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Most people completely overlook the accomplishments section on their resume because they are too busy talking about their responsibilities. Another reason to skip the accomplishment section is not knowing what to list or how to say it. These are your unique victories that will separate you from the hundreds of applicants and make the recruiter remember your name.
That being said, not all accomplishments carry the same weight. Being the fastest hot wing eater in Ohio doesn’t resonate quite as well with the recruiter as a half-marathon champion. While both show commitment and hard work, one is a bit more desirable (and evokes a better image) than the other.
In this guide, we will take a look at your accomplishments and figure out how and why to mention them on your resume.
Think back to the most significant victories you’ve had in your work and personal life. Have you been promoted within a month at a job? Have you brought in a major client or do you consistently finish marathons for charity? All successful resume templates take these points into consideration.
These are all great accomplishments to have on your resume. Every one of them that you list will relate directly to a set of skills. There are some major skills you should have on your resume.
in this guide, we will teach you:
- The major categories of accomplishments - Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Technical Abilities, Languages, Desire to keep up with trends, Ability to fulfill and exceed quotas
- Why each category is essential
- How to choose your best accomplishments
- How to put them on your resume
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So, where do you mention your achievements? Go for the following sections:
- Resume summary
- Resume objective
- Hobbies and interests
The key is to showcase your abilities and recognition you've received while keeping it relevant. How do you mention your achievements? Do it through quantification.
Why quantification? Demonstrating your accomplishments through numbers speaks volumes.
My team at company X loved me because I helped them get promoted.
I helped 3 employees on my team at company X get promoted within six months.
Using numbers makes your claims more specific, visual and easier to check. Now, what if you don't have any accomplishments in the industry you're applying for? Then look back and select everything transferable.
For example, if you've worked at a bank but want to switch to the Sales Industry, you can say:
During my 3 years at Bank X, I signed up 195 new clients for credit cards and exceeded sales quota by 23%.
You are still using Sales Industry terms like "clients" and "quota," and are providing numbers.
Your resume accomplishments have to showcase your:
- Emotional intelligence
- Technical abilities
- Desire to keep up with trends
- Ability to fulfill and exceed quotas
Let’s have a look at some of the resume accomplishments that directly link to these categories.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to read people’s mood and respond to it. Every great employee and leader has to have this skill, regardless of the industry. Now, what are some ways to showcase your emotional intelligence through your accomplishments? Here are some examples:
- Built a sales team of 10 within the company that collectively reached and exceeded quota
- Voted best leader in the company
- Recruited X number of new employees who remained with the company for 6+ months
- Brought 3 major clients to the company worth $500,000
Why are these resume accomplishments relevant and what do they have to do with emotional intelligence?
Building a team and managing people clearly shows that you understand the behavior of others and can influence it. As everyone knows, how employees get along can make or break a company.
If you recruited/ referred new employees who ended up staying, this means that you understand the company values and how outside people could fit in. Good judgment is key.
Bringing in new clients again demonstrates your persuasiveness and knowledge of human behavior and of company values. Adding how much money you brought is always a great idea, as the recruiter needs some clear data to judge you according to.
Leadership is a major skill to have on your resume. No employer wants someone who follows along blindly. You need to show that you take initiative and take charge.
Here are some examples of resume accomplishments that showcase leadership:
- Organized a volunteer campaign
- Led sports team to a victory for four consecutive seasons
- Headed a fundraiser than gathered more than $20,000 for homeless shelter
Employers love strong leaders. Your leadership accomplishments don’t necessarily have to do with people, unlike emotional intelligence. You can proudly talk about any successful campaigns that you’ve been in charge of.
Your ability to lead a team to victory looks fantastic on a resume. If you were ever in charge of a fundraiser and managed to gather donations, make sure to list it as well. Asking for money is tough, and when you do it successfully, it shows that you can be trusted.
In our data-driven world, being tech savvy is very important. There are particular accomplishments you can list in order to point out why you are the best candidate for the job.
Check out these examples of technical accomplishments to put on your resume:
- Created website
- Won a prize in photography (which includes editing), video game
- Created a video that reached 1 million people
Technical skills are valued highly. Even something small as being a total champion at a video game can be helpful. Photography which includes editing either with Photoshop, Lightroom or other tools is a plus, as is videography. These technical abilities also demonstrate creativity, so proudly list them on your resume
Think of your language accomplishments like a grown-up version of the spelling bee. Speaking more than one language is imperative today, so if you have the ability to do so and have been recognized, definitely talk about it.
Here are some language accomplishments you can mention:
- Write a (publication) in Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, etc.
- Certifications - TOEFL for English and equivalents for foreign languages
- Won first (second and third are okay too) place at (insert language) competition
Believe it or not, there are still many people who only speak English, so being able to leverage another language is very important. That automatically broadens your circle of reach and effectiveness in the company.
