One of the most important things a hiring manager or recruiter looks for in a resume is accomplishments. You really need resume accomplishments over everyday tasks to get your resume noticed.
Many people think they don't have specific accomplishments they can point to. Many also think that it's hard to find specific accomplishments in their industry.
This is just not true and in this post, we’ll show you 10 simple ways to turn your everyday duties and responsibilities into accomplishments that will land you that interview.
What are Resume Accomplishments?
An accomplishment on a resume is something that shows how you went above and beyond everyday tasks to achieve something. This could be specific accomplishments that you have achieved throughout your career. These may be financial, a special award or recognition, or simply an initiative in which you demonstrated leadership.
Many job seekers make the mistake of listing job duties and responsibilities over achievements. Many times, their duties can be reworded to sound like an achievement.
Here is an example of a responsibility on a resume:
"Responsible for seeking out new marketing campaigns to increase revenue."
Let's see this reworded to sound like an achievement:
Increased revenue by 26% by implementing new paid marketing channels including Google Adwords, Adroll and Bing Ads.
See the difference? The second description shows an actual accomplishment with quantifiable achievements. This is much more effective than the first description.
Here are 10 other ways you can easily list your resume accomplishments to make yours standout.
10 Resume Accomplishment Ideas and Tips
Simply improving the vocabulary on your resume can make a responsibility sound like an achievement. You should never use the term “responsible for” on a resume as it can never really sound like an achievement. You should instead use powerful action verbs that hiring managers love to see.
Here are the top 5 words hiring managers love to see on a resume according to a CareerBuilder survey.
- Achieved- Improved- Trained- Managed- Created
"Improved return on ad spend by 22% through A/B testing and optimizing various landing pages."
Here's a great post we wrote on the best words to use on a resume.
You should be using numbers wherever possible as this catches the attention of a hiring manager and really makes any description sound like an achievement. You can find ways to quantify your experience regardless of what industry you're in.
"Created engaging content such as info-graphics and videos which drove 2,000 leads in the first month."
Awards, Certifications and Competitions
Are there any awards or certifications you received on the job? If so, be sure to include these awards on your resume. If you participated in any company competitions and did well, include it. This is an excellent way to standout and catch the attention of a hiring manager.
"Won first place in the annual sales challenge out of 34 participants."
Selected for Special Project
Include any project you were selected to work on because of your performance or knowledge. This really shows the employer that you stand out from your other colleagues. You should also quantify this wherever possible.
"Selected as one of three employees to work on a the [Project Description]."
Was there a time where you not only met expectations or a quota but exceeded it? If so, it should be included on a resume. Many make the mistake of simply listing out the responsibility and not bringing attention to specific accomplishments.
"Exceeded sales quota by 50% through producing engaging content using our social media accounts."
Hiring managers love to see specific examples of a way you decreased expenses. This could be anything from negotiating better terms or refining a process to be more efficient and less costly.
"Reduced our cost of goods 13% by negotiating better terms with our suppliers."
Employers also love to see when you trained employees as it shows that you were trusted and knowledgeable. This really comes off as an achievement even though it may be a responsibility. Don’t forget to quantify it and mention the amount of employees you trained.
"Trained 23 new employees on various functions and processes including [ Whatever you trained them in]."
Leadership in anything also shows an achievement. You weren’t chosen to be in charge of something because of poor performance, but because you’re extremely skilled or knowledgeable on something. If it was something off the job like an association, for example, you can include it in the interests and activities section on your resume.
"President of the ABC Association of Engineers since 2014."
Were you asked to speak or do a presentation at any time? If so, this is an excellent achievement to include on your resume. It shows leadership and confidence which will help make you stand out over the other candidates.
"Selected to present our new software in front of 3,500 people in attendance at the annual shareholders meeting."
Resume accomplishments over responsibilities will really help you stand out and land the interview. The tips and examples above should help you come up with some resume achievements. Remember that quantifying (using numbers) on your resume is the easiest way to portray yourself as an “achiever” rather than just a “doer”.
Thanks for your time and good luck with your job search!
Leo Bastone, Editor & Content Writer
Leo Bastone is an Editor with a passion for using words to empower high-growth and mission-driven organizations. He’s worked in startup, non-profit, and enterprise environments across various sectors and currently serves as an editor at ZipJob. Based out of the greater New York City area, Leo enjoys traveling frequently throughout New England, one of his favorite hideaways being the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.