Are you struggling with formulating the achievements in your résumé?
This can be the most challenging piece to showcasing your overall brand and value in the résumé. Achievements are critical in empowering the employer to continue reading about your offerings and understand how you could add value to their company.
Accomplishments take time to build, and equally, they need to be communicated in the right way. Without a solid strategy to create achievements, the task can seem daunting.
Failing to highlight achievements in the résumé accurately can hinder your candidacy.
Why do “achievements” in résumé building pose a challenge for jobseekers?
...Because jobseekers may...
believe that their achievements are trivial compared to industry standards or their colleagues’ performance
fear that quantifying or highlighting achievements may oversell or undersell their value or their brand
be uncomfortable about highlighting their value
think achievements are not really important in the résumé or to employers, especially past achievements
not understand the true purpose or value of achievements
place too much weight on responsibilities of current/previous roles
fail to understand how to quantify/describe their achievements
not recall their achievements at all or enough about them
have no or little evidence to discuss achievements at the interview
have never bothered to track any milestones over the years and so they may find this task for résumé building overwhelming
Tell your career story in a way that is concise and compelling. Work with a professional résumé writer to help you create a stellar résumé that offers strong results.
Achievements: essential for career and networking opportunities
Accomplishments are not only required for applying for jobs or promotions. You will need to think about what you’ve achieved and share your accomplishments for these reasons:
Annual performance reviews
Regular résumé updates -- at least once every few months
Volunteering or community leadership roles
Board or committee roles
Recruiters may request your résumé or wants to know about your achievements for upcoming opportunities
Consideration for awards or nominations
Academic program applications
Networking events or conferences (résumé or biography)
Presentations or speaking engagements
Speaking of performance evaluations, if your current supervisor does not provide any (which sometimes occurs), it is even more important to detail and track your own accomplishments.
Be creative; think strategically.
Don’t discount achievements -- this is a value builder and key piece to your brand marketing collateral and your growth!
Develop You Own 'Creative Brag Book'
Create your own portfolio of accomplishments and milestones that you can retain, improve, and evaluate. Your “personal brag book” will help you to understand what sets you apart and will aid in career forecasting and planning, career growth and management.
Choose a simple, yet efficient method to track your accomplishments — using Microsoft Word, Evernote, Excel spreadsheet, or simply sending yourself emails — or offline in a paper file, notebook, diary, or log.
Determine if a brag book — called a portfolio or interview presentation binder — would be useful in your job search
Decide if you want to maintain your brag book online or offline.
Create a logical order and structure for your brag book. Organize the information into sections: Education, Work Experience, Awards/Honors, Testimonials and Endorsements, and Community or Organization Contributions.
Curate your book.
Choose only the best examples of your work.
Leave out the redundant content.
Keep your brag book updated by re-evaluating it quarterly or annually.
Use Care and Thought When Detailing Your Milestones
Your milestones are a key piece of your career story that you can share with others and also reflect upon for continuous improvement.
Achievements can be derived from other areas such as:
• Current job/most recent position
• Previous work experience
• Summer jobs/work-study positions
• Volunteer activities
• Temporary work
• Educational experiences (internships, class projects, group projects,
or study-abroad programs)
• Professional organizations
• Involvement in sports or other extracurricular activities
• Consulting or freelance projects
• Social networking accomplishments
Can you quantify your accomplishments through any of these superlatives? For example: only, first/last, best/worst, most/least, greatest/smallest etc.
Effective Tips for Formulating Achievements
Clearly Relate Achievements to Your Focus
Accuracy, Balance, and Conciseness are Key
An employer will likely look to your most recent achievements first.
Ensure that the most compelling achievements are showcased at the top.
Remember, 100% accuracy is important!
Convey a bit about the backstory showing your success strategy.
Demonstrate impact concisely with solid metrics. Use context to include the challenge/situation -- show the big picture.
Remember the 'Rule of Six'
Rule of Six: Keep achievements to maximum of 6 bullets per position if possible for ease of readability.
Categorize achievements under functional areas or skills so that they are easier to digest and read. (Example: transformational leadership, operational efficiency, or process improvements etc.)
Sum up the achievements with a one-line header to draw the employer’s attention. See below examples.
Use high-impact verbs to begin the achievement.
Lead with metrics for maximum impact. Think "results first."
Incorporate visuals for emphasis using a text box, graphic, or graph.
Take Accomplishments to the Next Level – Analyze Further to Get Accurate and Relevant Results
What many clients (jobseekers) fail to do is quantify or delve deeper with the accomplishments to show value. Their résumé stops at the responsibilities and often, their value is not shown.
Employers want to see the results!
...to get the big picture of your capabilities and performance. Demonstrate how you can meet their strategic goals or buying motivators.
Here are some questions to help you formulate additional accomplishments:
What is unique about how you do your job? What sets you apart?
What does your current boss recognize you for?
Do you have targets or goals in your current position? How have you been able to meet or exceed these goals?
Were you hired to meet a particular challenge for the company?
Were you rewarded with any additional responsibility?
What special projects have you worked on?
How did you go above and beyond to generate growth, save money or time, create new processes / systems, or impact stakeholders?
The examples of achievements below use keywords to break the achievements down (example #1) or a key statement to highlight the candidate's unique value. (example #2). Each include the strategy.
Streamlined reporting from days to hours to meet customer needs while cultivating sound decision-making.
Leverage Accomplishments for Self-Reflection & Growth
Assess your accomplishments to get the “big picture” of your work and career to set current and future goals. Perhaps you may need to take more courses, join some associations, or refine your marketable skills.
Leverage the achievements to uncover new patterns, career themes, exciting ideas, and success strategies for uplevelling your career.
For more information on receiving a compelling résumé package that incorporates solid results, contact Creative Horizons Communications. Visit https://www.creativeresumestrategist.com/.
Think creatively and visualize a new career horizon!