Employers are like the rest of us: They want to be entertained.
If Jesse Moore and Monet Eliastam told you they were “interns,” you'd think “meh, big deal.”
What if the two explained how they won a $6.4 million settlement against NBCUniversal after they interned on “Saturday Night Live?”
I bet they have your attention now.
Moore and Eliastam led the charge for thousands of “SNL” interns who believed they should have been paid for their work. The settlement elevates the duo to mythical status in the world of unpaid internships.
Even if you don't receive a dime of the $6.4 million, you can learn a lesson from Moore and Eliastam that can make an impact on your career, too.
How? Use strong detail to make your gig sound impressive.
How to make any job look remarkable on a resume.
You might think your job is nothing special or, better yet, a stepping stone to an actual career. You figure, “Who wants to learn about my boring job? I should play up my work ethic and personality instead.” So your entry-level resume is full of words like:
– hard worker
– team player
Wrong. Plain wrong.
You can make any job, no matter how mundane, jump off the page. It all starts with one question:
Where's the drama?
Every job has moments of stress or high emotion. Those are ideal opportunities to demonstrate HOW you're a hard worker, team player, or dependable. Employers are like the rest of us: they want to be entertained.
Forget your job title or how “unimpressive” it might appear. Give people the drama, and watch what happens.
Here's a quick example.
Let's say Jane Doe lands a job through a temp agency filing papers and answering phones at a medical practice. Maybe not the job she wants for 30 years, but it's what she has right now.
Typical work experience on her resume:
– Answer phones and provide customer service at a medical office
– Assist people with concerns in a friendly and courteous manner
– File patient paperwork and help to keep the office organized
Again, where's the drama? How can she add sizzle to an “ordinary” job?
Revised work experience on her resume:
– Answer over 75 phone calls a day at one of the busiest medical practices in Houston
– Check in 50-60 patients each day and often work with three to four people at a time
– Help to manage files for nearly 2,700 patients and digitize critical medical information
See what I mean? Do you feel the drama now?
The two job descriptions sound like different people. In the second version, I focus on hectic moments in the workday and include numbers to explain how much of everything.
Check in 50-60 patients each day and often work with three to four people at a time
That's far more interesting than:
Assist people with concerns in a friendly and courteous manner
Now the employer pictures the applicant hustling — and keeping order — in a crazy doctor's office. Cool under pressure, doesn't get rattled, can handle the stress.
So … how do you add drama to YOUR resume?
Think about work experience like this: How are/were my jobs dramatic? What made them tense or stressful?
Then, bring those moments onto your resume.
Replace this line:
– Managed warehouse and handled ordering and restocking of supplies
With this line:
– Managed 17,000 sq. ft. warehouse and handled restocking of over 500 different supplies, which were shipped from 37 states and seven countries
Which version do you find more appealing?
Yep. The employer does too.
Want to see how your resume stacks up? Try out our free critique today!
Note: This article originally appeared in Rubin Education, formally known as News to Live By.
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