Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Creating Accomplishment Statements for a Commanding Resume

When creating a powerful resume, it is important to highlight your accomplishments for each position you have included on your resume, going beyond just listing job duties. A job duty only describes what you did and an accomplishment describes how well you did it. Hiring managers are familiar with job duties, but you want to tell them something they don’t already know.  They want to know what sets you apart or what you have accomplished in your past positions that would be beneficial to their organization.

It can be challenging to turn job duties into accomplishments. Following the steps below, you’ll soon be able to change standard job duties into accomplishment statements that highlight the results and outcomes of your actions. 

1. Brainstorm. Start by taking time to create a list regarding what you have accomplished in each of your positions without worrying about wording, grammar, and punctuation.  Amy Michalenko from The Muse shared these questions for consideration as you develop your list.
  • What did I do that was above and beyond my normal job duties?
  • How did I stand out among other employees?
  • Was I ever recognized by a supervisor for a job well done? When and why?
  • Did I win any awards or accolades?
  • What new processes did I implement to improve things?
  • What problems did I solve?
  • Did I ever consistently meet or exceed goals or quotas?
  • Did I save or make the company money?
  • What made me really great at my job? 
2. Utilize Numbers.  Whenever possible, try to incorporate numbers, percentages, and figures into your accomplishments. Utilizing numbers can help the employer understand the scope of your work and the level of your responsibility. Numbers help paint a clear picture of what you accomplished that employers can understand.

3. Create your accomplishment statements to add to your resume. Utilizing the information from the steps above, you now want to apply consistent formatting to each accomplishment, paying close attention to wording, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. You’ll want to start each accomplishment with an action verb followed by a description of what you did and how well you did it. The University of Utah Career Services created this table as a tool to help you develop your own winning accomplishment statements.

Action Verb
Who/What/How Many
a new policy and procedure for auditing reports
increasing accuracy rates from 65% to 90%
Created and managed
a fundraising event  for 250 attendees
that sold out and raised more than $100,000
all customer questions and concerns were addressed 
consistently receiving unsolicited praise from customers and supervisor 

Utilizing accomplishment statements is a powerful way to help your resume stand out from the pack. WGU Career & Professional Development would be happy to assist in creating accomplishment statements, providing resume feedback, or answering any additional career questions you may have.