During my years working with clients giving resume advice, I have noticed a consistent trend in how people write their experience – by using the old habit of listing their job duties and tasks. Unfortunately, this makes for a very task-based, unimpressive resume, which does not provide the reader any idea regarding the size, level, or extent of your responsibilities. The key, which most forget to include, is the scope.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines scope as: “extent of treatment, activity, or influence”. What does this mean? Well, when describing your position, it’s important to define the boundaries within which you work. In doing so, you are painting a picture for your reader, which gives them a better understanding of the level of your responsibility and the impact you have within your organization – and as a result…your value proposition.
Here’s an example:
Mr. Smith includes in his resume the tasks of his position. I know:
a: Consult one-on-one with their clients, providing product solutions that meet their needs
b: Promote new and existing products
c: Utilize cold-calling tactics to increase new sales opportunities
d: Collaborate with cross-functional departments to help launch and promote new products and tap into new markets
What I do not know is:
a: How large are his clients or accounts?
b: Is he responsible for a specific territory or product line, how big is it?
c: Which departments does he work with to promote new products?
d: Is there anything that makes him special in his position (examples: top performer, resident expert; lead sales; manage largest accounts; recognized expert amongst clients…)
e: Does he report to someone in a level of significance?
f: Does he have any direct or indirect reports?
g: What is the impact of his sales dollars, example is he responsible for sales worth 50% of company’s total sales worth?
With each question above a quantifiable can be added to help better define the “extent” and “influence” of Mr. Smith’s responsibility. Each measurable helps the reader understand the level of his responsibility and the impact his results have on the company’s bottom line. Paired with measurable accomplishments, his resume will differentiate the level of his skill versus his competition. In the same way, you will want to ask yourself similar questions to define your scope and help the reader understand your impact!
Thank you to one of our resume experts, Jasmine Marchong, for this article and the resume tips. We hope this resume advice has been helpful for you. If you would like further resume advice, please feel free to contact us!