Let’s explore a two-letter word that heightens your brand, résumé, and LinkedIn profile. Yes, there are a lot of opinions about résumés, and it can be confusing. We all have our reasons and you ultimately have to decide which reasons most align with you and how you do things.
So, this advice may not resonate with you. However, if it does, applying it will enable you to attract like-minded employers, which increases the chances that a company that matches your values, approach, and cultural preferences will invite you to interview, positions you more competitively throughout the interview process, gives you leverage in compensation negotiation, and, once hired, reduces friction, and accelerates assimilation with your new company’s people and processes. This is not just résumé advice; it’s career management advice. This doesn’t just set you up to be invited to interview, it sets you up to be invited to interview by companies at which you would thrive, where they get you, they appreciate you, and you can bring your whole self to work.
**Next time you get advice on your résumé, LinkedIn profile, or company website, find out the reasons, qualify the source, and make sure that the advice has produced consistent desired results.
You may have heard to keep your résumé short – get to the point – the results.
By all means, results are not just important, they are critical. They do establish a track record of success that employers need to feel confident you will achieve at their company.
That being said…
Your brand isn’t just what you accomplished. It’s not just your results; it’s your unique way of achieving them. The “by.” How did you accomplish them?
This advice is for people who don’t just want to work at a company that pursues profit no matter what the costs and casualties are. This advice is for people who care how a company achieves profit. It’s for people who want to work for managers that don’t drive performance any old way, but by genuinely engaging their team in the mission, providing the needed resources, and eliminating potential and real obstacles.
If you care about how your company achieves their results, take a few words wherever possible in your résumé to succinctly (yes, we still need to accommodate business bandwidth) explain the methods, tools, approaches, modalities, and best practices you used to get your results!
Bullets need variety to keep the reader engaged, so not every bullet will have the actual word “by.” Where it is included, it likely will be within the bullet, though when the HOW is the part of the accomplishment you want to be noticed most, put it first.
Here are some examples:
- By applying lean principles, eliminated 3 hours of administrative processing, which increased customer response time by as much and elevated customer satisfaction scores by 68%.
- Nearly eliminated turnover by identifying issues and resistance early through initial onboarding assessments, weekly one-on-one meetings, and monthly team alignment meetings.
- Increased revenue 300% in six months with a monthly webinar series featuring breakthrough tips and tricks available with advanced product features.
Here you see “with a” is another way of saying “by.”
You see in the second bullet, “through” is also a way to include the how – especially when there is more than one or a deeper level of how to portray.
Here are some other helpful phrases that elevate your brand in different ways.
Overcame – Sometimes the challenges you faced to achieve are part of what makes the achievement so impressive.
E.g. Overcame client objections to the new user interface to achieve 99% adoption by demonstrating how the team applied human factors engineering in the design.
Even though – Is another way to describe a challenge that stood to prevent you from achieving results.
In order to – With this phrase, you don’t establish that you succeeded, but this can get across your intention. If you achieved it, start the bullet with the verb that best describes the achievement. Examples are raised, lowered, mitigated, contained, etc. However, sometimes forces beyond our control prevent us from arriving at the desired result, and sometimes the results are not in yet.
E.g. Established matrixed reporting structure and 7-point metrics in order to create staff redundancy and accountability that is expected to keep the team on task, on track, and on time.
So that – Another way of saying “in order to”.
If you want your résumé and LinkedIn profile to do more than generate interviews, then engage Epic Careering for conscious career branding.
Conscious career branding will:
- Increase the chances that a company that matches your values, approach, and cultural preferences will invite you to interview.
- Position you more competitively throughout the interview process.
- Give you leverage in compensation negotiation.
- Reduce friction once hired, and accelerate assimilation with your new company’s people and processes.
- Put you on an accelerated path for career growth.
Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days. She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006.
While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.
Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.
She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.
She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly.