If you're a regular reader of the Pongo Blog, you've probably read a few posts that have preached the benefits of putting accomplishments on your resume instead of just listing your past job duties. In other words, how you made a difference rather than what you did.
Emphasizing your accomplishments is one of the best ways to demonstrate the value you can bring to a business. But it's common to struggle to come up with accomplishments when you look into your work history. Maybe you’ve forgotten or just underestimated the impact your work had on your employers' success.
Accomplishments are not that hard to come by if you're a sales or marketing professional because of the direct impact you can have on generating revenue. Similarly, anyone in accounting, finance, and middle management can take credit for coming up with cost-cutting ideas. Hiring managers like numbers. They make reading the resume easier and can give them a clearer idea of what a job seeker can do for them.
But what about accomplishments that don't have an easy dollar figure or percentage that you can link to them? After all, not everyone is in sales, marketing, accounting, finance, or middle management.
Here are four suggestions to jog your memory. Anything you did that improved a work-related process, made a task easier or quicker, increased customer satisfaction, decreased problems, reduced errors, or increased productivity can become an accomplishment on your resume:
- Meeting deadlines. Did you deliver high-quality work on time and within budget? What action did it inspire, if any? For instance, did it lead to higher customer satisfaction, something which may not have been easily measured?
Anyone can be in this kind of role, from a waiter who consistently delivered meals to customers within a reasonable amount of time, to an executive who met a critical deadline for a critical report to the board of directors.
- Project management. Did you lead a team-based project and finish it on time and within budget? Were there seemingly insurmountable obstacles that you overcame? How did you do that? How important was the project to the company's future?
- Project roles. Did you play a key role in a project? How did your work impact the outcome? What did you do that no one else could have done?
- Your ideas. Did you make a suggestion that management adopted? Think about what happened after that idea was implemented. Even if you can't attach numbers to your idea, do your best to describe what it led to. For instance, you're in the construction industry and you suggested tougher safety precautions that eliminated the potential for injury-causing accidents.
Did you remember something from your current and past jobs? Before you forget them, add them to your resume and see if it helps your job search.
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Once You've Got the Job, Start Managing Your Career
Resume Writing for the Clueless II: Your Summary
Ready To Jump Start Your Job Search?