Resume Advice: What? Spicy Data?

If your resume is like a business card, the one page summary of your career either as a professional or an aspiring professional, then you want it to be sharp and lean. Cut the fluff. The advice I’d received along the way that really helped me sharpen my resume was to “be as objective as you can with your resume.” Turn your work from the routine subjective narrative into spicy objective data.

Spicy data?

Yes. To build a narrative applicable to my field of technical support, let me outline the three tier structure that handle any given situation. The jargon here include: “ticket” or the situation, “escalation” which means to send ownership of the ticket along, and “resolution” or the issue is fixed.

  1. Help Desk
    Initial communication with the customer. Resolve if easy. (I have a “five minute rule” here if I can’t solve it or figure it out in five minutes… twenty minutes isn’t going to cut it.) If not, escalate the ticket.
  2. Desktop Support
    Typically, but not always, the dumping grounds for more complicated issues that require further interpretation of a situation, until escalating the ticket to another department or resolution.
  3. Specific departments
    Depending on the issue, the ticket can go to a wide variety of teams. System access, network restriction, application support, and so forth.

The name of the game here is throughput.

If there’s a bottleneck at any tier, it will cause disaster for the whole department. Not might.

If the Help Desk team can’t quickly communicate with customers, effectively solve the easiest solutions, and route issues to where they need to go, then other teams are brought down with “easy work.” If the Desktop Support team doesn’t have the ability to receive a potentially large volume of work and interpret them as thoroughly as required, then other teams will have to either spend more time with an issue or do “rework,” which is where a ticket was closed but the issue might not have actually been fixed correctly. If the other departments aren’t responsive to resolving issues or advising as required, then tickets will return to either tier one or tier two for rework or sit in their queues, unsolved.

So if my work is within Help Desk, my resume shouldn’t state “take a phone calls.” My resume could state team size, an estimated number of phone calls taken per week, an estimated number of tickets closed without escalation (“first call resolution”), and if good response times. Remember not to get too specific.

Similar for work within the other tiers.

Not only does “averaged 40 tickets closed per week” for a Help Desk or Desktop role have more spice to it, it’s also widely applicable, quantifiable, and actionable in other environments as well. If the hiring team sees objective, neutral, and factual information, they’re able to better interpret it for their situation, because maybe 40 tickets in one environment translates to 20 in another, but that’s just the throughput they need.

It’s all about advertising your strengths objectively.


Author: Zombiepaper (Anthony)

My big goal is to write. My important goal is to write "The Story." My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame a fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. Let's strive to be better everyday. (Avatar)

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