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The value driven resume

Although it is important to have an attractive, easy-to-read resume, you need much more than that. Buzzwords are not enough and some so-called “buzzwords” are actually clichés that tarnish your brand. So how do you create a resume that reflects your values?

By Tamara Dowling

Tamara Dowling founded in 2000 and is an award-winning writer who has helped thousands of clients spanning nearly every industry. She’s widely published online and in print as a resume and LinkedIn expert, however, she’s most proud of the personal service that she and her team provide each client.

Candidates often ask me how to format their resume or what buzzwords to add so their resume leads to an interview. Although it is important to have an attractive, easy-to-read resume, you need much more than that. Buzzwords are not enough and some so-called “buzzwords” are actually clichés that tarnish your brand. The most effective way to earn an invitation is to create a value-driven resume. Let’s break down the value-driven resume.

Why Focus on Values

When you are making an important decision with long-term ramifications, you may perform a side-by-side comparison. What does each model or brand offer? How does this provider address my needs? Which product or provider best fills my needs? That is how a recruiter or hiring employer views the search for a candidate. They seek to interview candidates that best fill the company’s needs. You may be the candidate that meets their every need. However, if you don’t present a compelling case through a value-driven resume, you may be rejected – no matter how beautiful the resume looks!

What Are Your Target Employers Seeking?

Analyze the skills needed by your target employer. Review job postings online on sites such as the iRelaunch Job Board,, and Identify your target jobs and study the requirements. Also visit LinkedIn to find profiles of employees at your target company or within your target occupation. Scrutinize the skills and accomplishments of those individuals. Do you notice a high representation of certain skills? Use this research to define the “in demand” skills and experience for your target job.

Aligning Your Value with the Target

Match your skills, education, and experience to match the needs of your target employers. Based on the job requirements, make a list of your top functional skills, technical proficiency, certifications, education, specialized knowledge, and experience. This is the information most relevant (and interesting) to your target employer.

Showcasing Your Value

You have defined the employer’s requirements and the set of skills, knowledge, and abilities relative to those requirements. The next step is to transform those facts into a compelling document that communicates your value. It’s easier to see examples of this in examples.

Leverage your opening profile and core competencies sections to communicate your top values. These statements are rich in keywords (not buzzwords) that are aligned with requirements shown in the hiring employer’s job posting.


Convert bland statements that read like job descriptions into quantifiable, results-based accomplishments statements. Sharing concrete examples of relevant accomplishments is the best way to prove your case that you are a strong candidate worth interviewing. Past results are the best indicator of future success. Take a look at this example of a results-based accomplishment bulleted statement.

  • Decreased annual scrap by 73% ($230,000 per year) by designing, advocating for, and implementing automatic process controls in production areas.

The Takeaway

Developing a value-driven resume involves critical preparation before you begin to craft your resume. This includes identifying your target job(s), determining the major requirements for the target job(s), and listing your relevant skills, knowledge and abilities. Take advantage of the top third of resume page one to promote your value. As you share your experience, go beyond your basic job functions. Those are only the minimum requirements. Make the effort to develop persuasive results-based accomplishments statements to show your past success. Lastly, utilize special categories, such as “Certifications,” “Awards & Honors,” “Professional Affiliations,” and “Community Leadership” to showcase other aspects of your relevant skills, knowledge, and abilities.

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