Ask Yourself These Questions Before Writing Your Resume

The biggest challenges my clients have when writing their resumes is deciding what to add and what to exclude. If you ask yourself these questions, it will assist you with putting together a resume that boosts your achievements during your career.

General questions about the company you currently work for and past companies

  • What is the company primary line of business?
  • What are its annual revenue, and have those revenue increased during your employment with the company?
  • What markets or customers does the company service / supply / support?
  • Is the company local, regional, national, or international?

General questions about your current and past position?

  • What is the scope of your responsibility; specifically, the daily business functions for which you are responsible?
  • Do you have any management responsibilities for personnel, projects, functions, organizations, revenue, profits, or anything else?
  • Have there been any particular challenges related with your position? How did you resolve them?
  • Where you promoted from one position to another? How quickly? Based on anything in particular?
  • Do you have budget or any other type of financial responsibility?
  • What other departments or organizations do you work with as a routine part of your job?

Questions about increasing the company or department's income

  • Did the company or department's revenue increase during your tenure? If so, by what percentage?
  • Would you say that the increase was average, above average, or phenomenal?
  • Did you help impact (directly or indirectly) that increase? How?
  • Did market share increase? How much? Were you directly or indirectly responsible or contribute in any way?

Questions about saving the company or department money

  • Did you have access to expense numbers? How much was it?
  • Did you suggest any ways to cut costs in your team, department, unit, branch, or company? What were the results?
  • What were the before and after numbers or percentages of the savings?
  • Was the savings significant in comparison to the total budget? Provide real dollar values.
  • Did the savings give you or the company at a competitive advantage? If so, how and what was the final result?

Questions about saving the company or department time and improving productivity and efficiency

  • Was there a reduction-in-force while you were there, or did you find yourself managing the work previously done by more than one person? What did the company save in time and money as a result of this change?
  • Can you tell the hiring manager about any tasks that used to take significantly longer to accomplish and what you did to streamline the process, function, or activity? What was the percentage (%) of improvement, and was the savings sustainable over time?
  • What part did you have in reducing the time to complete these tasks?
  • Did you regularly meet all your deadlines?

Questions about your performance and overall qualifications:

  • What are you most proud of?
  • What did supervisors compliment you for?
  • What do your performance evaluations say?
  • What are you known for?
  • What do you do that others can't or don't do?
  • What area would suffer if you weren't at your job for a week?
  • What did you do that saved the company money or time?
  • How did you contribute to the bottom line?
  • Were you the first, best, or most effective in any particular function or organization?

Your resume should answer the questions above. It should not be a recitation your daily duties, but a marketing tool that showcases how you are the ideal candidate. Hiring managers want to see you not just performing tasks, but exceeding their expectations.

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