Planning Isn’t an Accomplishment

I read a resume today that reminded me of something I see from time to time on resumes from sales and marketing people.

The resume had some very good accomplishments and was pretty good overall.  What caught my eye was one bullet that I don’t think served any purpose other than to take up space.

Spearheaded the development of a strategic sales plan, which projected sales in excess of $## million over a #-year time frame.

I see bullets like this on resumes a fair bit – a statement of developing a sales plan with high projected sales.

Developing plans in any business is important and sales plans are some of the most important.  The problem with the bullet is that it doesn’t really say anything.  It doesn’t say if the sales plan was approved and acted upon.  It doesn’t say if the target was achieved.  It doesn’t even say if it was a realistic projection.

I’m a big fan of specific accomplishments, but a bullet saying someone planned on succeeding doesn’t tell me anything – just that the job seeker arrived at a sales figure that they planned to achieve in a few years.

With something like this on your resume, you have two choices – expand or delete.

Expand: You can write a little more to change this from a waste of space to a really impactful bullet.  You might have to combine other bullets to tell the full story.  Here’s an example.

Spearheaded the development of a strategic sales plan projecting sales in excess of $## million over a # year time frame.  Enacted this plan and led a team of ## sales associates.  After # years, the team was $# million ahead of the projections.

Now, that’s someone on my team.  They built a good plan.  Managed the execution of the plan and exceeded their objectives.

Delete: The other option is to delete the bullet entirely.  The resume that I got the bullet from had some good accomplishments.  It didn’t need anything extra.  Deleting this bullet would have improved the overall resume by making it more concise and easier to read.

It’s important to prioritize what’s important.  If something isn’t helping you on your resume, change it or get rid of it.  Keep the information you absolutely need and add the accomplishments that make a strong case for hiring you.