Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

April 19, 2011

Dig Deep for Resume Accomplishments

Kim Isaacs
Monster Contributing Writers

— Many of us underestimate our achievements. We're often told not to boast, that modesty is the best policy. We show up to do our jobs every day and sometimes do great things -- isn't that enough?

Well, not if you want your resume to get noticed. Employers look for achievers, candidates who go above and beyond their job duties. Your resume allows you to describe your best accomplishments so employers want to take a chance on you.

If you think you have no career accomplishments, think again. Everybody has them; it's just a matter of digging down and pinpointing what they are.

What Is an Accomplishment?

On your resume, an accomplishment is an example of how you contributed to your employer, or it's an achievement that reflects the kind of worker you are. The most convincing accomplishments are measurable. Examples:

Getting Started

Set a timer for five minutes, and start jotting down your accomplishments for your most recent position. Write down any accomplishment, contribution or achievement that comes to mind, even if it seems insignificant. Complete this exercise for each position on your resume. To help jog your memory, here are questions to ask yourself:

Pulling It All Together

Now that you've completed this brainstorming exercise, turn your accomplishments into high-impact statements. Lead with the result, outcome or benefit to your employer. Here are a few examples of how to transform rough notes into accomplishments statements:



Position: Teacher

Position:Systems Administrator

Position:Administrative Assistant

Still Stuck?

Sometimes it's hard to identify accomplishments. Try asking your supervisor or a colleague to name your top contributions to the team -- others may have an easier time recognizing your value than you. Review your performance evaluations or reference letters, which often include details about your accomplishments. And remember, don't sell yourself short. You may take your accomplishments for granted, but potential employers see past success as an indicator of future performance. Your job search will be more effective if your resume showcases your key accomplishments.