Resume Tips IV: Explaining Your Career
Before hiring managers and recruiters can offer you a new job, they have to understand your old job.

For example, if hiring managers or recruiters never heard of the company you work for, they might find it impossible to judge your contribution or your fit for their own company. What industry did you work in? How large was the company you worked for? What did the company produce or what service did it perform? By including the answers to those questions in your resume, you give hiring managers a context for your accomplishments. For example, you might state: $5 billion company designs process control equipment for the oil and gas industry.

Often companies are creative with job titles. I was a bit taken aback the first time I met someone who was an “Internal Consultant.” What exactly does an Internal Consultant do? Who does he consult with? You might give a more recognizable name for your position: Internal Consultant (Change Management Leader). Even if your job title seems to be self-evident (Investment Manager, Director of Human Resources), the actual scope of work and responsibility might differ widely from company to company. By giving information about the number of people who report to you, your overall responsibilities, who you report to, and your accomplishments, you establish a context.

For this reason, I always urge my clients to be specific about their accomplishments. Let’s say your job requires writing PowerPoint presentations. If you were the ghost-writer, who did you write for? If you were the presenter, who asked you to present? In any case, where was the presentation given and who was in the audience? How many presentations did you write in a month or a year? Did you receive any special praise or commendations? Did your presentation have direct results (a project was funded, a committee better understood its responsibilities, the audience learned about a complex technique)?

If you describe the company you worked for, your title and your accomplishments in specific and clear language and if you provide a context, hiring managers and recruiters will be better able to evaluate your fit for the position they want to fill.