Published August 15, 2020
How To Include Professional Achievements on Your Resume
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Sometimes, your education history and work experience don’t feel like enough when it comes to job hunting. If you’re experienced in your career, you may gain an upper hand by listing your professional achievements on your resume.
Here’s how to craft this list of accomplishments and use your professional experience to your advantage.
As someone with a good deal of work experience, listing your professional achievements on your resume is an excellent way of standing out to hiring managers. While most candidates simply list out the duties and responsibilities already surmised by their job title, professional achievements articulate your performance and actions.
For example, there’s a difference between stating “I managed customer relations” and “I was named top customer service assistant in the organisation due to the consistent five-star feedback I received from customers”. An accomplishment-focused resume proves your past performance and makes your application more attractive in the eyes of prospective employers.
So let’s dive into the kind of achievements you could include, and how these will help you along with your job search.
What Kind of Professional Achievements are Worth Including?
Professional achievements differ from skills and experience due to their focus on quantifiable outcomes. Performing your everyday work duties does not count as an achievement. Instead, anything you can back up with numbers or percentages will be incredibly persuasive to recruiters and hiring managers. If you increased revenue, try to express it as “Increased sales by 10% in a six-month period” or “Increased revenue by $12,000”. And of course, make sure these figures are honest and accurate.
Aside from increasing sales, some other forms of professional accomplishments include:
- Increasing social media engagement or following
- Increasing customer loyalty or satisfaction
- Saving company money by negotiating with a supplier
- Implementing a time-saving process
- Launching new projects or products
- Generating positive press
Note how important action verbs are here. For example, you never want to say that you just “did” or “led” something. Instead look for powerful words like established, operated, managed, addressed and executed.
Any kind of industry awards also counts as professional achievement. This includes winning an award for developing the best marketing campaign of the year or being the top salesperson of the year.
There is also room in the education section of your resume for things that toe the line between professional and academic achievements. This includes professional certifications you’ve earned, funding or grants you’ve received, publications you have written for, or even personal achievements in volunteering or sports.
Not sure how to identify your work achievements? It’s a good idea to go through your work history and old job descriptions, making note of the skills and previous job duties you had. See if you can find facts and figures to provide further detail to some of your old duties, asking yourself what results in you were able to generate for your employer. Old performance reviews can also be a gold mine of information and data that you can then present in your resume.
What If You Don’t Have Many Professional Achievements?
People with little or no work experience should still aim to include achievements on their resume. You might have to focus on other areas of your life, such as your studies and personal achievements, to make for a compelling achievements section. For example, have you ever raised money for charity? If so, how much and what was your strategy? Or did you perhaps lead a group project in high school that ended up earning you an award?
How Should You Position Your Resume Accomplishments?
There’s a few different ways to actually present your achievements on your resume. The most popular option is to have a separate section for your achievements, allowing you to clearly convey your value to potential employers in just a few bullet points.
Other people may choose to list achievements in a skills section, work experience section or award section.
Get started with a resume template
Job seekers can also increase their chances of a successful job application by following a tried and tested resume template.
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