If you were to incorporate any one of the below points into your resume, which of these would you choose?
Ordered office supplies OR
Saved the organization over AED 500 monthly by eliminating over-ordering and duplicate ordering of office supplies.
Most likely you would opt for the 2nd one because while the first bullet point merely lists a job duty, the second lists an accomplishment. It tells you not only what that person has done, but also how well they have done it.
Why you should include achievements in your resume
When you apply for a job, you are not the only applicant who is qualified nor are you the only applicant with experiences and skills that match what the job description is looking for. But your professional achievements —are yours alone. They tell hiring managers: “This is what I have done for my past employers and I could do the same if not better for you.”
The vast majority of your achievements will be in your experience section, your resume summary section, or even a separate achievement section
How to include achievements in your resume
So you have decided to replace the standard job responsibilities for your professional accomplishments and here is how to do it:
1. Choose the right achievements. Take a look at the job description for the position you are applying to. Note any skills or experiences you have that align with the required qualifications or the job duties you would be responsible for. Then, think about which achievements best exemplify these skills and experiences. If you are struggling, start by thinking about your major responsibilities. What were your goals? If you were responsible for managing a social media account, were you supposed to schedule a certain number of posts? Grow the follower count? Meeting one or more of these goals is an accomplishment—and exceeding them certainly is!
2. Use strong action verbs Traditionally, resume bullet points start with verbs. Choosing strong, descriptive action verbs (in your bullet points and throughout your resume) will tell the reader more about your accomplishment—did you create a new process? Or did you streamline one? And don’t forget to change them up so the first word of every line isn’t the same!
3. Add skills and tools you used Do not forget to actually say what skills you are trying to emphasize with each achievement—preferably using the same phrasing as the job description. If the posting specifically mentioned Salesforce experience as a requirement, for example, explicitly state that you used Salesforce to schedule all those meetings in your last job!
4. Emphasize the results Even painting the most cinematic picture of everything you did and the hard work you put in can still leave a hiring manager or recruiter thinking, “So what?” That is, if you don’t include how your accomplishment helped your team, department, company, or clients. Remember, anyone looking at your resume wants to know what you can do for them—so show them what you’ve done for others. Did you save or make money? Increase efficiency? Grow reach or visibility?
5. Add numbers Whenever possible, you want to quantify your accomplishments or add numbers to give them scale. If you work with numbers directly, this might be self-explanatory. But even if you don’t, you can add numbers to your achievements by mentioning:
Time frames and frequencies for the tasks you’re describing
The number of times you did something or the number of work products you handled
Money saved, earned, or managed
The number of employees, clients, or other stakeholders you managed, coordinated or helped
Percent growth you saw and percentages of goals and KPIs you hit
If you don’t know the exact numbers or they varied over time, you can list a range (from three to six employees), an approximation (~AED100,000), or a minimum (over 50 clients).
Examples of achievements in your resume
Here are some example achievements that you can use to inspire your resume:
If you are an Administrative Assistant
Reorganized digital filing system using PandaDoc, making the office 100% paperless and digitizing more than 1,000 clients’ records
Managed meeting schedules and four conference room calendars for 10+ daily meetings each
Prepared 20+ slide PowerPoint presentations for quarterly and annual meetings, consolidating updates from all departments across the company
If you are in Marketing
Created and edited digital campaign and sales enablement content for email, web, social media, and YouTube, resulting in a 150% increase in new clients YoY
Monitored consumer engagement and responded to 50+ customer comments a day, resulting in a 27% increase in post engagement
Collaborated on the design and creation of 30 unique email campaigns and up to 20 daily social media posts with an average CTR of 5%.
If you are a Financial Analyst
Analyzed the financial health of 4 companies weekly by assessing balance sheets, P&L statements, and other financial records to identify potential credit issues and capital risks and reported findings to management in written reports and presentations.
Streamlined existing analysis process by creating macros to automate common spreadsheet functions, reducing average report turnaround times by approximately 25%
Reduced product department budget by 30% without cutting any headcount by analyzing 4 years of financial records using Intuit QuickBooks, identifying waste, and making recommendations to VP of Product.
If you are a Product Manager
Launched six new products in two years, resulting in 30% increase in revenue YoY
Led design of Data-Boosted Ad feature with enhanced targeted ad–serving capabilities, resulting in a 44% increase in ad spend and a 99% customer satisfaction rate
Implemented Waterfall methodology to launch new SaaS scheduling product, resulting in a 140% increase in revenue and a 200% increase in new advertisers
If you are a Project Manager
Oversaw implementation of $600K e-commerce feature, achieving key milestones on time and under budget, resulting in a 27% increase in annual revenue
Aligned existing e-commerce framework with expansion initiatives, increasing site traffic by 30% and generating $200K+ in new revenue in just six months
Drove product launch initiatives across website, social, and digital advertising platforms; managed $1M budget and achieved 200% increase in customer reach
If you are an Accountant
Reviewed customer financials and transactions; identify discrepancies and opportunities for growth, resulting in AED 850,000 in new revenue over three years
Collaborated on budgets and forecasting, cutting annual expenditures by $500K and increasing efficiency by 30%
Oversaw $12M annual operational budget, reducing costs by 20% over four years
If you are in Sales
On track to achieve 100% quota attainment for FY 2022
Onboarded 33 new clients in FY 2021, resulting in AED 580K in new revenue
Closed 95 contracts in FY 2021, resulting in AED 1.7M in new revenue
If you are in Human Resources
Improved candidate experience, increasing percent satisfaction from 52% to 76% through courteous, efficient, and thoughtful communication with the candidate pool, resulting in 15% increase in referrals of high-quality applicants by current staff
Effectively mediated highly complex employee conflicts, resulting in improved performance and positive organizational culture as demonstrated through a 25% increase in positive responses to organization-wide climate surveys