The words “support staff” have a wide meaning depending on the industry. Titles may vary from executive assistant to Computer-Aided Design (CAD) operator to clerk. Virtual assistants are also support staff, running their own businesses with multiple clients. Regardless of the title, when you are ready to apply for a support staff position, make sure your resume:
- Stresses the value you added to the job. Most people who supply support go above and beyond their title and job description. Do not rely solely on your job description when describing what you do. Include those extras that you provided, whether you made your own job easier by automating tasks or made your boss’s job easier by drafting letters and reports.
- Details your skills and how you used them. Your skills are an important part of what you do. Make sure your resume describes the way you used those skills to benefit the company. For example, instead of just stating that you know how to create Excel spreadsheets, provide a context where possible: “Enabled management to track individual sales against each quota for the monthly meeting by creating spreadsheets.”
- Focuses on the requirements in the job posting. Your resume and cover letter should confirm that you can meet the requirements outlined in the job posting or advertisement for support staff. Whenever possible, use the exact words that appear in the job posting or advertisement to honestly describe yourself in both the resume and cover letter. This not only helps show you meet the job requirements, but it also adds the keywords needed to pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
- Gives specific examples. You may be tempted to regard your responsibilities as “only” answering the phone, taking notes, and filing. But not everyone can accomplish those tasks professionally, accurately, and efficiently. Your resume should include examples of how your skills made a difference or were acknowledged: “Helped 50 customers daily to quickly reach the right department for questions about the ABC product by listening to their concerns and providing clear answers.” “Received employee of the month award for prompt, courteous service.”
- Shows how you grew in your job. Compile a brag book of times when you handled a particularly difficult internal or external request or learned something new. Those instances may find their way into your resume or may not. However, they serve as good reminders that you have grown in your job and now deserve a position that reflects that growth.
When you are searching for a new support staff position, look beyond the title of the position to see if you have the skills, education, and experience that the employer is looking for. Because support positions vary so widely, you should never discount a job simply because of the job title.
Robin’s Resumes® is here to help you create a resume that will open the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers to all the value you bring. Contact us today.