but all she received was a
“Thank you for contacting us email – we will be in touch with you if you are successful”
For an entire month every day she applied to jobs but had no luck. No one was calling her back.
As many people will know the job search can be an extremely depressing time in ones life. Stressful not just for her but for her partner. As every day rolls on her money was going out and nothing was going in. Times were getting tough and she knew she just needed to take any job for the time being to get by. Before long she was working night shifts at the local supermarket – packing shelves, stocking new items.
Her big dream of coming to Australia was fulfilled but here she was – a professional engineer with working experience – working long hours in a job she despised. She had spent so much money coming to Australia and now she found she hated it.
So my question is why does this happen?
Why does a girl with fantastic qualifications and experience end up working at the local supermarket. To me the answer was simple. She was not giving herself the best opportunity to find a job because her resume was just not good enough
She had all this fantastic experience and qualifications but because she was unable to present them properly, her resume was being deleted before it was even being read.
It was only by chance that I met this girl and found out her story. When I first saw her resume I could see straight away why she had struggled so much in her job search. We sat down together and completely rewrote her resume.
We started off by writing a short career summary and a list of her 5 main achievements to be included on her resume. I want a hiring manager to be able to identify within the first 10 seconds her skills and achievements and the value she has to offer.
Next we included her education – bolding her qualifications to make it stand out to the reader. She also informed me she had been on the Deans List for 2 consecutive years of her degree so we included this information as well.
I asked her if she had belonged to any membership organisations related to her degree and she had. When I asked her why she had not included this on her original resume she shrugged her shoulders and said I didn’t think it was important.
When it came to her work experience I asked her to write down 5 duties and responsibilities she performed in her job and then expand on these points.
Once she was done with the duties and responsibilities I said to her I want you to think what you did at your job that ADDED VALUE TO THE COMPANY. What did you do that made you stand out from the crowd? What did you do that your next employer is going to say “Lets hire this person”
Without a doubt the most important aspect of any resume is highlighting your achievements. And standing out from the crowd
The best achievements on a resume are always specific.
For example – A lot of people will list achievements such as “helped to increase sales,” which is far from effective. If you did increase sales, tell me a little more about this. What did you do to achieve this? Therefore Instead of the generic “helped to increase sales,” include something like “Increased sales by x% over a 6 month period – Tell the reader what you did, how you did it, and how successful you were at it.
We repeated this process for all her previous roles before we chatted about specific skills she had which we could include on her resume.
Again the most important aspect of including skills was mentioning skills that added value.
I asked her how many languages she spoke – obviously Portuguese was her native language and she also spoke English. She told me her father was Brazilian but her mother was Spanish and her family spoke both Portuguese and Spanish.
Right there we had her first skill – She was Trilingual!
After sitting together for a couple of hours – writing , formatting and presenting her resume we had turned her 4 page half Portuguese half English resume into a chronological 2 page resume highlighting her Qualifications, education, job experience and her achievements.
For me it was a great feeling to see her smile and give her the confidence to re-enter the job market. Less than three weeks later she was offered an interview and job.
Fast forward 2 years – and she is still living in Australia and as little as 6 months ago was headhunted to go work in a competitors company.
© RedStarResume Publications – www.redstarresume.com
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