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- from the desk of Ian Christie
CEO & Executive Career Coach
Resume Bullet Points - How Bullet-Point Worthy is Your Job?
Your professional value is communicated through your conversations, word-of-mouth, your work, and through what you write on your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile and other branding materials. For your written branding materials, resume bullet points are the sound bites, the encapsulation of what you’ve done. In one to three lines per bullet, your professional contributions are described. It’s a moment of truth when it comes time to write-up your experience. The intent of the resume bullet point, cover letters and LinkedIn profile bullet points is to communicate what you can do, by what you’ve done. From projects, initiatives, excelling above standards, improving processes to creating and developing new things. How you’ve engaged key competencies is also captured in the bullet point. The bullet point is about accomplishment and how you generated positive results. If that’s the case, then rather than waiting until after the fact, shine a light now on your current role.
What difference are you making? What positive results have you generated?
Reflecting on these questions can offer valuable insight on two key areas of your professional journey; your level of personal leadership, and the quality of your current job.
Personal Leadership: Do I Step-up?
To what extent are you acting, behaving, leading and getting in the mix so that you are making your mark to make a difference? Every job has base expectations. We are talking about your impact. Are you taking advantage of the opportunities to lead, to shake things up, to step-up? To what extent are you positively impacting people, processes, product, customers and financial and organizational health? Don’t be a bystander. The starting point for a strong career is the inner fire you bring to your assignments. Make sure that you are making things happen.
Current Job: How Much Opportunity?
To what extent is your current job / role / mandate allowing you to generate bullet points? Do you have the opportunity to contribute in meaningful ways and generate positive results for your department, organization and customers? If your immediate response is “no”, ask yourself “why not?” Is it just the job, or have you possibly stepped back, given in, or resigned yourself to playing it safe in response to constraints? Constraints can involve how your role is defined, the leadership style of your manager, the culture of the organization, the state of the department, business and industry, and the confidence and trust people have in you. If, after self-examination, you determine that you are blocked, then it might be time to consider a career move.
Developing your market power and a healthy career involves creating building blocks of increasing levels of accomplishment, learning and contribution. In the big scheme of things, you don’t have that many roles to play with. And importantly, the quality of this experience determines your degrees of choice for your next job. What do you think? To what extent is it a matter of personal leadership vs. the opportunity available in the job?
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