Every Resume Should Answer This Question… Does Yours?


During a job search, your resume is a critical tool. It provides the hiring manager with information regarding what you bring to the table, creating an opportunity for them to assess you as a professional. To be effective, a resume needs to address specific points, but one question usually resides at the center.

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The One Question Every Resume Should Answer

While the idea of narrowing your resume down to answer a single question may seem odd, it ensures that the content remains focused. Plus, it addresses a core concern of every hiring manager.  If you want to make sure your resume provides the hiring manager with value, it has to answer one question: What impact have you made and how can you quantify it?

This question is so critical because of what it represents. Hiring managers want to learn how your presence affected your previous employers. Then, when you quantify the information, you are giving them context that creates additional meaning.

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How to Answer the Question on Your Resume

While this question may seem more like an interview question than a resume guideline, using it to customize the content within your resume is a wise step. After all, each experience and accomplishment is part of the answer. The key is clearly stating the results of your efforts and thus, the impact that your made. 

On a resume, numbers often speak louder than words. This is because quantifying your accomplishments gives a hiring manager insight into your experience, a better understanding of scope and a greater appreciation of the outcome. An example could be how you finished a $M project, X number of days ahead of schedule, and Y percent below budget, you truly demonstrate the value you provided to an employer. This is not bragging. It is about showcasing your capabilities and highlight accomplishments in a way that creates meaningful value.

Every hiring manager has to keep the bottom line in mind when hiring. If you can show how your skills and experience could enable a company to improve the company’s bottom line, that is hard for a hiring manager to ignore. However, you do not have to focus on dollar amounts alone. Improvements in efficiency and productivity can also be highlighted if you can back them up with numbers. The idea is to showcase how your previous employers ended up in a better position thanks to your efforts, and how that experience will enable your success in this new role.

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A career in construction administration and management can be (and for me has been) one of constant transition. It’s rather common that employment with a given company starts and finishes with each successive project; you’re a new hire as it’s just getting “out of the ground,” then finished and looking for a new project (and Read More…

Greg Wangler, Pentagon Construction Management Division

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