Accomplishments for Your Resume

Almost every resume I see reads like a laundry list of “stuff” the person has done at work. The problem is that everyone applying for the job you seek probably has a similar list of “stuff.” What makes you stand out? Why are you special – why do YOU deserve to win an interview and the job?

It certainly isn’t because you were “Responsible for” something or that you were “Recruited to” do something. A prospective employer wants to know what you’ve accomplished. What impact have you had on past employers? What obstacles did you overcome to achieve a positive result in the past?

Quintessential Careers compiled a comprehensive list of accomplishments employers seek. (Hat tip: My Career).

Describe how you:

  • Make money
  • Save money
  • Save time
  • Make work easier
  • Solve a specific problem
  • Help the company become more competitive
  • Build relationships
  • Expand the business
  • Attract new customers
  • Retain existing customers

I suggest you answer the following questions:

  • What problems did you solve?
  • How did you improve your organization?
  • What innovative ideas did you introduce (and what were the positive results)?
  • How did you make a difference?

When you re-focus your resume spotlight to shine on what you have to offer instead of just listing what you’ve done, you will be much more marketable.

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photo by meanest Indian


2 Responses to “Accomplishments for Your Resume”

  1. 1 Gary Capone September 3, 2008 at 7:13 am

    I see the same thing in resumes I review every day – job seekers highlighting their responsibilities without even the slightest hint that they were successful. Being responsible for something is only important if you can show one of two things (preferrably both): you were successful managing the responsibilities and you learned something significant from the experience.

  2. 2 Mike Thomas September 3, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Spot on! As I tell my readers, there are three – and ONLY three – things employers care about:

    1) How can you make me money?

    2) How can you save me money?

    3) How can you add to my brand or provide customer service?

    As long as all of a job seeker’s bullets hit one of those three targets, they’ll be in good shape.

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