posted by | on Blog, Resume Advice | Comments Off on Accomplishments

If you wanted to impress me with your life’s work on a couple pieces of paper, you had better have listed your accomplishments and they better be impressive and match the job you are listing them for.

Now most of you reading this will say “of course”, while a handful might say “accomplishments?”. We are very used to writing resumes that follow the same basic format. You have an objective at the top of the page, then you list your education, then your jobs and for every job you list what you were “responsible for”. You might also list additional skills if you felt they were relevant to the job you were applying for or if you thought they were impressive enough.

We’ve all followed this format for years. For years it worked also. Now however the employment situation is different. The New York  market is flooded with experienced people who were “responsible for” a wide variety of things. As a hiring manager my desk is flooded with those types of resumes. I will go through them. I will “thumb” through them.

However I am looking for the resume that stands out. I am looking for the resume that includes accomplishments. That resume will jump out of the pack and into the “call for an interview” pile. In this way I will pare down a stack of hundreds of resumes to a few dozen. Still I am not going to interview a few dozen people just because they listed accomplishments on their resume.

So now how do I select who I am going to interview? I will read through these couple dozen resumes with great care. I am looking for accomplishments that match responsibilities and the goals of the company. I am looking for accomplishments that tell me what you did to make your company better. How did you leave your company better than it was when you went there?

What Are Accomplishments?

So how do you display your accomplishments in your resume so that you can be sure I put yours in the interview pile? Because most of us grew up being told to be modest, not to boast about our accomplishments, make the other guy feel good too; we are not even sure what our accomplishments are. If we do know what they are, we do not know how to present them on our resume.

Accomplishments can be measured and quantified. Accomplishments answer the “What have you done for me lately?” question. Think about this question and then ask yourself:

  • Did I save the company money?
  • Did I make the company money?
  • Did I increase participation in a program?
  • Did I greatly improve the safety or quality record of the company?

Once you know what your accomplishments are, now think about how to display them on your resume. You have a few choices. You can have a section entitled Accomplishments at the top of the page right after your education. If you have multiple jobs you can still do this. Just list the company were the accomplishment happened. The other option is to list the accomplishments right after listing the name, address, dates worked and job title. This however is not your optimal listing. It is better to list accomplishments up front where the hiring manager can see them right away. It would look something like this.


Jane Doe                              555 Somewhere St.                        Any city, Any state zip

Email address                     888-888-8888

Education: B.A. Anything 2000

                     A UNIVERSITY

                     Anywhere, US


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In this way you will draw the eye of the hiring manager to your resume and accomplishments. If the accomplishments are good and match your work history, you can bet you will get an interview.