How to Improve Your Resume with One Easy Lesson

Guest Blog Post By Irene Marshall

You have probably read statistics about how frequently people lie or exaggerate the accomplishments shown in their resumes. Why does this happen? People can be insecure about who they are, and a resume can easily stray from the truth. People don’t know how to talk about their past performance and their value to their new employer.

There are two primary issues:

1. The actual results of your work may not be as great as you wish. 

This is particularly true for sales professionals where success is measured by hard facts and numbers. Did you increase sales in an under-performing territory? Did you land a key account? Were you instrumental
in the successful launch of a new product? Did you improve profit margins by negotiating higher prices
with your customers? 

You may not be recognized as a President’s Club member or “Rookie of the Year”.  But companies always need solid and steady sales professionals. They need committed employees who push themselves to always make real contributions to the company’s success.  

Own where you are now in your career. An honest assessment of your work is a stepping off point on how you can be even better in the future. Do not be complacent about your track record, but don’t under-estimate either. Think about your own individual performance, but also don’t forget your contributions to
a team.

2. It is easy to exaggerate some measurement of your sales results in a resume because the information is confidential.

But there are ways to write about this such as the use of percentages (increased sales by 5% during an economic downturn) or general descriptions of customers (top-tier Fortune 100 business intelligence company).

But problems with the company itself can make it difficult to separate the truth of your work from the company’s problems. What if it cannot deliver new products as promised? It can be challenging to talk about this in relation to your own accomplishments without revealing confidential information.

So to be direct – tell the truth in your resume. Words matter. Own the content of how you present yourself. It will be a good representation of who you are as a great sales professional.  

Whether you write your resume yourself or engage a professional resume writer, you are ultimately responsible for the content in your resume. If it does not tell the truth, make a commitment to fix it the problem now. A good writer will be non-judgmental and can help you to do this. Plus this will actually serve as interview preparation for you.     

So if you know your resume conveys the truth, you can own it and be confident on why someone should hire you instead of someone else. 

Irene Marshall is a career strategist, resume writer, and job coach with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. Find out more about Irene Marshall @ Tools for Transition.