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Written by Jean Giroux & Jon Hedderwick; Edited by Sandy Vandermeulen
How to Write an Accomplish-based Resume

There are many options for promoting yourself to potential employers. Whether you are using a CV, chronological resume, functional/skills-based resume, portfolio, promotional video, social media platforms, personal website, or LinkedIn profile, there are many ways to highlight your qualifications and attributes.
In addition to recommending the use of keywords, there is an emerging focus on headlining accomplishment-based examples. This format allows the job seeker to portray their value, innovation, and special skills.

There are four kinds of accomplishments or results: Qualitative, Quantitative, Recognitions and Awards;

Qualitative are things that provide insight into the success of your efforts when you use good job skills. (i.e. friendly, outgoing and professional with a demonstrated ability to encourage repeat business.) The qualitative result is not easily proven, but it demonstrates that you understand why it is important to employ the skills you are using.

Quantitative results are better. Numbers read very well on a resume (i.e. Received a 98% Customer Service Satisfaction Rating based on customer service surveys over a 12-month period; or Employee of the month three times in the last year.) Find a way to store them for later use. We’ll all get some of these things from performance reviews. Track your own results. It not only gives you useful information when you are trying to apply for new work but also allows you to set actual, measurable benchmarks for self-improvement.

Recognitions such as promotions, special projects, major contributions, or leadership roles should be highlighted.

Create a separate, recognizable section for current awards. If you want to list older awards, include that information in the skills and accomplishments section under specific jobs or job skill categories.

The article, “How to Write Accomplishments on Your Resume”, outlines that accomplishment-based resumes help employers identify candidates that “go above and beyond their job duties” (Kim Isaacs, Monster.com).  Examples of work-based accomplishments can include customer excellence, involvement in special projects, increased revenue or productivity, team contributions or cost-savings. Accomplishment-based statements help you reflect on ways that the workplace has improved and your role in the progress.

Most of us focus on just doing a good job and don’t take the time to highlight our achievements. Any time you receive formal or informal acknowledgments from your employer, it is a good time to cite that feedback as an accomplishment-based achievement on your resume. Here are a few accomplishment-based examples for a Guest Services Manager position with a fast-food restaurant:

  • Maintained an 87 percent customer service rating, 7 percent above the company standard
  • Received recognition as Employee of the Month, Manager of the Month, and Manager of the Year
  • Increased the annual brand standard rating from 62 to 97.5 percent in one year, exceeding the business standard by 12.3 percent
  • Implemented catering option for residential and commercial customers, increasing sales by $3,500 monthly
  • Fostered a lower employee turnover rate through staff training, crew outings, and relationship building
  • Assisted with the decrease of employee costs through effective hiring and training measures
  • Developed and implemented strategic measures for continuous improvement
  • Provided employee orientations for over 1,900 frontline employers and 75 managers
  • Scheduled and facilitated 250 employee training in over 5 years
  •  Completed a Leadership and Development Certificate

If you find it difficult to identify your own accomplishments, ask coworkers, friends, or family. Sometimes it is easier for others to highlight your achievements, as many of us are uncomfortable with ‘marketing’ ourselves to others. We live in a competitive world. It is important to understand the value we bring to the table and view ourselves as a commodity rather than just a job applicant. Our ability to identify our accomplishments and highlight them to prospective employers fosters access to the positions we are most suited to.

If you need further assistance with self-marketing, job search, career exploration, or educational planning, contact EPC at 705.748.9110.

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