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I am in the process of answering the question please indicate any leadership roles you have held for a particular job application but still feel as if my replies lack a certain crispness and flow. So far I have shown a friend who has provided some minute changes but I'm not entirely convinced.

Any ideas on how I can improve the effectiveness of my three examples? I have 100 word limit for each. Thanks in advance.

Example 1

Having to maximise the usefulness of the few resources provided, I led a small team to runner-up position in university’s annual business competition. This required me to plan, manage and delegate tasks effectively in order to increase the group’s overall productivity. Upon establishing myself as an expert on the target market, I was immediately able to gain the trust and support of my peers which facilitated the decision making process. When pitching our idea to a team of private investors, I had to respond to queries related to the credibility of our service and managed to secure a $500 prize.

Example 2

After being promoted to admin controller at XYZ Taxi, I was responsible for ensuring that the performance targets required of the firm were met. This required me to monitor the daily number of incoming calls received by each employee and report back to management. In addition to this, I was in charge of reviewing and resolving difficult conflicts such as fare disputes. Over time, I recognised recurring issues and begun to analyse their causes in order to reach a solution. For example, to solve the issue of inaccurate quotes being given to clients, I designed clearer price charts to be displayed all over the office.

Example 3

Organising a youth conference provided me with valuable experience in planning a complex event. As technical director, I assisted with booking the venue, ordering refreshments and helping our keynote speaker with his travel arrangements. Such careful preparation ensured the presence of a reliable welcoming team, memorable interior design within the venue and on posters outside the venue. My role was significant in ensuring the event was well-attended by spearheading a marketing campaign on various social networks to cultivate interest. This gave me a platform to demonstrate my resourcefulness; I adhered to a strict budget by designing the flyers myself using online tutorials.

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I cannot help but to emphasize how important it is to set up a technical blog of your experience with each post aptly titled - with solution-oriented and experience-oriented postings concisely written. Do not name names or companies/client (except for vendors or educational inst) - try to generalize client identities and keep clients' confidentiality. And BTW - please use paragraphs. –  Blessed Geek Sep 9 '12 at 5:45
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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm not sure how much help I'm going to be, since in the end a lot of these things come down to subjective likes and dislikes, but here's a few thoughts:

  • The pattern of "problem, action, result" is often recommended for resume-type writing. The goal is to prove your skills and experience with a concrete example of how you had a problem, what you did to try and fix it, and what the outcome was (usually something positive I suppose, but it could even be what you learnt and how you would go about handling the same situation differently).

    If you search for "problem, action, result", there are lots of resources about it on the net. Your first example shows some of this, with the "$500 prize" being the result. In the second example, you describe the action ("designed clearer charts"), but the result is only implied (something positive I assume? x% reduction in inaccurate quotes, or some increase in customer satisfaction, maybe).

  • Specifics. This is getting into the subjective realm, but when I'm reading resumes, it really stands out when someone responds with specific things that they've done, as opposed to generic descriptions.

    In your first example, what was your business idea? Which university? You say a small team -- could you say "a five-person team" (or however many there were). How did you establish yourself as an "expert on the target market"? You delegated tasks that improved efficiency -- maybe you could use a specific example of why and who you delegated to, and why it worked? In example 3, which youth conference? How many people attended?

    I realise the word limits make it difficult to have too much detail, so go for the one or two things that best demonstrate your abilities. You may want to consider reducing some of the sentence lead-ins to give you more words (for example: "Having to maximise the usefulness of the few resources provided"...is it really necessary, or is the lack of resources going to come out in the following detail?)

  • Be careful with being vague in describing the activities you performed, as they might not be interpreted how you intend. For example, "I assisted with booking the venue" -- if I was feeling particularly uncharitable, I could interpret "assisted" as "you were in the room while the person with real authority did the booking". Maybe you surveyed and evaluated potential venues? It might be stronger to state this.

Hope this helps.

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