Sometimes we don’t recognize all of the value we have to offer prospective employers. When writing a resume, we can get caught up in showcasing our daily roles and responsibilities. But it’s essential to stand back and take in the whole picture. Consider how you’ve contributed to the overall health and growth of your company or organization. More often than not, we’ve had a greater impact than we first realize.
Below are significant results that you may have delivered without even knowing it.
Work somewhere long enough; chances are you’ve cut costs for your employer. Sometimes job seekers have saved previous employers, hundreds, thousands, even millions of dollars – yet they fail to put that on their resume. It’s worth examining all of your initiatives, habits and roles to see where and how you’ve cut costs. Even if you’re not a big-league, senior executive, you still could be delivering major savings.
Here are a few ways you might be saving your employer a chunk of change:
- You do extra tasks: taking on new or temporary roles for a company is a cost-cutting measure. Have you helped with a software upgrade? Trained new staff? Reordered files? These tasks improve workflow while saving the money of bringing in additional help.
- You’re the resident expert on something: are you the go-to on tech issues? The only Spanish speaker in the office? The social-media guru? Think about how much it would cost to hire a Technology Specialist, a Bilingual Translator or a Social Media Manager: that’s the savings you’ve delivered.
Improving workflow is a brag-worthy result that you might be delivering without knowing it. Within the scope of your daily tasks, consider what processes – large or small – you’ve changed or influenced.
Some ways you may have streamlined processes at work:
You eliminated unnecessary processes: Have you found a way to eliminate daily time-wasting or futile processes? Have you discovered that multiple people are doing one job, or there’s an easier way to do something? No matter how small this change might be, the time saved over the course of months and years can be profound!
You automated processes: Maybe you’ve initiated a move toward automation, or helped to onboard new workflow software. Maybe you’ve made forms, orders or communications paperless. In doing so, you’ve enhanced and improved the overall flow of the office or company.
You reallocated or clarify tasks: Perhaps two people are struggling to collaborate on one role, or maybe one persons’ overwhelm is creating a bottleneck. By initiating communication about the issues and suggesting changes, you’ve helped to streamline workflow!
Influence Business Strategy
Whoa, isn’t this a job for the boss? Maybe they take the credit, but employee input, suggestions, negotiations, questions and ideas can impact overall strategy in significant ways. If you’re lucky enough to have a boss who listens to you, there’s an excellent chance your ideas and initiatives have influenced the direction of the company, even if in very subtle ways.
How you influence business strategy:
Make suggestions – Suggestions can take on many faces – from budgetary requests to directly telling a superior about a potential change that could bring in clients or save more money. Places to source suggestions include professional development programs, competitor processes or your keen observations.
Create and deliver reports – There can be a lot of power in reporting. For one, you see the big picture as well as the nitty-gritty, and how they interplay. Secondly, there’s often wiggle room in how you report data. If you’re able to uncover flaws or revenue potential in your research and communicate that in your reports – you stand a great chance of impacting senior-level decisions.
Collect and communicate feedback – Do you record the feedback that comes to you? Do you seek it out or attempt to clarify it? Do you present the feedback to your superiors along with suggestions? Has he/she listened to your suggestions? If so, you’re most likely influencing overall business strategies!
Grow & Maintain Client Base
Clients drive business success, so if you’ve developed new clients or nurtured relationships with longstanding clients, you’ve improved client relations and grown the client base. This is certainly worth mentioning on your resume!
How you may have grown the client base:
Brought in new clients: Have your customers recommended you? Have you earned a reputation that’s brought in customers? Have you directly pitched your company’s services with success? Then you’ve grown the client base!
Maintain clients: Do you deliver exemplary customer service to long-standing clients? Do you have repeat customers over months or years? Do those clients continue to try new services or pay for current services? This maintenance of clients is invaluable to your company’s long-term success as they not only purchase products/services but spread the word about your company, which is invaluable.
Developing talent shows leadership and initiative. If you’ve identified potential in a coworker, trained one or more people, or served as a consultant across departments, you’ve developed talent.
How you might have developed talent where you work:
Trained the newbie: Whether you’re a waitress or a doctor, if you’ve led formal or informal training, this demonstrates to future employers that your previous ones have supreme confidence in your abilities.
Created materials/instructions: If you’ve recorded the steps of a work process, created clarifying how-tos or instructions, then you’ve informally trained those who use those materials!
Cross-departmental communications: Have you clarified or explained the processes of your department to those leading other departments? Have you initiated intra-departmental collaboration on projects? Have you become the point-person for your department on any level? If so, your leadership skills are worth highlighting.
There are many ways to accidentally undersell yourself on a resume. By shifting your focus off of daily tasks and analyzing how you’ve influenced routines, processes and stakeholders over time, you might find that you’ve got a lot to brag about!