Supervisors: Does Your Resume Feature Your Strengths?

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I recently attended a Veterans’ Career Fair and took the opportunity to meet with five veterans, all former supervisors. I learned that they were seeking positions in areas like operations, administration, and communications. More than that, they expressed a continued to desire to work in a supervisory capacity. However, when I reviewed their resumes I was stunned to find that none of them featured their supervisory skills. No mention was made of the types or numbers of employees they supervised. They did not expound upon the complexity or scope of specific duties. For those who managed budgets, no dollar figures appeared in their resumes. The resumes were so generic, so boring, so lacking in detail that I felt compelled to write an article about how to highlight supervisory experience in a resume.

As is true with any resume, it is important to be clear and specific about your most important skills and strengths. If you’re a supervisor, your resume should clearly demonstrate that you possess a supervisory skillset.

Here’s a before and after example for a supervisory resume with an emphasis on operations:

BEFORE: Manage and develop sales and service staff of nine employees.

AFTER: OPERATIONS SUPERVISOR: Manage, schedule and train nine retail bank staff, including tellers, mortgage specialists, administrative and customer liaisons. Recruit and select new personnel based on skills and experience. Train new staff in bank operations, customer services, and administrative policies and procedures. Review performance and recommend additional training as needed. Provide ongoing training and development to improve customer services and quality of performance. Maintain personnel budget by closely managing time and attendance,and staff schedule. Motivate staff with frequent recognitions, performance discussions and events, which have resulted in a high morale and friendly customer services by our staff. Skilled in staff problem-solving and negotiating solutions to performance or attendance problems.

ACCOMPLISHMENT: Upon first coming to this branch, I restructured 50% of the staff due to morale, performance and quality assurance problems. Received recognition by Bank of America for outstanding Customer Service.

The “before” version is a one-sentence summary that provides no detail; it isn’t even clear if the individual is a supervisor. The “after” paragraph describes a dedicated, dutiful supervisor who likes their job. It clearly demonstrates their supervisory role, expounds on how they manage budgets and personnel, and reflects a dedication to customer service. If you were looking at a resume, which version would you choose?

Example: Overseeing Training and Telecommuting

Below is another example of what I consider to be a good supervisory section, with an emphasis on overseeing training and telecommuting.

SUPERVISOR – TRAINING & TELECOMMUTING: Supervise a staff of 15 writers who telecommute from sites nation-wide. Review work products, provide regular feedback, and develop and lead webinar training and meetings to create a cohesive approach to staff communications. Created a linkedin group for sharing policies, procedures and problem-solving among the staff. Improved quality of written-works following a comprehensive review of products, timing and customer services. Developed new customer services policies with specific time-lines and a systematic format for the final delivery of the written materials. Communicate individually with each writer to maintain a rapport, answer questions and resolve problems.

ACCOMPLISHMENT: Recruited 5 new writers within the last year, who are performing independently for senior level, complex writing projects with 100% customer satisfaction. Contracted for and designed a Customer Relations Management database to maintain and track customers online.

What is your favorite part of supervision?

Training, problem-solving, performance improvement, teamwork approach, skills analysis, small meetings, metrics development to analyze productivity, communications, incentives? Whatever your specialization is in supervision, this is what you should feature in your resume. You need to stand out as a unique supervisor who truly cares about developing people and operational performance.

Most of the time, managers are supervisors. Your supervisory job responsibilities should be written and described first on your resume.

Since managers supervise people to achieve operational objectives. It’s important to state your staffing situation, before you describe all of your other job responsibilities. Managers also oversee daily operations, budgets, various programs and services, provide customer problem-solving, set up new or improved policies and procedures, purchase or contract for new equipment and services, and direct the implementation of information management systems to streamline information and services. In order to achieve all of their job responsibilities, they SUPERVISE PEOPLE who perform the work of the operations.

Supervisors are special people.

They like their staff, they want to improve their performance and keep their staff coming to work on-time and with a good attitude. If you are a supervisor who can train and develop excellent employees, be clear in your resume and in your job interview. Talk about your ability to supervise, motivate and lead people. This is a major strength and you should be very proud that this is one of your top skills.

Kathryn Troutman is the producer of www.vetfedjobs.org website and is dedicated EVERY day to helping veterans write great resumes - federal and private industry - so that you can start a new career!

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