I want a “doer” job. Why would I want an “achiever” resume?

One of the most common pieces of feedback we provide to clients when delivering a free resume review is that their resume positions them as a “doer,” rather than an “achiever.” That's because most of the resumes my colleagues review are what we would describe as “task oriented.” A task-oriented resume focuses on itemizing every responsibility a person held during a particular job, rather than highlighting the value the person brought to that role.

In other words, this doer/achiever language we use at TopResume is our way of letting you know that your resume is selling you — and what you have to offer to employers — short. And it could be costing you interviews.

“But I am a doer,” some people tell us. “The jobs I want are for doers, not achievers — does this resume feedback really apply to me?”

Why would a “doer” need an “achiever” resume?

Here's the thing: Even if you have what you consider to be a “doer” job, or you are pursuing that type of work, your resume should still effectively showcase your talents to employers. At the end of the day, an “achiever” resume focuses on providing proof that you have the necessary soft skills and hard skills to do your job well.

Whether an employer is hiring someone to close sales deals or organize digital files, they're looking for candidates who can prove they have the right skills to do the job well.  

Can I really have an “achiever” resume if I don't have any notable achievements?

In an ideal world, you'd have many relevant accomplishments of which to boast on your resume — but that's not always possible. Some people don't have jobs that allow them to produce those types of brag-worthy results, while others can't easily quantify their work. However, there are still ways to make even the most mundane jobs look impressive on paper if the writer knows what to do. 

When thinking about the day-to-day duties for each job you've held, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What did I have to do each day, week, or month in order for my job to get done right?

  • How did the tasks I completed benefit the customer, my team, or the company as a whole?

  • If I missed a day of work, what wouldn't get done because I wasn't there? What “balls” would get dropped?

  • How were each of my jobs dramatic? What made them tense or stressful?

  • Was I given any weekly/monthly/annual goals? If so, did I meet or exceed these goals?

Resume experts suggest quantifying your work. Does that apply to me, too?

Absolutely. Any job will look more impressive on your resume when you can add numbers. You might not be in a position to talk about how your work helped generate more sales or lower costs for the company, but you should be able to use numbers to provide a clearer picture of your role and the environment in which you worked. For instance, you might include the number of:

  • Inquiries you answered via email, phone, chat, etc. and the types of issues you helped resolve

  • Products or product categories you helped restock on shelves

  • People you supported in some capacity on a regular basis 

The better you can quantify the scope of your position, the easier it will be to convince employers of your value. 

Are there other ways to show employers I'm a hard worker on my resume?

There are other ways to show hiring managers that you're good at what you do. To start, ask yourself these questions for each job you've held:

  • How was my performance acknowledged or rewarded at the company?

  • Was I asked to take on additional duties or support additional people? 

  • If part of my job involved managing a budget, did the size of that budget or the level of responsibility increase over time? 

Your answers to these types of questions will help you pinpoint brag-worthy achievements to bolster your resume. For example, if you were a server at a restaurant, some of the following bullet points may apply to your work:

  • Promoted to handle additional tables in the busiest section of the restaurant based on outstanding job performance and high customer ratings

  • Considered the go-to resource for the other waitstaff regarding craft beer pairing recommendations

  • Recruited by restaurant manager to help train and onboard all new servers

  • Awarded “Server of the Month” twice in the past two quarters

While most of the bullet points above don't leverage numbers, all of them demonstrate to the reader that you're good at what you do and are valued by your previous employers. 

Bottom line: Everyone needs an “achiever” resume

Your resume may not end up looking like the quintessential “achiever” resume you've read about, but make no mistake — even those in “doer” jobs need a resume that positions their talents in the best light possible. 

Not sure how to best showcase your work experience and qualifications? Enlist the help of a professional

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