How to Include Accomplishments on Your Resume
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 12 August 2022 | Published 26 August 2020
Updated 12 August 2022
Published 26 August 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Your resume is like a professional brochure for yourself. The educational qualifications you include ensure that you are capable of successful job performance, and your work experience makes sure that your skills have evidence. You can also add your accomplishments to your resume show what you have achieved using your talents. In this article, we explain how to demonstrate your achievements on your resume and stand out from the crowd.
Why Should You Include Accomplishments On Your Resume?
Professional accomplishments signal to a potential employer that you are someone who is motivated to excel in your position. They demonstrate that you use your education and knowledge to go beyond a position's requirements and do the best that you can. All employees are expected to fulfil their duties as stated in their job descriptions. However, accomplishments show that you are able to push past the regular routine and design something new or produce more than expected. Achievements reveal to an employer that you can apply your skills in real-life situations.
Related: 6 Universal Rules for Resume Writing
Importance Of Including Measurable Accomplishments
Achievements or accomplishments can be anything out of the ordinary. The key to a solid accomplishment is that you can state it in quantifiable terms. It can often be confusing to include such actions in a resume. Sometimes, achievements can look like responsibilities, and responsibilities can look like accomplishments. So, it is better to add statements that demonstrate quantifiable results.
For example, you can include a first-class degree or distinction in your resume. You can also add specific professional accomplishments, such as exceeding expectations in sales. The critical thing to consider is if your contribution made an impact.
Think of the accomplishment section as self-promotion or a way of marketing your skills to the employer. Some people shy away from including achievements because they think that it might be too conspicuous or seem like they are showing off. However, it is not considered bragging to showcase the things you have accomplished using your knowledge and skills. It is merely a measure of your ability to advance your experience using the things you have learned in your professional career.
Where To Write Accomplishments In A Resume
Usually, a resume is limited to two A4 size pages. It can be challenging to write achievements in a typical resume. Your education and employment history may already take up most of the space, but if you do have room, you can create a new section just to list your accomplishments.
Instead of creating a new section for your accomplishments, you can also consider expanding your education or employment sections to include the related accomplishments. For example, if you received a distinction in your graduate degree, you can just add a hyphen and add the word 'distinction' after typing in your qualification. As another example, you can include any awards earned during your employment in the bullet points of your responsibilities.
It is essential to note that your included accomplishments should be brief and concise. If you cannot include them in your resume, try to mention such achievements in your cover letter.
Types Of Accomplishments
Companies look for accomplishments that align with their business needs. Employers are looking for how you shoulder your responsibilities. Simply copying job descriptions and pasting them on your resume is not very exciting. To create a more engaging resume, use action verbs and demonstrate how you transformed your responsibilities into achievements on a higher level.
Achievements can either be qualitative or quantitative. Here are some common examples of accomplishments included on a resume:
Improved day-to-day operations and streamlined workflows.
Assisted top executives in arranging trade fairs, talk shows, tele talks and visits from stakeholders. Received multiple letters of appreciation for the efforts.
Participated in writing off soiled notes. Cleared five lakh soiled notes in record time. Received best team award at an annual function on behalf of the entire team as well as the best team player award.
As an administration executive, I examined, rearranged and wrote off outdated records. Received an award from internal inspection.
Collated old records in a zipped format and constructed a new database to organise all account data.
Implemented group policies for all computers in the department and streamlined operations from a remote server.
Reconciled sales accounts with receipts to enable easy access for accountants.
Handled receivable accounts by constantly pursuing receipts of bills and invoices.
Developed a new shop-floor operating policy and layouts for lathe machines in the workshop to reduce fatigue and improve the throughput of raw materials.
Volunteered to work as the team leader in the absence of managerial staff and kept the store in working condition.
Represented the company at the International Committee of Manufacturers and restored good faith through eloquent communication techniques.
Achieved the highest record of resolving 86 customer queries in a single working day.
Raised more than four lakh rupees in annual fundraising activities for the charity.
Influenced customer counts which led to the increase in annual turnover of 3 lakhs from 1 to 1.5 lakhs in the previous years.
Increased sales by over 15% by extending active customer service and implementing organic publicity and recommendations.
Organised a highly efficient open day at the local university and opened a record high of 73 student accounts in the bank.
Increased fixed deposit amounts by over 12 lakh rupees as compared to the previous financial year.
Reduced working hours by more than 30% through localisation of sales and indigenous promotions and campaigns.
Using The Right Language To Write Accomplishments
Writing space is valuable on a typical resume. Additionally, hiring managers have thousands of applications on their desks. Your resume must be short, concise and focused.
Presenting your accomplishments appropriately helps HR staff know precisely what you stand for and the value you bring to the company. Using subtle language can help portray a positive image of yourself. For example, try to mention, "I was given the opportunity to lead the team," instead of "I jumped forward and led the team." Say, "I was entrusted with a complicated job," instead of "I completed this complicated job even though no one else wanted to do it."
Effective language involves avoiding commonly used terms. Showcasing the impact you have made through hard work is better than only mentioning that you are a hard worker. Try to mention how your extra hours helped achieve targets or solve a particular problem rather than saying that you frequently worked overtime.
Use action verbs to increase the effectiveness of your achievements. Examples of effective action verbs include:
Other tips for showcasing your accomplishments through effective language include:
Showcase your team culture by mentioning, "I was a member of a successful team."
Avoid exaggeration by presenting tangible facts and evidence.
Avoid comparing yourself with others or downplaying others' achievements.
Provide figures and numbers instead of vague statements.
Modify your job responsibilities into statements of accomplishments using action verbs.
Try to include how you increased revenue or decreased overheads for your previous employers.
What To Do If You Cannot Think Of Any Accomplishments
It may be challenging to identify the valuable achievements in your professional career. You may be a fresher who has yet to produce any quantifiable results. In such cases, you can use the following tips to highlight your accomplishments:
Include your rank in the educational qualifications. A first-class or distinction shows that you are capable of hard work and achieving results.
Mention any awards received in competitions. This is especially important in science, technology, engineering and mathematics competitions because employers will recognise your capability to do something extraordinary.
Specify any certifications earned. Include your certifications, even if those certifications are from private institutes. Certifications and credentials show that you are continually improving yourself, which is an accomplishment in itself.
Make sure to include any volunteering work. While these actions are not considered as accomplishments officially, they show that you are willing to take on extra tasks.
Some jobs require basic qualifications such as a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) or Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC). In such cases, you can add some of the accomplishments from your school or college. For example, consider that you are applying for entry-level positions in the armed forces or the police force. If you were a candidate of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) during your high school years, you can mention any awards for performance or leadership positions under that section.
However, such achievements have a lesser impact on employers in the corporate sector. Furthermore, if you have progressed significantly in your career, you should mention professional achievements instead of your educational accomplishments.
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