No resume is ever read and no one ever gets interviewed or hired, unless the employer is trying to solve a problem or a series of problems.
Sales may be declining in a key territory, or the manager could be bogged down by routine administration; staff may be leaving in droves, productivity and morale is plummeting and costs are skyrocketing. Whatever the circumstances, the employer is looking for a problem solver.
How then, do you position yourself as the person who can solve these issues? (Especially if you’re one of those people who say: “I never do anything special; I just come in every day and do my job!”
Following, are three roles not typically associated with accomplishment. I’ll show you how problem solving talents can equal achievement!
Production Worker who never achieves anything (or so she thinks!)
People in production like to solve problems with safety (keeping incidents to a minimum), quality (keeping happy customers) and speed (meeting production targets) so they don’t have to pay costly penalty rates for overtime—another problem! Three bullet points that would show a Production Worker’s problem-solving abilities could be:
- Met all productivity targets without fail. Processed 100-high quality widgets hourly while exceeding quality control standards for scrap minimisation.
- Saved company hundreds-of-dollars weekly by preventing need for costly overtime payments.
- Commended for safety record—achieved 12 months daily activity with no safety breaches.
Administrative Team Member who never achieves anything (or so he thinks)
Many administrative professionals are gatekeepers for more senior staff; they talk to customers or disgruntled staff to save managers from the burden of dealing with routine matters. Essentially though, administrative professionals are experts in organisation. They restore order from chaos. Sometimes just reordering the filing cabinet can be the catalyst for improving efficiency by ending frustrating information searches. Let’s look at how problem solving can be presented to sell the talents of an administrative professional for the two instances mentioned:
- Liberated senior manager from the burden of routine tasks by acting as a personal gatekeeper. Resolved escalated customer and staff complaints to ensure manager remained on task and focused on business decision-making and revenue growth.
- Transformed haphazard filing system into a model of contemporary office practice. Colour-coded all files providing at-a-glance retrieval for all staff. Missing files and lack of accountability became of thing of the past as staff immediately embraced the newly devised “sign in/sign out” process.
Customer Service Operator who never achieves anything (or so she thinks)
According to many customer service operators, their job is to “answer the phones”. They have more influence than they realise. The role of a customer service officer is to retain customers, generate leads, exude goodwill and reflect the company’s reputation for professionalism! Customer service staff are problem solvers with the power to restore your faith in a company through their courtesy, speed/efficiency and professionalism.
- Surpassed personal and team targets for numbers of calls handled. Against a daily target of 100 calls, broke team records for averaging 125 a day for six consecutive weeks.
- Saved thousands of dollars in lost business by persuading 10 disgruntled clients to stay with the company in favour of taking business to a competing organisation.
- Won kudos from management for generating 50 “hot” leads to the sales department in 60 days outpacing peer efforts by almost 35%.
It’s not hard! Think of a problem and how you’ve solved it, and how by doing so, you’ve helped the company.
Achievements like these make business tick over every day. Never under-estimate your contribution! (Even when you don’t think you have done anything significant or been in a position to drive change).
And for companies, mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow. You’re the person they want, you just have to let them know it!