Every day at work can present a new opportunity or challenge, whether big or small. Although you may not have thought about your daily work as an opportunity, it’s true that each day presents a new chance to accomplish a task or make an impact. In turn, each day presents an opportunity to add content to your resume. You never know when someone will ask you for your resume, and you need to be ready.
Oftentimes, people don’t take the time to record their accomplishments or impacts. By the time they want to edit their resume, they have forgotten key details or experiences that would ensure their resume stands out from other resumes, passes the ATS, and lands in the hands of a human recruiter.
Recruiters and hiring managers want to learn about your accomplishments, not your job duties. A resume filled with accomplishments helps you stand out from the sea of other applicants who have held similar positions to you or had similar responsibilities. Continue reading to learn about four tips for effectively including accomplishments in a resume.
1. Record your accomplishments as they happen
The most efficient way to write optimized bullet points on your resume that highlight your accomplishments is by keeping track of what you’ve done at work. Keep an accomplishment journal where you can record what you’re up to each week at work. Consider categorizing it by ongoing projects or assignments and daily duties.
Although it’s no longer standard to include duties on a resume, you never know when a duty will turn into an accomplishment. For example, one of your duties may be to monitor customer service calls on a daily basis. One week you might notice a gap in customer service representatives’ skills that is impacting customer experience. You mention this to your manager who then recommends this issue be analyzed by upper management. After further analysis, training is eventually implemented. This experience is an excellent accomplishment worth including on a resume because you noticed an issue and facilitated its timely resolution.
Recording thorough details about your work experiences reduces the risk that you will forget how you accomplished something. The more details you have, the easier it will be to condense those details into a concise yet comprehensive bullet.
This practice is especially helpful if you decide to hire a resume writer as the process for most writers is to start by asking you questions in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of your professional experience, responsibilities, and accomplishments. As a result of providing more details to your writer, you won’t have to rack your brain about what you did in your job five years ago. As time passes, it is easier to forget many relevant details that potential employers would be impressed to learn about.
2. Quantify your accomplishments
As a general rule, the bullets on your resume should portray to the reader what you did, how you did it, and the impact. If possible, being able to quantify the impact is the most effective way to record an accomplishment. Monetary ($) impacts and percentage (%) increases or decreases are examples of ways impacts can be quantified.
It is also much easier to quantify an accomplishment if you know your starting point so that you can measure the progress made. If you are unaware of the status of what you worked on prior to improving it, it will be harder to identify how successful the improvement truly is.
However, if you do not have an approximate number to include on your resume, you can still use ranges or terms implying you made a large impact. For example, you can say that you increased client responses or you streamlined a process that saves $25,000-$50,000 year over year. Both of these methods also show that your work benefited the company, even if the benefit cannot be explicitly measured.
3. Exhibit how you added value
Accomplishments can be the pivotal point when one candidate receives a job offer over another, even if the candidate being offered the position has less experience. Why is this? Accomplishments tell the recruiter that you excelled at your responsibilities, rather than merely completing them.
Although the quantity of years you are in a role is important to receiving a job offer, the quality of your time is just as important. Recruiters want to know what value you can add to the company, which is portrayed by your accomplishments. For example, accomplishments can exhibit that you not only promoted sales but also led a team in surpassing the yearly sales target.
Think back to the example earlier about recognizing skill gaps. In that situation, you didn’t just monitor customer service calls alongside setting expectations. Instead, you simultaneously identified a potential gap in practices that was impacting customer experience, appropriately escalated it to upper management, and influenced training updates that could have positive long-term impacts.
Of course, some jobs are inherently more monotonous than others, but this will just require some brainstorming on your part about how you can create a larger impact on your company. In addition, it shows you have initiative if you ask your boss how you can have a larger impact. Check out this article for examples of accomplishments by industry.
4. Strategically place content in bullets and professional summary (if appropriate)
As mentioned throughout this article, the most commonplace that accomplishments are displayed in a resume are within bullet points under each position. However, this will not be the case for all professionals. When a professional or executive summary is appropriate for a resume, it should concisely mention accomplishments relevant to your industry or desired industry. If this is appropriate for your resume, it is expected that there will be a bullet somewhere in your resume that is directly related to the accomplishment that was mentioned in the summary.
It is not a quick five-minute task to include accomplishments on your resume, but it will take dramatically less time if you record them as they happen. Remember that portraying how you benefited your prior company(s) is the most important aspect of including accomplishments. It causes you to be a more enticing candidate to recruiters.
If you are still struggling on how to incorporate accomplishments into your resume, BrandResumes can help you. Check our blog out for more useful articles and keep your eyes out for an upcoming article about how to effectively format a resume in 2022!