Your resumé is the only first chance you get to impress a potential company (right after the cover letter). It makes sense then that getting the details right can make or break a potential job offer. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Google’s Senior VP of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, provides tips for perfecting your resumé:

“The key,” [Bock] said, “is to frame your strengths as: ‘I accomplished X, relative to Y, by doing Z.’ Most people would write a resumé like this: ‘Wrote editorials for the New York Times.’ Better would be to say: ‘Had 50 op-eds published compared to average of 6 by most op-ed [writers] as a result of providing deep insight into the following area for three years.’

It’s easy to create a resume from a template-style list of accomplishments and talents. What Bock recommends is providing clear evidence of how those accomplishments were achieved and which abilities it took to do them. Writing your resumé this way makes it vastly easier for potential hires to imagine exactly how you could help their business, giving you better odds at landing an interview.

Read the full interview and get more tips for writing a better resumé today, at New York Times.

  • beatboxing

    I’ve been trying to hire people for the past few months and I remarked to one candidate that his resume really stood out. Instead of bullet points, the job description was written narrative style, starting with I… It was really refreshing, and because he wrote well, it came off great. When I complimented him on the resume he said he knew it was a risk, but was glad that it paid off with me.

    • Anna

      Thank you for insight. Do you mind sharing what type of role it was? I recently saw a LinkedIn profile for a person who wrote everything narrative style. It was similar to reading this person’s biographical novel. I believe that this style may work better in one situation while in another situation plain numbers will get the attention

      • beatboxing

        The style probably works best for some managers and not well for others. But as an applicant you usually don’t know the person doing the hiring. 🙂 This was for an engineering type position, but as the hirer, I want my future employees to be creative and to (reasonably) think outside of the box delivering a solid, sustainable solution – perhaps with a little flare; probably not the norm in my field, especially for the big corporate company I work for.

        I’d say if you’re not in a critical situation where you need a job asap (because we’ve all been there), it’s best to present yourself as truthfully as possible.

  • John Moore
  • Jeff Altman

    As always, the use of metrics in a resume is subject to “B.S.;” the resume may get the interview; delivering the goods is different and requires measurement that individual bias cannot influence.

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