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How to Write Resume Achievements That Motivate Employers

David Alan Carter

Resume achievements can motivate employers to act � if those resume achievements push the right buttons. A former recruiter identifies 5 such buttons, or "buying motivators."

_____ The professional achievements that you've carefully crafted into your resume are key to capturing the attention of prospective hiring officials. Hit the nail on the head, and you'll motivate one of them to pick up the phone and call for an interview. But not all resume achievements are equal in their strength to motivate. Exactly what prompts your prospective boss to act will depend upon your particular industry, and the employers within that industry. A hiring manager with The Nature Conservancy, for example, will not be driven by sales the way a hiring manager at Procter & Gamble or Pfizer will be driven by sales.

That said, there are generally some "buying motivators," general categories of needs to which most employers are susceptible. The job seeker who knows how to work these buying motivators holds an advantage. Here are the top 5 motivators for most profit-driven companies, with examples of relevant resume achievements that play into those buying motivators:

1. Making Money - The hiring officials of any organization dependent upon profits will certainly be interested in a candidate's accomplishments in the money-making arena. Examples of relevant resume achievements:

� "Increased territory sales 5 consecutive years, including an increase of up to 38% in a single year (2007)." � "Sold 8 new homes from blueprints in 3 months." � "Transformed an underperforming store to the number one company profit center in two years."

2. Saving Money - The next best thing to making money is saving money. Examples of resume achievements along these lines:

� "Reduced receivables by $2.1 million in 60 days. Recovered $87,000 that had not been billed." � "Implemented changes in 5 customer service centers resulting in a saving of $342,000 in operating costs for the fiscal year."

3. Saving Time & Resources - If you've got a track record of reducing the time or resources necessary to meet necessary tasks, you've demonstrated that you can add value to an organization. Examples:

� "Reorganized company's structure to equalize responsibilities--increasing productivity and employee morale, and reducing overtime costs."

� "Created customer contact portfolio leading to streamlined customer service and improved direct mail effectiveness."

� "Reduced A/P staff from 7 full-time positions to 5 while increasing team loyalty and productivity."

4. Solving Problems - It should come as no surprise that problem solvers are always in demand. Examples:

� "Led the change-over from manual to computerized cost accounting system."

� "Designed innovative employee training program, motivating servers to achieve "four star" service standards within one year."

� "Established standardized customer performance reports which were subsequently adopted company-wide."

� "Upgraded and migrated all facility computers (approximately 30) to a UNIX platform."

5. Improving a Company's Image and Competitiveness - In a world where corporate image can mean everything, improving a corporation's image and [ultimately] its competitiveness will get you noticed � and prospective employers motivated to learn more. Examples:

� "Coordinated innovative School-Business Partnership Program that served as a model for the district."

� "Established direct communications with top engineering schools/professors leading to graduate referrals."

As you gather material for your resume, scour your professional past for examples of resume achievements that stimulate the "buying motivators" of the employers you're targeting. If you can write those achievements expertly and know how to place them strategically in the resume, there'll only be one thing left to do. Get the phone.

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