On Friday, I led two back-to-back workshops about building resumes that lead to getting interviews, nearly 100% of the time. One of the things I was most worried about teaching people was how to write their experience in a way that shows value.
Something interesting emerged during the first workshop that seemed to help people produce powerful ways to show the impact of their work. So I thought I’d quickly share what emerged.
Now, before we go further, let’s compare to quick statements that might show up in a resume:
- Built a SPA using React
- Built a consumer-facing website that had over one million visitors, the first year
From a hiring manager’s perspective, they’ll be way more interested in talking to the 2nd person than the first. Learning to write experience like that is tricky, so here are two ways to get started.
When we first start at a job, we are often given a chat about its purpose. Someone talks about what is at stake, who we serve, what we are trying to accomplish. Try to remember back to that and write those things down.
What you can do is now talk about what you attempted.
Triangulate From What You Know
This next one is a little trickier, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes magic.
Think of any number you can associate with your work. It doesn’t have to be a good one. It just needs to be a real one you can talk about.
Now that you have a number ask yourself, “And what impact did that have?”
From one tiny number, you can now build a web out of potential impacts, and quite often, that leads to numbers you can create with some basic math.
For example, maybe a number is the number of bugs you fixed. So, you can use that as is, but you can also maybe look at how many outages you prevented, the cost of debugging, or the revenue you protected by getting rid of customer-facing bugs. These are examples you may find when you begin to inspect your impact.
If you find you want to work with me on some of that, give me a call or send me an email. I’m here to help!