SOQs for resumes

Support, Outcomes, and Quantification (SOQs) are crucial for your resume.  The last finishing touches, small but essential.

Q: How do you put the SOQs on your resume?
A: Ask yourself (or if you are working with a partner or as part of a group, have them ask you):

S             Support.  Have I supported every claim to experience with an illustration of what that experience looked like in that context? Did I create processes, procedures, or work structures that did not exist before? Were there technologies that I used? Did I collaborate (if so, with whom, and how)?

O            Outcomes.  Who benefitted from my work?  Did I innovate in any way in the process?  As a result of my work was there improved communication? Productivity? Efficiency? Morale?  Systems?  Effectiveness?  Profits?

Q            Quantification.  Whenever possible, provide quantitative evidence, for example, if you are talking about teaching, how many students did you work with, how often?   If you created a newsletter, for what size community from how many members did you collect updates?  With what frequency?  How many people read?

As researchers, we know that you do not make any claim without supporting it.  This is no less true of a resume than it is of a research paper.  Make sure that you have supported any claim that you make with evidence.  For example, if your resume says that you are a skilled communicator, provide evidence in the form of examples of situations in which you effectively communicated (and not to be meta, but your resume best sing if this is one of the claims that you are making for yourself), what supporting information is missing or needed?

Think about this example:

When I was a graduate teaching assistant, I took the initiative to create an online database for organizing teaching resources identifying websites and videos about sociolinguistics, cataloguing them in an intuitive user-designed interface.”
Now, as I just sat here and wrote that example, I realize that it exemplifies perfectly the need for quantification.   These descriptions could mean more if you knew how big this database is, how many people used it, how it was accessed, and how often.  Were there any measurable outcomes? For example” Making these materials accessible helped the teachers be more efficient and effective in their teaching, and it helped students become more engaged in the topic.”

Get all of these down as all of the possible ideas that you could choose to include in your resume.  You will of course not be able to include all of them in any one resume, so you will ultimately decide which SOQs go with which jobs.