Career Keys – Part III

By: Julie East, Corp. Marketing & Recruiting

Mar 22, 2022

In Part III of Lofton’s Career Keys, we will dive further into perfecting your resume. In most job opportunities, this is your first step with the recruiter. If your resume does not have the information required, you will probably not get a call for an interview.


TAILOR YOUR RESUME.  Your resume should be tailored to the specific employment opportunity.  For example, if you are applying for an Administrative Assistant position, your resume should focus on those qualities that would be required by an Admin.  If you are applying for a Retail Manager position, your resume should focus on those qualities that would be required by a Manager, etc.

When listing your job functions, state your accomplishments – not your job duties.  For example, if you have worked as a Retail Clerk, you might list things like:

  • Check out and give exact change to customers.
  • Count down till at the end of every shift.
  • Restock counter items when needed.

If you think about it, isn’t this what ALL retail personnel should do on the job? To stand out from the rest, list your accomplishments.

  • Promoted to Lead Clerk within 3 months.
  • Received 0 variances in daily till balance.
  • Increased impulse buying through front-end merchandizing.

What a difference that makes! Try to think of your resume as a short memoir about your professional experience. Highlight your most unique qualities and accomplishments to stand out from the rest.


USE ACTION VERBS.  Your resume is a marketing tool.  Instead of inciting a buyer to a product, you are inciting a recruiter to interview you.  Choose the right words to deliver specific information about your previous positions that led to measurable results. Including the example above, below are a few more examples of action verbs that demonstrate certain qualities and skills:

  • COLLABORATED with four team members to design and install Christmas display to highlight targeted ticket items.
  • COORDINATED in-store sales campaign for various departments to move last minute mark-down items. 
  • REDUCED the amount of warehoused merchandise by 10%.
  • ORGANIZED food drive program with local food bank to collect for the holiday season. COLLECTED over 10 barrels of non-perishable food items.
  • LAUNCHED new customer rewards program across 10 locations. INCREASED repeat customer visits by 20%.
  • DESIGNED new Store Manager Program with respect to daily paperwork, inventory control and risk management.
  • MONITORED a $1M annual advertising budget.
  • INCREASED annual revenue by $4.0M from 2019 to 2021.
  • ATTRACTED new clients, reactivated clients and increased trip frequency of clients resulting in increased revenue.
  • MONITORED one of the largest retail stores in which sales averaged $100,000 a day.

When thinking about what to list under each of your past work experiences, list any tasks related to the position that gained results or helped gain skills.  Begin each abbreviated phrase with an action verb. End each phrase with a punctuation mark. Describe each task using the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result). Demonstrate productivity by including all relevant #, $, %.


SKILL SECTION . VERY IMPORTANT! List all job-related skills like Microsoft Word, Excel, Typing (60+ wpm), Management, Leadership, Foreign Language spoken, Organizational, Technical Writing, Customer Service, Forklift, Welding, Carpentry, Hand Tools, Front End Loader, etc.

Be specific where possible. Forklift experience? What type? Top load? Production experience? What type of machine did you operate? The more specific you can get, the more information the potential employer has about your experience level. 

Example: Instead of Forklift use Industrial Reach Forklift


CERTIFICATIONS.  If you have obtained any certifications during your past or current employment, be sure to list them.  The current job may not need them, but it shows that you are willing to learn something new.  List only if the certifications are current. Be able to produce a copy of the certification upon request.



EDUCATION. Put education first if you don’t have much work experience (recent graduate).  If you do have work experience, list education last. List education in reverse chronological order (last to first).

List:   University, City & State, Graduation Date, Degree, and Major.

List:   Any trade schools (i.e. vocational, secretarial, and technical), diploma/certificate and date.

List:   Name of High School, City & State, Graduation Date.


HONORS/AFFILIATIONS.  Level of Responsibility (Committee Member, Chair, Officer), Organization, Dates of involvement. 

Example: President, Student Organization, August 2019-2021

                 Committee Member, Social Club, 2021

                Employee of the Month, May 2020

To get a FREE copy of Lofton’s Career Keys: The Keys to a Successful Job Search brochure, email with your name and address.


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them.  Contact us today


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We Believe...

Relationships are built…one on one.
Know your people - match interest and talents to the tasks.
Don’t manage by numbers. (They just show if we’re on track.) People do the work.
People should feel better when they leave than when they came – and in turn we feel better.
When we help others, we help ourselves.
Great expectations: fair pay, fair treatment, teach me.
Have fun…and be better.
Work at having fun (51% of the time.) If you don’t feel it, fake it. Having fun is not slacking off. Work is more natural than play.