Employers are interested in more than the tasks you performed on a particular job. They want to know about accomplishments, outcomes, and results as these show your strengths and skillsets. Draw from your current and previous jobs & internships, volunteer work, student leadership or extracurricular and sports leadership positions, and classroom experiences such as projects, hands-on assignments, laboratory experience, presentations, study-abroad programs, simulations. Showing the skills and strengths you developed in each of these experiences will give more depth to your resume and make for a stronger marketing tool.
Duties and Responsibilities vs. Accomplishments
Was responsible for sales in UT and ID translates to Increased sales in UT and ID by 57% in three months, despite a reduction in salesforce.
Save money on corporate benefits translates to Researched long-term disability insurance and found a package that would save the company $7,000 annually.
What to Consider
What did you do to make this job your own? How did you take the initiative? How did you go above and beyond what was asked of you in your job description?
- How did you solve one or more specific problems in each experience? What were the problems or challenges that you or the organization faced? What did you do to overcome the problems? What were the results of your efforts?
- How has the organization benefited from your performance? How did you/will you leave this employer better off than before you worked there?
- How have teams or committees you’ve served on benefitted from your presence? What strengths do you bring to a team and how you have exhibited them in your work?
- Have you lead or supervised other individuals? How did you lead/supervise them and what was the nature of your relationships? What was the impact of having you in a leadership position?
- How did you build relationships or images with internal and/or external partners? How did you attract new customers/clients or retain existing ones?
- In working with others, how have you managed conflicts with peers, colleagues, or customers? What do you hope these past experiences show about your conflict resolution skills?
- How have you raised, collected, or managed funds for your organization? What was the impact of increased funding or the result of your management of funds?
- Did supervisors, managers, or coworkers give you praise or recognition for something? Have you been
promoted? Rapid and/or frequent promotions can be especially noteworthy.
- Are you the go-to person in your office for anything? Did members of your group choose or elect you to a certain position based on special skills you possess?
- Can you list three things you accomplished of which you are proud? (Think in terms of something you found challenging or something that improved some aspect of the company for which you worked.)
- If you had to ghost-write a letter of recommendation about you from your boss, what would be in it?
How Do You Write it?
Now that you’ve brainstormed specifics about how you’ve shown your strengths and skills, it’s time to format these situations into Accomplishment Statements. Start with a strong, specific verb that speaks to the strength or skill you’re hoping to highlight. Then provide specifics so the employer has a context in which to understand how you exhibited the strength – include answers to who, what, how many. Finally, the most important piece is to show how what you did had an impact – focus on the result and share how it was positive for the organization or individuals you worked with. Quantify your results when possible.
Example–Coordinated a grassroots marketing campaign for over 52 individuals that resulted in an increased close rate of 12%.