You have probably heard the advice before: fill your resume with accomplishments. But for many people, perhaps you among them, that is easier said than done.
It is often hard to remember accomplishments from past positions. Even if your memory is fresh, identifying and listing your accomplishments on your resume requires thinking about your work in a different way.
But more than that, when you’re writing your resume job descriptions, it can be tempting to focus on listing out your job duties in each position you’ve held.
After all, potential employers want a description of your previous jobs, right?
What potential employers really want to see is what kind of results you achieved in each role. In other words, they want to see your accomplishments and the ways in which your accomplishments benefited your employers.
Accomplishments on Your Resume Showcase Results
Job duties and responsibilities only speak to what you were supposed to do. They don’t provide hiring managers with any understanding of what you DID do.
Not to mention, everyone else who has held a similar job as you has probably had almost the same responsibilities. Listing these duties in the work experience section of your resume just makes you average. To fix your resume, stand out in your job search, and really get noticed, you have to go beyond this.
When you fill your resume with professional accomplishments and achievements, you are not only showing what you are capable of, but you are also demonstrating that you get results.
This is important because every hiring manager wants to hire people who will be an asset to their company, deliver value, and help them achieve their goals.
By including key accomplishments, you are sending the message that you are such a person.
Accomplishments Demonstrate Soft Skills
In addition to highlighting hard skills on your resume, it’s also important to demonstrate transferable soft skills such as teamwork, leadership, and communication.
Your resume accomplishments can be a great way to do this.
For example, if you led a team to success on a major project, that shows that you have strong leadership skills. Or if you increased efficiency by streamlining a process, that indicates that you’re good at problem-solving and finding creative solutions.
Accomplishments Tell the Story of Your Career Journey
The perfect resume is more than just a list of where you’ve worked and for how long. The best resumes tell the story of your career journey, the challenges you’ve faced, how you’ve met those challenges, and how these actions you have taken produced positive results (this is called the C.A.R. technique of resume writing).
By zeroing in on your successes, you can stand out from other job seekers and give hiring managers a better sense of how you add value and what kind of employee you are.
Reading about your resume accomplishments in the context of your career journey also helps each hiring manager to make the connections between the challenges they are facing and the ways you have delivered value when faced with these same challenges in the past.
Stories of your career journey make you memorable and give the achievements on your resume meaningful depth and context.
Accomplishments Paint a Picture of Who You Are as an Employee
Your resume should give hiring managers a sense of who you are as an employee and what kind of contributions you would make to their company.
Resume accomplishments are the way to do this.
- Are you a creative problem solver?
- Do you have a knack for developing strong relationships with clients or customers?
- Do you have a track record of going above and beyond in your roles?
Answering these accomplishments questions can help set you apart from other candidates and give employers a better sense of whether or not you would be a good fit for their organization.
Accomplishments on your resume provide hard evidence of the results you achieved in past roles. Hiring managers want to see that you have a history of getting things done and making an impact in your previous roles.
Bonus tip: To really make your resume stand out quantify your accomplishments. In other words, use dollar figures, whole numbers, or percentages to describe the results of your achievements whenever possible.
How To Identify Your Relevant Accomplishments
Now that you know how important it is to include accomplishments on a resume, you’ll want to go back to your own resume and strengthen each job description in your resume work history with your accomplishments.
The following 21 accomplishment questions will help. Not every question will apply to you, but those that do will help you come up with a list of accomplishments that you can use to rewrite, reinforce, and improve your resume.
Filling your resume with accomplishment examples and the measurable results you reproduced will make a dramatic difference in your resume results.
- Did you help increase sales? If so, by what percentages or amount?
- Did you generate new business or bring in new clients? How did that impact sales?
- Did you develop partnerships or affiliations with new organizations? What happened as a result?
- Have you led your company into expanded markets? How did that impact sales?
- Did you solve a particularly challenging problem? How and what was the result?
- Did you save your company money? How did you do it and how much did you save?
- Did you design and/or institute any new system or process? What were the results?
- Did you do something that increased efficiency? What was it and what was the impact?
- Did you do something that increased productivity? By what percentage or amount?
- Did you meet a deadline through extra effort? If so, what difference did this make to your company?
- Did you bring a major project in under budget? How much and what was the impact on your company?
- Did you suggest and/or help launch a new product or program? What was the result?
- Have you made recommendations that have improved products? What was the result?
- Did you introduce any new or more effective techniques for increasing productivity? What was the result?
- Did you improve communication in your firm? If so, with whom and what was the outcome?
- Did you increase profits? How did you do it and by how much?
- Did you improve customer relationships? Under what circumstances and what were the results?
- Were you involved in any negotiations? What was your role? How did this benefit the company?
- Have you done anything to help control costs? What did you do? What was the impact?
- Did you do something to correct inconsistencies or errors? What was the result?
- Have you ever done anything to increase cash flow? What did you do? What was the result?
What Is the Best Way to Include Examples of Accomplishments on a Resume?
Just listing accomplishments on a resume using bullet points won’t be very effective.
To really improve and fix your resume you will want to transform the accomplishments you have uncovered with the 21 questions into compelling text. If you are struggling with this, working with a professional resume writer can help.
Not only do professional resume writers help with identifying accomplishment examples for resumes, but they will also take your generic list of accomplishments and transform them into compelling and persuasive stories that speak to the needs of each hiring manager.
The expert writing team at Distinctive Career Services is ready to support you in identifying your accomplishment examples and crafting a standout, modern resume. We invite you to schedule a free resume-writing consultation to learn more.
By simply thinking about your experience and achievements in this way–digging deep to find the numbers and benefits of your work–you are heads and shoulders above most of your competition in the job market.
But now that you have identified your achievements use them to fix your resume and improve your job search results.
Among other important resume writing tips, when crafting your resume, remember to focus on your accomplishments rather than simply listing job duties. This will give hiring managers a better sense of the type of employee you are and whether you’d be a good fit for their organization.
With so many qualified candidates out there, it’s important to make your resume stand out – and highlighting your successes is one essential way to do that!