The Importance of Including Accomplishments in your Resume

Let’s toss around some well-worn clichés for a moment to describe why accomplishments are vital to your resume.

  • Accomplishments are the heart and soul of your resume.
  • Accomplishments are the proof in the pudding.
  • Without accomplishments, the value you offer to a prospective employer is as easy to find as a needle in a haystack.

Getting the picture? A resume without accomplishments is simply a boring, bland, line by line accounting of your work history and other facts. It doesn’t tell an employer how YOU made a difference; it simply serves as what we in the industry call a Joe Friday document…you know, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

What constitutes an accomplishment? In the simplest of terms, an accomplishment shows a Point A to Point B improvement resulting from an action or actions you took within your job (i.e., We started here, but after I came onboard and did X, it resulted in Y). Let’s look at some examples:

  • Eliminated customer complaints regarding inaccuracy of transfer credits by revamping quality control efforts.
  • Produced a 60% revenue increase in Japan by reducing MHLW review cycles to their lowest ever, leading to faster commercial release of products into the marketplace.
  • Ensured the consistent delivery of base and project services, earning the client’s confidence as well as a $20 million contract extension for project work in 2006.
  • Led teams to successfully implement over 480 customer service requests in the mid-range environment as well as projects such as data center migrations, tech refreshes, and server consolidations.
  • Improved service level performance from 84% in 2005 to 96% in 2006.

The best accomplishments are written to include specific measurements of improvement, such as improvement in sales performance or a reduction in costs:

  • Improved efficiency of the evaluation process, increasing number of evaluations performed daily by 170%.
  • Offset the rising expense of paper supplies by identifying a more cost-effective product and by increasing transcript fees 250%.

There are many accomplishments, however, that reflect more intangible improvements, such as:

  • Raised the quality of customer service department-wide by developing new processes that improved relationships with students.
  • Reduced volume of transcript requests during peak graduation periods by recommending inclusion of an official transcript in each graduate’s diploma.

The accomplishments you highlight on your resume should demonstrate your contributions to your respective employers. In this way, your prospective employer will see that you have been effective for other companies and should be capable of producing similar successes for his/her own company.

Not sure how to distinguish your achievements on your resume? We can help!

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Candace Davies ACCC, CRW, CIC, CPRW, CEIP, CECC
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