President, Carlton Staffing
Are you at your wit’s end because you are sending out lots of resumes and applying to endless job postings online and it is getting you nowhere? Perhaps just a few tweaks to your resume might improve your odds.
Let’s play a little game of NFL General Manager. If you needed to hire a quarterback, who would YOU choose to recruit from the two listed below?
John “The Rocket” Superstar Joe Average
5 Years in the NFL as a QB 5 Years in the NFL as a QB
2 Super Bowl wins College Football Experience
Offensive player of the year Currently no injuries
Record for top rushing touchdowns Able to pass and rush
Heisman Trophy Winner Great communication skills
My guess is that you would be more inclined to consider “The Rocket” vs. what’s his name? Oh yeah…Joe. And that’s before even meeting them in person. Why? Because “The Rocket” brought results that you would want for your team and is clearly a regular winner. He has great stats. He’s got game. Joe just showed up for work every day. Sorry, just showing up every day isn’t enough. Joe’s got no game.
The same thing applies in the world of employment. Having the same amount of (or more) experience and/or having performed the same duties/tasks as another will not be what gets you noticed or what lands you a job. Demonstrating that you are better at those skills and that you have great results (which will likely mean you will continue that trend with the hiring company) will get you noticed and land you a job. And you can’t just claim you are great on your resume, you’ve got to have some proof. In the recruiting world, we call this proof MSA (Made-Saved-Achieved). MSA is our version of professional stats and it separates candidates from those who’ve got game and those who don’t.
Here’s the basic concept for determining your MSA:
How much money have you MADE for your previous employer(s)?
How much money have you SAVED for your previous employer(s)?
What notable ACHIEVEMENTS did you have at your previous employer(s)?
Selling someone’s MSA has been a technique used for decades by recruiters to help get candidates in front of hiring managers. There is no reason you can’t do this for yourself on your own resume. Here’s how:
- Share what you did at your previous job(s). This part remains the same as we all do now. It is still important to describe the duties, tasks, responsibilities, technology used, etc… While at your previous position. Hiring managers want to know what you did and if you have the experience they are looking for. Also, if it is not listed on your resume, it will not come up in searches online so hiring managers won’t be able to find you. For each position, list these in paragraph form. Save the bullet points to highlight your MSA.
- Figure out your MSA and quantify it. This is the hard part. For each position, think about the reason(s) why a company should hire you over someone else who has the same experience, education, etc. Think through each MSA point and try to recall specific, quantifiable achievements, results, stats, etc. that would apply to you. What made you better than your co-workers? List these in bullet points below the paragraph describing what you did at your job. You do not have to have one of each MSA point, and some accomplishments may apply to more than one MSA Don’t get caught up in how many of each you have or which category one falls in. Just use these as your reference to determine what value you brought to the organization. Here are some things to help spark some ideas for you:
Ways you may have helped your employer MAKE money:
- Sales – selling a certain amount of business, beating quota, bringing in a large account, working on a team that brought in an account, producing referrals that resulted in new/additional business.
- Service – customer growth or retention, reducing customer turnover through notable service delivery, improving speed and quality in service delivery.
- Production – beating ANY production expectations whether it is producing more widgets on a production line than expected or as paralegal producing documents for attorneys to execute for clients at a significant pace.
- Responsible for sales that produced 82% of company revenue.
- Reached 150% of sales quota.
- Increased weekly call volume by 22% resulting in an additional $50k monthly in sales.
- Our plant was the top producing plant in the country.
Ways you may have helped your employer SAVE money:
- Cost savings – found ways to do more or the same cheaper, identified places where money was being wasted, negotiated better rates with vendors.
- Time saving – streamlined a process which saved people time completing a task.
- Efficiencies – added technology which allowed a significant increase in output (which could also make them money).
- Reduced operational expenses by 127%.
- Improved filing process giving each admin back 3 hours per week.
- Reduced service staff overtime by 30% while increasing production.
Note: There is no benefit to explaining HOW you achieved the MSA on your resume. Example of what NOT to do:
- Reduced operational costs by 127% through eliminating duplicate vendors for similar services/products and putting them all through a formal RFP process.
Eliminate the underlined section in this example. After all, that is what the interview is for-explaining “how” you accomplished your results. We do not want them to determine on their own that your “how” is/isn’t relevant to them. Arouse some curiosity! That will at least get you a phone call or meeting with them.
ACHIEVEMENTS you may have had with your employer:
- Special Awards/Acknowledgements
- Promotions or interim roles
- Special projects
- Employee of the Year.
- Top Salesperson.
- Promoted 3 times in 5 years.
- Asked to lead new initiative for environmental studies.
- Identified new line of business to add to service offerings and lead its implementation. First year sales were $1M.
Try to list 3-7 MSA points per position. Overall, it might look like this:
ABC Company 2015-2021
Responsible for the profitable operation of two plants with a budget of $6.3M. Supervised 250 total employees with 6 direct reports. Trained site technicians and developed them to advance LDAR program according to company standards. Communicated with clients directly regarding day to day LDAR activities. Ensured compliance with LDAR Program with federal, state and site regulations – EPA 40CFR, OOOOa, Triple K. Assessed product, compliance, or operations risks and developed risk management strategies. Monitored organizational performance, developed compliance strategies, and maintained necessary environmental permits through federal regulated codes.
- Top producing plant in the U.S.
- Reduced operational expenses by 127% in 2015.
- Asked to lead new initiative for environmental studies.
- Identified new line of business to add to service offerings and lead its implementation. First year sales was $1M.
- Won Top Leader Award each year from 2015-2020.
If you follow this example on your resume for each position you have held, you will get the attention of a hiring manager. They are going to want to know how you reduced those operational expenses and what that new line of business is that you identified and implemented. MSA will arouse the curiosity of potential employers far more than just duties and responsibilities. It will get you that initial phone call, that first interview, and land you that job.
We all have distinguishing MSA that will help set us apart from our peers if we think about it. It just takes a new way of thinking and some effort to come up with those points. But putting in that work now will put you in the category of “You’ve got game” and most important – “You’re Hired!”