How to Describe Attention to Detail in a Resume
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Employers look for job applicants who pay attention to detail. Details are small things, but the manner in which an employee handles them can have major consequences to the business. In a construction job, failure to set up a sign may jeopardize the safety of others. In accounting, a mistake in entering one number could require hours of research to identify and correct. A job seeker should provide concrete examples of attention to detail in his resume rather than simply listing “attention to detail” as an attribute.
Demonstrate attention to detail by writing a well-organized resume free of misspellings and grammatical errors. Use headings to separate significant areas such as education and experience. Describe accomplishments in bullet points. Be specific and incorporate details when describing tasks, but avoid wordiness. Use a spellcheck program and proofread your resume carefully. Ask a colleague or career adviser to critique your resume.
Use numbers when describing specific accomplishments. For example: “managed a $55,000 project budget,” “surveyed 150 new customers” or “supervised 9 cashiers.” Don’t divulge confidential information about your past employers and don’t overwhelm the reader with numbers, but sprinkle in enough statistics to indicate you pay attention to these types of details.
Write a bullet point describing a specific daily task related to money. Examples of these tasks include reconciling receipts, preparing deposits, billing clients and generating sales reports. Bolster your bullet point by including a few details about the task and a dollar amount or quantity. Employers appreciate employees who are careful in handling money. Show your attention to accuracy in financial matters by using strong verbs such as “reconcile,” “audit” and “solve.”
Describe a specific process that saved time and benefited a past employer. For example, if you consistently completed a task within two hours that normally required more time, describe this in a bullet point. If you developed a program to speed data entry, describe this including the amount of time that was saved. The expression "time is money" is true in business and your attention to time-saving details will be noticed by an employer.
Explain a specific procedure you developed to improve customer satisfaction. For example, if you created a protocol to better protect client privacy or safety, describe this in a bullet point. Other examples include taking a customer survey and responding to customer feedback. Details that are important to a customer are important to an employer. List awards you have received for excellent customer service, as this recognition can indicate attention to detail recognized by others.
Janice Tingum has been writing professionally since 1979. She is the author of the biography "E.B. White: The Elements of a Writer" and her articles have appeared in “Lady’s Circle” and “Today’s Christian Woman” magazines. Tingum also paints and writes art instruction ebooks.