You’ve been told over and over that your resume should include accomplishments from former positions. Yet, if you looked at your resume right now, it’s still a laundry list of past duties and responsibilities. It feels awkward boasting about your achievements and besides, isn’t modesty the best policy? Not if you’re looking for an edge to stand out and get noticed in the job search.
Turning job duties into accomplishments isn’t an easy concept to grasp. However, having detailed accomplishments can make or break getting an interview. So grab your resume, and use the tips below to revamp. If you do, your resume will be singing your praises in no time.
Identify the Difference Between a Duty and an Accomplishment
The first step to changing your duties into accomplishments is knowing the difference between the two. A duty describes what you did and an accomplishment shows how well you did it. For example, “managed projects” is a duty. Managed 22 projects and reduced their life cycle time by 20 percent is an accomplishment. If your title is project manager, the recruiter already knows the duties surrounding your job title. Saying that you managed projects is useless and takes up valuable space on your resume. Including the outcomes of those projects paints a picture of your success.
Determine What Sets You Apart
For each position on your resume, ask yourself that following questions:
- What was the challenge you faced?
- What was the action you took?
- What was the result of that action?
Use the answers to these three questions to formulate success stories. These answers are what set you apart from the other candidates.
Quantify Those Achievements
Go through your list and paint the picture with numbers. Add in as many facts, figures, and percentages as you can. Potential employers want a candidate that can quantify their results. The most convincing achievements are measurable.
Answer this question for your potential employer. They can see all of your great achievements on your resume, but what do those accomplishments mean to them? Clearing communicating not just what you’ve done, but what benefit those successes will provide to the organization. Hiring you isn’t a one-way street; everyone wants to know what’s in it for them.
A resume full of accomplishments will show the organization what you can do and set you up for success. If you get stuck identifying your accomplishments ask a former colleague. They may be better at recognizing your top contributions.