Creating Effective Accomplishment Statements on a Resume

Creating Effective Accomplishment Statements on a ResumeA resume is a powerful tool in the selection process for a job, internship, or another professional opportunity.  In the past, a resume was used to simply compile a list of previous and current job duties.  Today, hiring managers and decision-makers look for resumes that showcase a candidate’s accomplishments related to the position. The following tips can help you improve your resume by creating well-formatted, detailed, and personalized accomplishment statements.

Formatting

Build strong accomplishment statements by using bullet points to highlight your achievements.  We recommend 4-6 bullets per position to save space on your resume and increase the readability of your document.  Career Services’ OptimallResume system offers 400+ resume templates to help with formatting.

Action Verbs

Start each bullet point with a strong action verb. Use present tense action verbs for accomplishments you are currently doing and past tense action verbs for all accomplishments completed in the past.  Examples of strong action verbs: conducted, recorded, assessed, delivered, eliminated, produced.  Review this list of action verbs for additional ideas.

Details

Add specific details to your accomplishment statements to illustrate your knowledge and the depth of your experience.  Incorporate industry-related terms and skills to show you are a great fit.

Examples:

  • Conducted four therapy sessions per week using cognitive behavioral therapy to support individuals with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
  • Reviewed 40 – 60 resumes and job applications per week in the Jobvite applicant tracking system.

Results

Focus on the outcomes of your efforts by quantifying your results.  Include numbers to demonstrate the impact you made in your industry or organization.  For instance, numbers can represent the number of clients you helped, the number of documents you processed, or the amount of money you saved your company by developing a new process.  It all counts!

Examples:

  • Developed a recycling program that reduced employee waste by 45% and saved the company $50,000 annually.
  • Entered personally identifying information (PII) into the DEERS system for 20 – 30 soldiers per week while using standard security procedures to maintain the confidentiality of Soldiers’ records.

Own Words

It may be tempting to use exact wording from a template or from your current job description to create accomplishment statements.  These shortcuts can hurt you in the hiring process.  Instead, take time to intentionally reflect on what you have accomplished.  If you need help with grammar and spelling, run your resume through Grammarly.com and review your document thoroughly before submitting it to hiring managers and other professionals in your field.

Final Thoughts

Strong accomplishment statements on a resume can set you apart from other well-qualified applicants.   Your accomplishment statements should communicate how you produce results and make a difference in your career field. Make sure to review your formatting, start with strong action verbs, include specific details, and focus on results.  Finally, use your own words to communicate your accomplishments.

Written by Graduate Assistant and EdD Student, Kalida Cooper

 Kalida Cooper- little

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