Career Development Center

Resumes/Letters/Portfolios

Guide to Creating Achievement Statements for Resumes

When writing a resume, many jobseekers tend to simply state what their duties and responsibilities were at their previous jobs, but tend to forget one important factor:

How are they of value to a potential employer?

True, the employer wants to know what you've done, but he or she is even more concerned with whether you can achieve results.  Make your resume achievement-oriented in order to spark the employer's interest right away. By writing about your experience in terms of achievements, not job descriptions, you convey three things:

1.  You have the necessary experience or skills.
2.  You're effective at this work or at using these skills.
3.  You take pride in and enjoy your work.

Your accomplishment statements will also instigate interesting discussion about your strengths during the interview.  Here are some questions and examples to help you think of relevant achievements for your resume:

What projects are you proud of that support your job objective?

  • Spearheaded a successful one-on-one reading program for a fourth grade special education student.

What are some quantifiable results that point out your ability?

  • Initiated Rivier University's "Gimme Shelter" program, involving the coordination of 80 people to sleep outdoors in cardboard boxes, which raised over $10,000 for the homeless as well as increasing awareness of this important social issue.

When have you demonstrated being a S.T.A.R. (Situation, Task, Action, Result)?  In other words, what was the Situation or Task you faced, what Action did you take, and what was the positive Result?

  • Reduced theft 47% by instituting "Shoppers’ Spy," a tight yet discreet security program.

When did you positively affect the organization, your boss, your coworkers, your clients?

  • Enhanced staff morale through a six-month incentive program that prompted a major increase in sales.

What awards, commendations, publications, etc. have you achieved that relate to your job objective?

  • Awarded "Top Salesperson" at “Red’s Shoe Barn” for three consecutive years.

How is success measured in your field? How do you measure up?

  • Selected by the NIH to represent the United States at the International AIDS Conference in Brazil.

Are you good at using the skills required for this job? When have you demonstrated that to be true?

  • Used advanced CAD tools to create a totally new look in video game modeling.

What activities, paid and unpaid, have you done that used skills you'll be using at your new job?

  • Offered academic success counseling and advisement to 40 students at "Make It Happen," a volunteer program at Anytown High School.

When did someone "sit up and take notice" of how skilled you are?

  • Initially hired as part of work-study program in college Admissions office and was offered salaried position within one year based on demonstrated communication and recruitment skills.

 

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