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Context is King on a Resume

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Context is King on a Resume

Franklin Buchanan |

I saw this bullet point on a resume yesterday.

- Achieve an outstanding open rate of over 60% for internal newsletter.

Now, I've paraphrased the actual resume bullet because it was surrounded by a lot of unnecessary words and the metric was buried in the 2nd line of the bullet. The resume bullet itself was 4 lines so I boiled it down for the purposes of today's blog post.

You can read about resume fluff in a blog I wrote here, but let's talk about context.

"Context is King," is a quote from Eric Bischoff, one of my favorite old school WCW/WWE personalities and my current favorite podcaster.

Metrics are great - they're resume gold. That resume bullet itself isn't bad once it's boiled down.

But what would give this resume bullet point context? Take your resume bullet points another step further by digging a little deeper.

Questions that I would have to further add context to the resume:
- What was the previous open rate?
- Did the newsletter even exist previously?
- How many individual email addresses are on the distribution list?
- How many departments does the newsletter go to?
- Why did the open rate increase if it did?

Now, this revised resume bullet with these metrics below are made up, but hopefully they give you the importance of context.

- Pioneered the creation of an internal newsletter while increasing open rates to over 60% from 40% after 3 months with an email list of 1,200 across 3 departments.

Now, you'll notice that I've left off the "why" here. The reason being is that this resume bullet is both an ideal length (in Microsoft Word it's 2 lines) and it creates a positive question in the reader's mind:

What did the candidate do to achieve that?

I don't necessarily always put the "why" on the resume because, in my opinion, the point of the resume is to give the reader enough content for them to want to pick up the phone and ask you another question in a job interview.

The "why" here would be the answer to the question in the job interview.

Context is king when writing a resume. It gives a sense of development, scale, and continuous improvement.

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