How to Make Similar Positions Stand Apart on Your Resume
Like most people, you’ve probably held multiple jobs that had similar responsibilities. Regardless of why you’ve changed jobs or companies, you’re likely doing similar work to what you were doing previously. It just makes sense… it’s what your training and experience are in. But when writing your resume, how do you show you haven’t just been sitting stagnant?
Your resume only gets a few seconds to grab a potential employer’s attention, so it’s critical to engage the reader and present yourself as effectively as possible. A repetitive laundry list of job duties won’t grab anyone’s attention, especially if your responsibilities and titles are similar. Rather than settling for a generic and easily overlooked resume, we recommend making your resume stand out by doing the following:
Highlight Your Achievements – What differentiates the similar responsibilities of each job position? Did you take on unique projects or achieve unprecedented results? Think about what you accomplished in each role and how it made a difference within that company.
Include Specific Metrics – No matter how similar your roles may be, you’ll have different metrics that are specific to each position. Consider quantifiable aspects such as dollars and percentages: how much money did you save, how many people did you supervise, how much did you improve productivity or decrease down time? Use specific metrics to quantify the value you brought to the company.
Be Selective – Your resume shouldn’t rehash everything you’ve ever done, it should highlight your relevant qualifications and accomplishments. If you already mentioned something in one role that applies to another, leave it off. Don’t take up valuable space by being repetitive. Instead, focus on things employers want to know and that will make you stand out.
Utilize a Functional Resume Format – A functional resume format highlights key skills, accomplishments and qualifications at the top of your resume, no matter where they occurred in your career. This allows you to focus on what you’ve achieved rather than when or where.
Regardless of how you choose to set up your resume, the worst thing you can do is copy a generic job description (or even bullet points!) for more than one job. This not only shows a lack of effort, but completely fails to set your resume apart. It’s common to have held similar positions at different companies – that’s actually a good thing, it highlights your skills and qualifications. Make sure you showcase your accomplishments in an effective and engaging way so your resume stands out.
The Arnold Group (TAG) offers a plethora of free resources to job seekers on our website. These resources include guidelines for writing your resume and cover letter, as well as tips and suggestions for interviewing effectively.