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Is Your Resume Lacking Something? Try a New Method to Attract Potential Employers

Updated on April 14, 2012

So what makes you stand out from a crowd of hundreds or even hundreds of thousands? Your resume and it’s not something to take lightly if you want to land that dream job you have been looking for. There are a number of types of resume styles to choose from but the one that is going to set you apart from the competition is what I call the cause, action and affect resume.

This type of resume doesn’t just list your skills as most others do, it shows your skills in action and the affect they had on the original problem. This type of resume takes a little bit longer to compose but it will be well worth it in the end. So let’s first take a look at how most people list there job skills on their resume and we will look at an example of someone who recently worked in a customer service position:

Example One (Generic Resume):

Applicant A has submitted their resume and at their former position they listed their duties as follows:

  • Organized office supplies
  • Assisted manager with daily duties
  • Placed customer orders
  • Resolved customer complaints
  • Performed other duties as needed

As you can see, these are basically listing duties that anyone would perform in a customer service role and it does not expand on your skills at all which lumps you in with all the other applicants.

Example Two (Cause, Action and Affect Resume):

Applicant B submitted their resume for the same position as Applicant A but has used a different method to detail their qualifications:

Managed time based projects as requested by the customers, implementing new customers and transitioning existing customers to new core operating systems, managing any customer inquires based on services, working with sales to obtain and support new clients

  • Established customers into core operating systems from legacy systems allowing clients to take full advantage of the company’s offerings
  • Assisted in the development of a new invoicing system permitting customers to update multiple purchase orders at the time of invoicing creating a niche for special requests
  • Worked closely with programming and IT services to create statements of work which guided day-to-day business operations

From the information, Applicant B seems like the better qualified candidate because they listed actual items that helped the company.

Let’s break the second one down to show the Cause, Action and Affect:

  • Cause – New systems were installed at the company making the old system obsolete
  • Action – Take the initiative to move customers to the new system
  • Affect – Allowing customers to be able to use all the new functionality of the new systems that the legacy system did not have

Also, in the beginning of listing the skills, Applicant B put a brief description of what their job entailed. The broad range that Customer Service Representative spans could mean one thing to one company and something completely different to another company you are applying for so it is important to establish what your job actually entailed.

So with the job market being as unstable as it is, it is important to distinguish yourself as a top candidate with an eye-catching and unique resume. Make sure to put some time, effort and proofreading into your resume and make it your own and you should shortly start seeing some of those employees calling and emailing your back that ignored you before.


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    • annaw profile image

      annaw 6 years ago from North Texas

      Quantifying skills as shown in second example is a definate plus. I found it useful to also tweek the resume to the actual position ad and requirements. I voted this up and useful