A résumé is basically a first impression in document form. So you don’t simply want to avoid making a faux pas. You want to be memorable.
Watch out for spelling mistakes and issues with your contact information. You don’t want a typo to derail your résumé in whatever applicant tracking system you’ve uploaded it into.
But if you want to get ahead of the competition, you’re going to have to get specific.
“Under each section, under each responsibility and role that you’ve had, make sure that the bullet points are crisp and to the point of the actual accomplishments you’ve had at that company,” Wessel told Business Insider.
Let’s say, for example, you worked as a waitress at a restaurant. A standard set of bullets in such a résumé might read like:
- I greeted and seated customers.
- I waited tables and took customers’ orders.
- I communicated with customers to ensure they were enjoying their meals.
- I bussed tables and assisted with cleanup after closing.
Those bullet points aren’t terrible. They’re fine, actually, but they won’t help you stand out from the crowd, Wessel said. Most other people with waiting experience could probably accurately write the same exact thing.
Wessel said the key is focusing on accomplishments, not day-to-day tasks.
She had some suggestions on more impressive things a person with waiting experience could say:
- I was the highest-tipped waitress at this restaurant, thanks to my customer support skills.
- I waited tables 21% quicker than my fellow wait staff.
- I was promoted to maître d’ in recognition of my work ethic and excellent service.
Those examples don’t merely parrot an average litany of waiting-related tasks. They paint a picture of an exceptional waiter.
“Really try to show your accomplishments, because actions speak louder than words,” Wessel said. “And you can show those actions through metrics and other results.”
This article originally appeared in BusinessInsider.com.