In today's job market, every part of the application process plays an important role in getting you an interview and offer.
For many job seekers, the first impression you'll make with a new company is through your resume. But Wendy Braitman, a certified career coach at the outplacement firm Randstad RiseSmart, says people often make one major mistake that can mean the difference between your resume ending up in the "advance" versus "pass" pile.
"Where people often miss the mark is they will list the tasks they did at their job, but not the impact that it had," Braitman tells CNBC Make It.
This is a big mistake, Braitman explains, because it's not enough to tell your future employer the daily tasks and responsibilities you've taken on. More importantly, hiring managers want to see you connect the dots between how your daily work added value to the team or company overall.
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"Most resumes will say, 'I've done this and that,' but what we really want to know is, 'how did it help the company?'"
How to show impact on your resume
The good thing is, a few simple tweaks to your resume job descriptions can easily show the impact you had in your role at an old company.
First, make sure the bullet items under each of your previous jobs are in active voice. Mirror some of the key verbs and phrases that are in the job description, where it applies. This shows a direct connection from your previous experience to the new job you're after.
Then, where you can, Braitman suggests using quantitative numbers to describe the outcomes of your work, especially if you directly helped the company save time, save money or accomplish a major company objective.
For example, if you produced a certain number of reports every week, quantify that and mention how many people received it, and how many big decisions were made as a result of your analyses. If you managed people, show the impact by including how many people you hired, onboarded, trained and helped progress in their own career.
If you created a new process or introduced a new partner vendor that made the company more efficient, highlight the outcomes and what kind of impact it had on your team.
A strong resume can position you for higher pay
Showing impact on your resume can not only get you noticed by hiring managers, it could also help you negotiate for better pay down the road.
"When you show the results of your work, you're automatically positioning yourself to make more money," says Amanda Augustine, a certified professional resume writer and career coach at TopResume.
For example, instead of writing you "managed a budget," rewrite it and say you "managed a $1 million annual budget."
If you don't have quantifiable stats, find ways to show how you were better, faster or more efficient — for example, if you were picked to train new recruits or given the rush-hour shift at a restaurant.
Ultimately, Braitman says, "understand how you fit in to the company's goals and the how your contributions solved their problems. Your resume, as well as your interview, should show why [the new company] should hire you, and part of that is showing the value and impact of your work."