How to Add Achievements to Your Resume
If you’ve spent any time researching how to update your resume, you’ve likely read about the importance of adding quantifiable achievements – accomplishments backed by metrics, dollar figures, percentages, etc. – to your job descriptions. But what if you’re not a sales professional or someone directly in charge of tasks like revenue generation, cost savings, or time savings? What if the metrics you need seem inaccessible? Read on to learn iHire’s approaches to adding quantitative accomplishments to boost your resume and increase your chances of getting hired.
Why Does a Resume Need Quantifiable Achievements?
While it is important to include the day-to-day duties involved in your job, the people hiring you will likely already know the basic requirements of that job title. Hiring managers are looking for what sets you apart from other applicants. That’s where your resume’s quantifiable achievements come in.
Adding bulleted achievements underneath your job descriptions gives the reader context to who you are as a worker. It allows you to highlight your skills, contributions, and capabilities while signifying the unique abilities you bring to the table. Achievements show the reader that you did more than just what was expected of you, and that you’ll likely do the same for their organization if hired.
How Do You Come Up With Accomplishments For a Resume?
As a certified resume writer, I often ask my clients what they feel proudest of during their time at a specific job. In some cases, their achievements are easy to quantify: a specific project that had stellar results or a sales goal that was exceeded. For example:
- Won 15 new accounts in assigned territory, elevating revenue by 60% despite exceptionally competitive market.
- Overhauled budgeting processes 2 months ahead of desired deadline, enabling accounting team to operate more efficiently and eliminating $15K in outsourced services.
Sometimes a client will mention something they’re proud of that isn’t as cut and dry, such as maintaining a job while in school or raising children. These kinds of accomplishments can be worked into a resume, even if they aren’t used as bullets. For example, you could tie it into your daily duties:
- Maintained accuracy of 6+ reports per week while simultaneously acting as sole caregiver and family provider.
Oftentimes, clients will tell me the result of a project they feel proudest of “doesn’t count” because they were on a team of people who all worked together to achieve the outcome. While their humility is admirable, you are allowed to claim a group achievement as your own when the role you filled was a vital part of the project’s success. For example, instead of saying, “Worked in a team coaching environment to design programs for strength and agility for young athletes,” you could write:
- Collaborated with 2 coaches designing 3+ strength and agility programs for young athletes, varying in difficulty to deliver focused and comprehensive training.
This way, while it’s clear the applicant didn’t do this by themselves, it also signifies their experience creating multiple unique training plans.
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However, not everyone is going to have numbers to attach to their achievements. One example of an accomplishment that wouldn’t necessarily have associated metrics would be receiving an unofficial promotion, title change, or additional responsibility. For example:
- Trusted to oversee triage crisis call line as “Officer of the Day” and lead intensive outpatient day treatment groups that teach psychoeducational coping skills and facilitate processing.
This phrasing makes it clear that “Officer of the Day” is an additional responsibility awarded to those excelling in their regular job duties. The applicant is trusted by their superiors and colleagues to fulfill this role.
How to List Achievements on a Resume
It’s important to bullet your achievements while keeping your daily duties in paragraph form below your job title. This allows the bullets to stand out and grab the reader's attention. If you’re changing careers, newly entering the workforce, or have accomplishments from earlier in your career that you wish to highlight, consider using a hybrid format. This would place the majority (if not all) of your bulleted accomplishments in a “Selected Highlights” section.
Remember to include accomplishments that show off the contributions most relevant to the jobs you’re applying for and are closely related to your career goals. While you can always provide more detail in the interview, it’s best to put the most applicable information on the first document they’ll see representing you.
If you have any questions about how to add achievements to your resume, or if you’d like to get personalized advice or more resume achievements examples, don’t hesitate to schedule a free 15-minute resume analysis call with one of our Certified Resume Writers. You can also check out more resume writing articles, templates, and guides in our Resource Center.
June 30, 2022
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