What you achieved, not what you did

What you achieved, not what you did

A friend and former colleague is looking to return to the hospitality industry after a two-year break. She shared her resume with me, and while she is an incredible employee, her resume did not read nearly as well as it should. 

The common mistake I find with many resumes (going back to my recruiter days), is that most people list simply what their tasks were in their positions and forget to include their accomplishments from their prior roles. For example, I presented to college students recently who expressed interest in applying their hospitality degrees to the food and beverage/restaurant side of the industry. I asked the group these questions:

  • “Who has worked in a restaurant before?” Eight out of 20 students raised their hands. 
  • “Who has held the position of server?” Six out of the 8 raised their hands. 
  • “Tell me about your experience as a server, as I can only hire one of you?” As we went around the room, five of the kids talked about taking orders, providing good service, clearing dishes and understanding the menu. The sole student who stood out talked about this: After three months, I showed enough leadership to be assigned the official trainer for the waitstaff. Many of these servers had been at the restaurant longer than me, so I needed to approach the interaction with them delicately. We developed a team approach together and formulated a training program for all new hires. I increased the average check for my customers by 28% by developing a dessert upsell program, and then was asked to roll out the program to the other team members. By working with the kitchen staff, I was able to create a system that shortened the delivery time for the food coming out to the customers.
Who would you hire?  

Are you simply doing your job now?  Can you do your job better by focusing on accomplishments? Keeping track of your achievements will not only help your resume (for those job seekers), but also positively contribute to your year-end review (for those not looking for a new position).