Writing Accomplishment Statements

Before you write your resume, review each of your previous jobs, what you did in each one and what you accomplished. An accomplishment has three parts:

  1. the problem that you helped the organization solve
  2. the actions you took
  3. the outcome

Build a list of as many of your accomplishments as you can. This will help you when and if you choose to tailor your resume to a particular job that interests you. Identifying and writing out your accomplishments also helps you see what an outstanding performer you are!

Examples of Accomplishments

Financial savings or gain:

  • Did you save your organization money or time while working on a project? How much, and how did you do that?
  • How much have you generated in sales? How does that compare to your co-workers?
  • Have you worked on a program that improved results by a certain percentage?
  • Did you complete a higher percentage of your assigned tasks or work more productively than your peers?
  • Did profits, revenues, or sales increase because of your efforts? If so, by how much?
  • Did you save time with a process you created, automated, or redesigned?

Points of difference:

  • Was there something exceptional about your work or your team's work?
  • What accomplishment are you the most proud of at each job?
  • How do you hope they will remember you?
  • Did you break a record, set a new standard, or outperform a prior year or another organization?
  • What did you do that was different from others who held the same position?
  • Were you assigned a special project?
  • Did you work on events? How did they turn out? Did they come in under budget?
  • Did you do something beyond the normal scope of your responsibility?
  • Was your location or department better or different from a similar location or department elsewhere in the company?

Writing the Statements

For each accomplishment, there is a story about the problem you solved that you can tell during an interview. An accomplishments statement is structured to highlight the action you took and the outcome of that action.

The following examples illustrate how an accomplishments statement is structured:

  • Managed newly created southeastern sales territory, doubling annual revenues in first full year to $8 million.
  • Organized and led cross-functional team to reduce new product production cycle schedule, shaving five months from release of new product line and generating unplanned $3 million in first year of operation.
  • Managed planning and integration of new MIS system, reducing annual expenses by $5 million

Use Action Verbs

In writing accomplishment statements, use active verbs such as planned, managed, organized, and researched. View a sample list of action verbs.

Tailor Your Resume with Accomplishments

One size does not fit all. Tailoring your resume to specific job requirements sets you apart from other job seekers relying on a single resume. A powerful resume clearly shows the recruiter and hiring manager that you can successfully take on the job they are seeking to fill.

When preparing your resume for a specific job, focus on the qualifications the employer is seeking. Review the job posting or job description carefully to learn what the employer is looking for, what skills are required and what the job involves. Use those accomplishments that show that you can take on the job on day one. Note the key terms that are used as a clue to language you can use in your resume.

Not sure what skills are required to do your job successfully? Review the description of your job in O*Net. Included in the information about each job is a list of the skills that are need to do the job successfully.

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