5 Accomplishments to Make Your HR Advisor Resume Stand Out

If you google "HR advisor resume template", you'll find a lot of resume models filled with roles and responsibilities such as:

  • Recruited for specialists and executive staff.
  • Developed strategic HR decisions and plans.
  • Facilitated discussion as a coach.
  • Presented to a large audience of managers at quarterly management meetings.
  • Collaborated with department IT staff to develop dashboards and other data management tools.
  • Negotiated local operating agreements with various union leaders.
  • Participated in developing a five-day community open-door event.

That seems about right, no?

But there's a problem. A huge problem, actually. Think of the HR professionals that you know. How many of them have done similar things? Probably most of them. Because that's pretty much what being an HR pro is all about. There are differences here and there, and it varies according to seniority, but roles and responsibilities will often overlap. So if your resume is very close to a typical "HR advisor resume template", how is that helping you get interviews? After all, the best resumes are distinctive. They make you stand out, not blend in!

So here's a little something to help you make your resume stand out. It's based on the 3 Laws of Resume Writing. And it's not material that I made up. I found it by carefully studying the resumes of good HR professionals.

5 HR Advisor Accomplishments to Make your Resume Distinctive

  1. Merged four existing benefit plans into one corporate flexible benefit plan with $728,000 in annual savings while enhancing benefits to all employees. (The example here brings a huge financial saving. However, even small savings are positively seen by hiring managers!)
  2. Re-engineered HR organization: streamlined infrastructure and transitioned operations to shared services center in Montreal. (The result here is efficiency, in the form of a streamlined infrastructure and a new shared services center. The reader can easily grasp that many challenges were overcome to reach these goals.)
  3. Led a company-wide culture change process resulting in a shift in competitive mindset from regulatory to non-regulatory. (Here, the value is clear: a strategic change initiative designed to improve the company's competitiveness.)
  4. Driving setup of an HR organization for supporting business growth in China (growing from 3,000 to 6,000 employees over three years). (Numbers are always great to demonstrate value, as they tell a very clear story. Whenever possible, try to highlight measurable, concrete results.)
  5. Initiated revision of outdated employee handbook and developed 15 HR policies and procedures. (New policies and procedures are often welcome, but the key word in this statement is "initiated." Why? Because it says that this employee was thinking about ways to improve her role, and took initiative. Whenever you "spearhead" something or work on a "first", make sure it comes across.)

The benefit is the key component of each accomplishment: improved operations, more money, demonstrated leadership and reliability, ... Accomplishments like these are the most critical pieces of your resume. Now read that last sentence again, because that's the best resume advice you'll get this month.

If you're a fantastic employee but your resume is silent on many of your accomplishments, you'll end up behind a good employee whose accomplishments are all clearly laid out.

And for that matter, an average employee with weak accomplishments better know how to network, since the resume alone won't pull its weight. (Actually, networking skills are critical to everyone's job hunt. But let's stick with the topic, if you don't mind.)

Accomplishments are where it's at. When you solve a problem, reduce costs, make something better/simpler/faster, when you show initiative, it has to be on your resume, without being drowned out by too many roles and responsibilities (i.e. the "we've-all-done-it" resume template material). In my view, half of the energy and time spent on your resume should be focused on your accomplishments. To write good accomplishments, you need to think of what your potential employer is thinking about (problems solved, better results, and so on) and emphasize that. If you go through 20 resumes of your peers, you'll certainly find great accomplishments that you could adapt on your resume. I truly believe that is time well spent.

Many More Accomplishments, Just for You

However, I've already done that research... The 5 ideas above are just a glimpse of the full list of accomplishments I've assembled. If you'd like that well-rounded, unique list of real-world HR advisor accomplishments, for just a few dollars, check out our e-book, HR Advisor Resume Hacking, on Amazon. You can read it even if you don't have a Kindle device.