How to Find Accomplishments to List on Your Resume

Often when people sit down to write their resume, they automatically think in terms of responsibilities. “I had to take notes, fax people, and answer phones.” This is natural. They probably asked themselves what they did at work, and that made them think of a list of tasks. Having these things is fine, because you want to give a concise picture of your daily routine, but what’s even better is if you can find accomplishments to highlight. Things that you did at work that went above and beyond… or at least can be written as such. But what qualifies as an accomplishment and not something that was just part of your job?

Were you promoted? Promotions are one of those things that really make prospective employers take notice, because they show that you were going above and beyond without you having to tout individual moments of greatness. This is especially true if you can say something like “promoted faster than anyone else to this position” or “promoted after only X months.”

Did you receive a bonus? A bonus is another sign that your company recognized your value and decided to acknowledge it. If you can tie this bonus to actual specific performance, all the better. Even saying something like “my performance earned me a bonus three years running,” it’s a good thing.

Did you complete any training? Schooling or training, especially if you received a certificate that now says you are qualified to do whatever it is the training was for can be very helpful.

Did you save the company money? Perhaps, somewhere in your daily responsibilities, you realized that you could automatically respond to a lot of the company email rather than it taking someone an entire day to do it manually. Or you discovered that the business was overpaying a vendor for some kind of item. Things like this saved the company money, and who doesn’t want someone on their team that’s going to put more profits in their pocket?

Did you plan an event? It can be anything from the company’s annual holiday party to going on a retreat to bringing a guest speaker in. Event planning shows your organizational skills and ability to handle longer-term projects successfully.

Can you make the everyday sound extraordinary? In the first paragraph, there was an example of responsibilities where the person answered phones. Instead of this, you could say you “managed 9 different phone lines on a daily basis.” Maybe that won’t blow them away, but it sure sounds more impressive than “answered phones.” Lots of your responsibilities can be reworded in this way to show them as accomplishments rather than just part of the daily drudgery.

How to Find Accomplishments to List on Your Resume

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Juliana Weiss-Roessler

Juliana Weiss-Roessler is a professional freelance writer and resume writer based in Los Angeles. She's written hundreds of resume, cover letters, and thank you letters in a wide variety of fields. You can learn more about her work at www.weissroessler.com.

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