By Jim Wong, CPA | September 4, 2013


Typically when you sit down to write your resume, you list what your responsibilities have been at various past jobs. Listing tasks is fine, because it gives the hiring manager a clear picture of your daily routine. However, just listing responsibilities doesn’t explain what you have achieved. “Rewriting your resume to focus on accomplishments will make it far more effective, and more likely to catch a hiring manager’s eye,” says Alison Green, contributor to On Careers blog.

What qualifies as an accomplishment? How you’ve contributed something of value to your employer, or achieved something that illustrates what kind of worker you are.

Juliana Weiss-Roessler, contributor to Secrets of the Job Hunt, shares some tips on how to find accomplishments to list on your resume.

Were You Promoted?
“Promotions are one of those things that really make prospective employers take notice because they show that you were going above and beyond without you having to tout individual moments of greatness,” says Weiss-Roessler. Getting promoted quickly, or faster than others on your team, will help you stand out to hiring managers.

Did You Receive Bonuses?
Weiss-Roessler says, “A bonus is another sign that your company recognized your value and decided to acknowledge it.” If your bonus was tied to a specific performance, even better. If it isn’t, Weiss-Roessler suggests job candidates say, “My performance earned me a bonus three years running.”

Did You Complete Any Training?
List any training on your resume, especially if you received a certificate. Also, include additional schooling or other certifications you have received for your job. These can be helpful in your job hunt and make you stand out.

Did You Save the Company Money?
Did you discover you were overpaying a vendor? Or did you find a vendor who offered the same services at a lower price? Did you make improvements or do something that resulted in better results for your company? All of these things ultimately saved the company money, “And who doesn’t want someone on their team that’s going to put more profits in their pocket,” says Weiss-Roessler.

Did You Plan an Event?
“Event planning shows your organizational skills and ability to handle longer-term projects successfully,” says Weiss-Roessler. It can be any type of event such as a holiday party, putting together an after work softball league, or even bringing in a guest speaker.

Sometimes it’s hard to find accomplishments. To get started, Green suggests you ask yourself a few questions: What did you accomplish in this job that someone else didn’t? Did you make improvements or do something that got better results than your employer had been getting before? If you were asked what made you really great at your job, what would you say? What might your boss or coworkers have said made you really great?

Your resume is not the time to be modest so don’t sell yourself short. Your job search will be more effective if your resume showcases your key accomplishments.


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