You already know an amazing resume is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal when you are on the hunt for a new job. In fact, your resume may be more important than ever. The average corporate job attracts 250 resumes. Your resume needs to be really strong to stand out in such a densely populated field!
It’s likely that you want to succeed in writing a great resume – but you may not be sure of where to start. Pulling together everything you’ve done into one document can be challenging. You want to be sure to put in the necessary time to make this successful, and that starts with breaking down your previous work experience.
But what if you’ve forgotten your work responsibilities from a previous job? How can you possibly write a great resume if you’re fuzzy on the details?
This happens to more people than you might realize – and it may happen to you, if it hasn’t already. It may be that it’s been a long time since you were in that job. It may be that you weren’t there for very long, and so the actual responsibilities escape you. It may just be that you did so much you can’t remember all the high points, so getting it all onto paper is tough. You have a general awareness of what you did while in this job, but you’re having a tough time getting this into bullet-point form.
No matter what the reason for your inability to remember your responsibilities or accomplishments, there are some helpful ways to work through this issue. The bottom line is that you want to generate a few major bullet points that showcase your experience, leadership, and aptitude, and then add some substance to them.
If you’re having trouble recalling all of your duties and accomplishments from a previous job, you’ll have to jog your memory a bit. If you utilize the right sources, this should be a breeze.
Here are five ways to uncover any responsibilities or achievements that elude you and use them to build a resume that is sure to impress:
1. Contact a Former Coworker
I once dealt with a candidate who was part of an entire sales and acquisition team that was laid off from a now bankrupt financial firm. The candidate showed a great deal of determination by organizing a resume brainstorming session over coffee with their former colleagues. With the help of the group, each member of the team was able to flesh out their resume with impressive responsibilities and achievements that they would have forgotten otherwise.
So, if you’re having trouble with your resume, reach out to a former coworker. Chances are, they may be able to help you remember some of your more impactful moments – and you can help them remember some of theirs, too.
Former colleagues can be valuable not only as references, but also as sources of information. They can remind you of what you did each day or how you added to the team. This is the kind of information you’ll need to write a winning resume.
2. Use a Resume-Builder
There are so many great apps and websites out there into which you can plug your job title and start to build your experience from there. These platforms tend to speak in generalities, but they can serve as excellent starting points. Simply enter your experience and background as best you can remember, and then let the resume-builder populate your resume with suggestions. The resume-builder’s suggestions may spark some memories for you, and you can build a powerful resume from there.
Often, these types of websites and apps will have consultants on staff that can help guide you through your resume. Consider conferring with them if you’re really having trouble.
3. Look at Your Old Job Description
If you can’t access a copy of your exact job description, you can still look through descriptions of similar roles. You are likely to find something similar to your previous role on a job board somewhere, such as on this very website. This act of revisiting job descriptions may help you recall what you did on the job.
Of course, you don’t want to simply copy out the description word for word on your resume. Be sure to do a little customizing. Make it your own!
You could even go one step further and call up the hiring managers of these job descriptions to inquire more about what each role entails. You never know what you may find out!
4. Do Some Research Within Your Industry for Helpful Tips
Every field has some sort of industry group, website, or forum that you could tap into. It doesn’t matter if you’re in advertising or engineering – you can likely locate something online that lists the typical responsibilities of your job.
5. Hire a Writer to Help You Bring Your Ideas to Life
Perhaps your problem isn’t that you’re struggling to identify the meaningful responsibilities and achievements of your role. Maybe you have an idea about what you did, but you’re simply struggling with putting it all into words. If that’s the case, you may want to hire a resume writer to help you capture your role accurately. They can turn your accomplishments into powerful bullet points that speak to your effectiveness and success.
Having trouble recalling your responsibilities and accomplishments is much more common than you might think. If you’re struggling with your resumes, these tips should help get you headed in the right direction.
Your resume is your most important tool in getting a job. Be sure that you spend time on creating bullet points that speak of your previous accomplishments – and use these resources to jog your memory and make sure that you’re not leaving out any important details.