To begin, we should define that word “accomplishment.” Here are three examples of what a resume accomplishment is and is not:
- An accomplishment is not the same as a task. For example, the task is “filing”; the accomplishment is computerizing 5 years of paper files to make access more efficient and widespread throughout the company.
- An accomplishment is not the same as a skill. For example, the skill is the ability to mentor new hires. The accomplishment is mentoring three new hires who went on to management positions.
- An accomplishment is not the same as a challenge. For example, the challenge is turning around an underperforming division. The accomplishment is to taking the division from $500,000 in revenue to $5 million in revenue in 3 years.
Here are three characteristics of accomplishments:
- Accomplishments are specific—5 years of paper files, three new hires, growth from $500,000 to $5 million in revenue.
- Accomplishments describe how you solved a problem—the need for efficient access to files, new managers, a profitable division.
- Accomplishments add value—any company would want an employee who saves time, helps create leaders, or grows revenues.
Finally, when you are writing about accomplishments in your resume:
- Always start with an active and interesting verb (“Improved information access throughout company by computerizing 5 years of paper files…”; “Mentored three new hires…”; “Took underperforming division from $500,000…”).
- Put in as many numbers as you can; however, not all accomplishments involve or need numbers (for example, “Partnered with division heads to identify opportunities for collaborating on sales presentations”).
- Accomplishments that occurred as a member of a team are still accomplishments; they belong on your resume, too.
If you have difficulty pinpointing your accomplishments, you can find examples in praise from a colleague, manager, or customer; complimentary statements in your annual reviews; committees or projects you participated in; and challenging moments that you handled.
If you have difficulty writing about your accomplishments, contact Robin’s Resumes®.