Skills Corner: Translating Your Duties to Impact

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Skills Corner: Translating Your Duties to Impact

Alert!: Do NOT have your resume read like you copy-pasted it from the job description your company posted on! At first, translating your skills to impact can be a bit of a pain in the toosh to do what I’m about to tell you to do, but believe me- it’s worth it.

Translate your duties into impact.


Here’s why:

  • It paints a picture for what you actually do: Ever read a resume and have no idea what the person actually DOES all day? Take a look at yours or better yet- ask someone to read it and tell you what they think you work on. If it’s anything less than spot on, it’s time to rejig it up!
  • It shows your mastery of your craft: Many of our jobs are oftentimes ambiguous and hard to explain. If you’re able to clearly explain what you do and the impact you’ve had, it further demonstrates your communication skills, which most every job requires.
  • It shows how you’ve excelled: You are able to show how you and/or your team has impacted the bottom line, top line or other functions of the company. This is translatable to companies everywhere. You’re explaining your value and skills in plain terms so your prospective employer(s) don’t have to.

Here’s how:

  • Translate features (ie your attributes and skills) into benefits: Do you project manage multiple projects from requirements gathering to completion? That’s great! How can you amp that up even further? It takes a bit of legwork up front if you haven’t been keeping track all along, but it’s worth it to see how your work has impacted the company overall. How many of your 10 projects were completed on time and under budget? How much under budget ($-wise or percentage wise)? A resulting bullet point could read, “Manage 10 projects simultaneously at any given time; overall, 85% of projects are completed on-time and under-budget (verus a 70% company-wide rate). Obviously, you need to gauge what is appropriate and what is impressive given other factors like how other projects performed company-wise, industry standards, etc
  • Tell a (brief) story: If you have a banner story that highlights a specific project you worked on, construct a brief bullet point highlighting your impact for that specific client. “Located a $200,000 annual savings for client, resulting in repeat business for the firm.”
  • Make sure the bullets support your narrative: It’s important to ensure that the resulting bullet points under your current job entry map nicely to the narrative you’re telling on LinkedIn, in interviews and in your professional summary. With regard to skills, do you talk about how you’ve solved problems? Make sure the resulting impact-oriented bullets match that assertion. In other words, once you’re done with all of the bullets, read them in tandem to make sure they tell your story powerfully. It’s a 2-D piece of paper; it’s your job to make it come alive!

Any other ways that you’ve translated duties into accomplishments? Share them below!