Adding Accomplishments to Your Resume, Resume Tips, and Resume Examples
A few years ago I received the best resume tip from a career counselor. She simply told me that I have a lot of experience but my accomplishments are not featured in my resume. This was the first time I learned about accomplishment resumes. Business professionals are very familiar with touting their accomplishments but scientists and healthcare professionals are a little uncomfortable and not very good about mentioning our achievements or selling our skills. At first I did not see how this approach was different from the common practice of listing job duties but I gave it a try anyway. After a few revisions my new accomplishment based resume was ready for prime time. Comparing my old resume to my new accomplishment resume I realized that I had been selling myself short for many years. Although the information in both resumes was mostly the same there were some very important differences between the two that made the accomplishment approach a better selling document and more interesting to read. Here are some key accomplishment resume tips for bringing life to your resume.
Do not hide your accomplishments
Resume experts tell us that employers have a short attention span when reading resumes. If they do not see it in the first few lines or at least the first page of your resume there is a good chance they will not read it. Also consider that the initial resume screening is by someone who may not be familiar with the role and has a lot of resumes to screen. Placing your accomplishments or awards in a special award section on page 2, 3 or 4 of your resume is like hiding your strongest points. (Hopefully, your resume is not more than 2 pages.) A better strategy is to include them with each position description or move the accomplishments/awards section to the front. Why not? It is your resume and your accomplishments. If you do not mention them who will?
Include how your employer benefited
Another way to state this is include the outcome of your work. How did your accomplishments help further the company’s objective? Your prospective employer is not looking for a warm body. Rather they are trying to find top performers to help them get the job done. Show them you are the right candidate by including how your accomplishments helped your last employer. Past performance is a key indicator of future performance.
Support your summary statement with accomplishments
Include a summary of experience and attributes at the beginning of your resume. Your accomplishments should support the attributes you have selected. For instance, if you mentioned that you are a high performer then you should also provide an accomplishment that supports this claim later in your resume. Otherwise, your claim will not be as credible to the person reviewing your resume.
Do not focus on describing or listing basic duties
Give less space to describing your duties and focus more on how well you performed or unique experiences that set you apart from others. Unless your previous role is very unique your list of duties will not help you stand out because other applicants have the same basic experience. Include enough to cover the most important aspects of the job you are applying for then focus on differentiating yourself from other applicants.
These accomplishment resume tips were useful when I was searching for a job a few years ago and it has also helped other professionals. Give it a try. Good luck with your job search.
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