Whether you’re looking to update your professional summary on your resume or need to introduce your capabilities in a cover letter, knowing how to write a good description of your prior experience is essential. Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as it seems on the surface. By using the right strategy, you can make your description compelling and relevant to the hiring manager. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips.
Showcasing Prior Experience Through a Good Description
Use Strong Action Verbs
When you write a description of your prior experience, using strong action verbs is essential. Along with imbuing your resume with a sense of energy, action verbs ensure the hiring manager understands the nuances of your contributions.
Strong action verbs also reduce ambiguity. For example, saying you “assisted” with a project muddies the nature of your contributions, as it isn’t clear how much of the associated work was managed by you. The same is true of “supported,” barring specific customer-centric applications. Using alternatives like “launched,” “formulated,” “led,” “coached,” “facilitated,” “designed,” or “shaped” often gives a clearer indication of your role in the project, making them better choices.
Quantify the Successes
Numbers often speak louder than words when you’re writing a resume or cover letter. When you support your statements with metrics, you’re providing valuable context. Similarly, quantifying your successes helps the hiring manager see how much value you provide, which makes a significant difference when you’re trying to land a position.
Quantifying your success is something you can do in several ways. Percentage increases regarding profits, percentage decreases relating to spending, or specific dollar amounts are all solid choices. Similarly, describing the size of any team you led with a metric – such as “managed a team of 6 employees” – helps the hiring manager gain a better understanding of the scope of your supervisory duties.
Highlight Relevant Skills
When you’re describing your prior experience, showcasing skills that are relevant to the role you’re trying to secure is essential. Usually, you want to review the job ad for insights, predominately focusing on any must-haves listed in the qualifications section. Then, include references to those specific capabilities in your description.
By using that approach, you’re positioning yourself as a strong match for that particular job. You’re essentially highlighting that you have the requested abilities, ensuring the hiring manager is immediately aware that you meet that requirement. Often, that increases the odds that a hiring manager will take a closer look at your resume or cover letter, creating opportunities for them to learn more about what you bring to the table.
Ultimately, using the tips above ensures you can create a good description of your prior experience, making it easier to elevate your resume. In turn, you increase your chances of landing an interview, bringing you one step closer to a job offer.
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If you’d like to learn more about how to write a compelling description of your past experience or are currently seeking out job opportunities, Alpha Consulting wants to hear from you. Contact us today.