The Silver Bullet Section of Your Resume
The Silver Bullet Section of Your Resume is the second most important part of your resume, after the job title. This is the bulleted section where you highlight, for the hiring manager, what your major accomplishments are, and what you are really good at doing.
4. The Silver Bullet Section
Use the Silver Bullet section to showcase what makes you special.
The Silver Bullet section completes your “Above the Fold” content. With a clear vision of the Job Title you want, you are going to start to build a case. You are going to show proof you are well suited to your target Job Title. This is your chance to show that tired, over-worked, eye-strained, want-to-go-home-and-have-dinner, hiring manager exactly what things you are good at.
Don’t mistake responsibilities for accomplishments
To prove to the hiring manager that you can do the job, your resume should be 80% accomplishments and 20% responsibilities. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make in their resumes. They talk more about what they were responsible for, rather than talking about what they achieved. You do need to mention the scope of your responsibilities, but that is secondary to what you have accomplished.
Example (this is wrong):
Responsible for managing world wide sales force including 20 direct sales people and 50 sales agents.
Without showing an achievement, the statement above sounds like you were retired on the job.
Example – the correct way:
Increased sales by 75% over 3 years while leading a world wide sales force including 20 direct sales people and 50 sales agents.
Notice how the responsibility comes after the big accomplishment, and how it’s interweaved with the accomplishment.
What makes you special?
Remember, your target audience is tired of reading resumes, so use big bold claims and attention grabbing statements. You have eight to ten bullet points to work with. You don’t need complete sentences. This is no place for paragraphs. You can use up to 15 words per bullet point. Shorter is easier to read.
What can you do for the hiring manager?
Highlight your major accomplishments.
- Use “keywords” that describe what you do and what you have accomplished.
- Drop big names: Did you work for Intel, or HP, or Google? Did you sell to or consult for Dell, Wall Street Journal, CNN?
- What is so special about you? Think big. Brag a little, but don’t lie.
- Use numbers to be clear and specific.
If you are writing this resume for a specific job opening, read their job description and make sure at least a few of your bullets show that you can do the job.
Write as if each bullet is a headline in the news:
- Developed new products now worth over $50M/year
- Achieved cost reductions of over $30M in two years
- Won the Congressional Medal of Honor
- Twenty-four patents granted in the field of superconductors
- Grew new business from $20M to over $100M / year
- Experienced at selling to IBM, Dell, Intel, HP and Toyota
- Improved customer service response time from 48 hours to 5 minutes
If you’re having trouble, try this remembering your accomplishments exercise
The purpose of this next exercise is to help you identify your major accomplishments from each job you have held. You’ll need to take out a sheet of paper or get your favorite word processor going.
"How To Write The Perfect Resume,
A Resume Writing Guide, Complete With Resume Templates"
Page Number 27-28