Developing Skills-Based Impact Statements

Using skills-based work statements rather than activity- or task-based statements improves the effectiveness of a resume.  The difference between these types of statements is illustrated below, along with a method for developing skills-based statements.

Activity-based statement

  • Served as a testing intern.

Tasks-based statements

  • Prepared specimens for testing.
  • Tested the compression strength of concrete samples.
  • Documented test results.
  • Attended group meetings

Skills-based, impact statements (most effective!)

  • Developed an efficient procedure that reduced test specimen preparation time by ten percent.
  • Followed industry standard practices to test the compression strength of concrete and obtain accurate and repeatable data.
  • Analyzed test data and organized results in an easy to interpret report.
  • Participated in team meetings by contributing ideas and reporting on progress.
Emphasizing skills through experiences is much more effective than simply listing them in a skills section.

Method for Developing Skills-Based Impact Statements

  1. Identify the task that was performed: _______________________________________________
    (Examples: prepared specimens for testing; ran cash register)
  2. Identify the skills that were used to complete the task:__________________________________
    (Examples: planning and procedure development; customer service)
  3. Identify the positive impact of the task that emphasizes the successful performance of your skills: __________________________________________________
    (Examples: prep time was cut by ten percent; encouraged repeat business)
  4. Develop a statement that highlights one or two of the skills you used while telling what was done and the impact it had: _______________________________________________________
    (Examples: Developed an efficient procedure that reduced test specimen preparation time by ten percent; Provided efficient and friendly customer service to encourage repeat business)

Develop your statement to highlight as many of your valuable skills as possible.  A skill can be highlighted more than once but it is better to highlight a variety of skills.