3 Psychological Tricks to Make a Power Resume

Read Time • 2 min.
By Zipline Career Team • October 31, 2018
As tough as it may be to accept when applying to jobs, sometimes hiring managers are plainly unimpressed by our resume and our prior accomplishments.
Often this is not a personal dislike for us as individuals (they usually don’t know you), but instead a narrow viewpoint about what is useful in their specific environment and subsequently, who they’d like to hire.

So, what should we do about this?

The bad news – you’re unlikely to change their myopic viewpoint.

The good news – you can use their viewpoint to your advantage when crafting your resume and other job application materials.

So, what are some of these general viewpoints held by hiring managers? And how can you use it to your advantage?

Manager Viewpoint #1: Earning revenue is usually more “interesting” than saving a company money.

While not all organizations are for-profit entities, for-profit institutions and revenue-oriented principles generally hold an intense and broad sway over individuals’ and groups’ mindsets at-large.  As a result, framing your accomplishments in terms of revenue you helped generate is useful for impressing hiring managers.

For example, even if you work in a non-profit, you could frame successful grant funding like this:

“Analyzed reports that contributed to successful new grant funding proceeds for upcoming fiscal year.”

Here, you have framed your contribution in terms of funds you brought in that help define your importance in your organization.

Manager Viewpoint #2: Did you reach or exceed set goals in your position?

It’s extremely psychologically satisfying for a future employer to see that you succeeded in a set goals, or even better, surpassed those goals you or your employer set.  Describing successful small goals is much more resounding and positive than failing to accomplish anything completely, like leaving before projects  were complete at you prior jobs.

This is by no means to say that you shouldn’t set a high bar for yourself. However, it’s important to characterize your successes properly and, leave your failures to the side if at all possible.

Manager Viewpoint #3: What was something new that you directed or were a part of?

Most hiring managers will likely be uninterested in typical day-to-day responsibilities that are, or appear, routine for your current or last job.  Instead, describe new routines, cost-saving measures, time management practices or other innovative efforts that you developed or were a part of.

Again, stick to the principle listed in Viewpoint #2. That is, a small new initiative that is successful is often much more mentally pleasing to hiring managers than a large failed activity.

All of this is not to say that your failed initiatives, outside skills and non-monetary activities are useless or unimportant.  Rather, it’s important that you frame your story in a way that resonates with the group and individuals you are trying to influence.

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