There are thousands of exceptional candidates in your industry. Your specific qualities and accomplishments are what set you apart from all of those other job seekers. Does your resume or application clearly communicate that competitive advantage? The answer to this very crucial question can mean the difference between landing a dream job or accepting another “resume builder.”

The truth is, a lot of jobs can be won or lost on paper. You may have accomplished a great deal in your career, but unless your resume or application clearly demonstrates your professional prowess, you’re in danger of becoming just another piece of paper in a growing stack on HR’s desk.

Luckily for you, Practice Management Connections reviews literally hundreds of resumes every year. We speak with candidates and practices daily about what makes an exceptional hire. There is a lot that can go into the development of your competitive advantage in the job market, but we’ve narrowed the list to three of the most important strategies for identifying and promoting your differentiators.

Proven Accomplishments

A resume or application stands out and is much more impressive if you can list specific accomplishments that you achieved, with the data and results to back it up. Anyone can make bold statements about previous work, but if you have the statistics to prove it, hiring managers are going to take notice and move you to the top of the interview pile. Below are some examples for reference.

  • Example One: “I build strong teams and focus on employee engagement.” Not impactful. The difference when written with data that proves the statement true is obvious. “Within two years of becoming clinic manager, I filled all vacant positions at the clinic and overall turnover went from 80 percent to 15 percent due in large part to a new onboarding process I developed and implemented.”
  • Example Two: “I review clinic processes and implement improvements where possible to decrease cost, increase revenue, and/or increase employee and patient satisfaction.” Not impactful. Instead, consider the following. “My team and I identified a key clinic process that was costly and interfered with clinic flow. Leading the team, we developed a solution, and it resulted in an annual estimated clinic savings of $20,000 in saved labor and supplies, as well as increased our overall patient satisfaction survey scores by 15 percent.”

Critical Thinking

Demonstrate instances where you have led a team that has encountered obstacles and how your critical thinking skills solved the problem. Identify your best examples of issues management, problem solving and strategy implementation, then prove how your critical thinking skills overcame the challenge. Your new organization’s problems will be different and employers want to know that you have the ability to analyze a unique challenge, develop a plan, mobilize your team and implement solutions.

Perfect the Humble Brag

Leadership books will tell you that organizational accomplishments are all about a team’s success. This is true, but your team is not applying for this position. Employers want to hear about your specific contribution to a team win. What did you do, discover, develop, encourage, pave the way for, etc., that led to your team’s success? Humbly communicating these accomplishments in a manner that applauds the team, but focuses on why the success would not have happened without you, is a challenge. Have professional colleagues you trust review your resume with a critical eye to ensure you don’t come off as a braggadocio.   

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