The world is moving quickly and keeping up with trends is essential. There are ways to show that you’re on top of your game.
List the following accomplishments:
- Developed a social media channel (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. YouTube) which reaches 500,000 followers
- Founded X business which was awarded best new venture
- Chosen as best investor of 2016
Showing knowledge of social media and influence is important. Marketing is always key for most industries, as competition is fierce and you have to reach and convince an audience to choose you. Showing qualities like entrepreneurship is always a plus, and if you do it well and get recognition for it, you should absolutely mention that.
Numerical accomplishments are always good to have on your resume. This allows the recruiter to see what the standard that was set for you was, and how you reacted to it.These accomplishments are especially valuable in the Sales Industry.
Here are some examples of what to say:
- Met and exceeded goal of $200,000 in sales during the third quarter, acquiring a total of $255,000
- Lead a team that exceeded $200,00 quota
- Brought in new clients who contributed $300,000 to company
- Secured 10 new contracts for company X, with a goal of 8
If you can show the recruiter how much money you'll make them, this is what they'll look like...
Don’t shy away from numbers. Resumes can often be vague which is a big mistake. You have to be precise and demonstrate real results. Numbers are your friends.
We know you've got a ton of skills. Learn which 50+ Essential Skills to Put on a Resume (And Get the Job)!
Now that we’ve gone over the major categories of accomplishments let’s talk about how to figure out which to mention. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why is this significant?
- Did I do it on my own or are there more people who should take credit?
- Is this unique in any way?
- How is this relevant to the company?
A good rule is always to mention an accomplishment where you were awarded a top 3 place.
Your accomplishments have to be significant. As we mentioned the example of a fast hot wing eater and marathon runner earlier, you have to choose something that remains professional while being cool.
Bosses want people who can get things done on their team. If you show that you constantly try to raise yourself above the competition, that will get you hired. Always make sure that your accomplishments are relevant to the company.
For example, if you are applying for a job at an eco-friendly company, mention that you’ve helped clean parks or finished races in support of the environment. These resume accomplishments will play very well with the recruiter.
Companies don’t just want workers. They want individuals who represent their values and already embody them.
The best way to find out which accomplishments and qualities companies value is very simple. Just head over to their website and look for their mission statement. You can give them a follow on Twitter and LinkedIn as well, in order to keep in touch with updates.
If you’re still in college, that’s ok - there are many accomplishments you can add to your resume. In fact, in this case, your achievements will be even more important, as you have to compensate for the lack of years of professional experience.
Here are some examples of accomplishments to put on a student resume:
- Dean’s List
- Magma Cum Laude/ Summa Cum Laude
Any of those would look great on your resume and are worth mentioning.
HOW TO PUT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS ON A RESUME
Now let’s get to the technical part. Where should your accomplishments go on your resume? It is best to include them in your experience section.
Your accomplishments will be directly related to your job responsibilities. For example, if you were the head of a sales team, your responsibilities might include managing a team of eight.
Go ahead and say that you “boosted the productivity of the team of eight by 20% by employing new Salesforce techniques. This shows a quantifiable measure of your success. Notice how you’re not simply listing what was expected of you, but how you accomplished it.
This is a sort of casual and humble bragging. Let your accomplishments speak for you. They will do it louder than the description of the tasks you were assigned.
Always analyze the job description of the position you are applying for. Pick the keywords from it and respond with the appropriate accomplishments.
Looking at the job description.
- Make 100 cold calls a day
- Bring in $30,000 of new business monthly
- Work in a team
- Have knowledge of Salesforce
You can respond with the following accomplishments:
- Made the most cold calls in the office consistently, over 200 a day
- Brought in $35,000 worth of new business for six months in a row, highest in the office
- Lead a team of three
- Developed new Salesforce techniques and boosted productivity by 20%
As you can see, we aren’t just saying that you dealt with your assigned tasks. We are saying that you did so expertly. We are using quantifiable measurements of your success.
As we have seen so far, accomplishments are important. Don’t shy away from mentioning them on your resume. It’s better to brag than to be too humble.
There are six major categories of accomplishments to speak about on your resume - emotional intelligence, leadership, languages, technical abilities, desire to keep up with trends and ability to reach and exceed quotas. Make sure to hit as many as you can.
Ask yourself questions like “why is this accomplishment important,” “how does it relate to the job,” and “did I do it on my own or was I working in a team?”
Listing accomplishments on a resume is not just for seasoned professionals. Students can greatly benefit from it, as they have a shorter career history and some noteworthy accomplishments can tip the scale in their favor.
Make sure to analyze the job description carefully and choose keywords that you can relate to you accomplishments. Once you’ve identified them, list the appropriate accomplishments in the experience section of your resume. Instead of talking about your job responsibilities, explain how you fulfilled them.