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Accomplishment Statements

You can create an accomplishment statement by describing what you did (the action you took), the context in which you did it (with whom, for whom), and the results or outcomes of your actions. Sometimes, when you don’t know the outcome or result, you can substitute your goal by indicating what you intended to have happened. Ask yourself WHY did you need to complete that particular task?

General Tips

  • Avoid words like “responsible for” since this sounds passive and not an action verb
  • Avoid words like “helped” or “assisted.” Instead ask yourself, “How did I assist or help?” Be specific when you can. Frequently the word you want is “collaborated” if you worked with others and don’t want to take sole credit for something.
  • Certain action words automatically signal accomplishment: selected, awarded, nominated, elected, promoted. Use them if they apply to your situation.
  • Include quantities, percentages or other numbers where you can – they’re concrete, believable and easy to read.
  • Keep all action verbs in the past tense, even if you are still currently employed. No one will be confused and it makes for easier reading.
  • Use the job description as your guide to determine which action verbs are most relevant for your resume. For example, if the job description indicates they need someone who can “develop new programs” you will want to use the action word “developed” if it applies to what you’ve done.  In most jobs, you will use many skills, not all of which will appear on your resume. Customize your resume to the job and make word choices based on the job description. 

Responsible for laundering towels and cleaning tanning beds

Maintained facilities by strictly adhering to management procedures in order to meet health and safety standards

Served food to customers

Assessed dining preferences of diverse customers and fulfilled requests within a high-volume environment resulting in loyal customers and average tips 20% greater than those of other servers

Started a tutoring program for college students

Created new tutoring program for 10 college algebra students resulting in 25% improvement in exam grades

Great Resumes: Analyze Your Experiences to Identify Accomplishments

When thinking about what to include on a resume, people often make the mistake of focusing on what they did the most on their job when describing their work experiences.  It is more important to focus on what is most relevant to the job you’re trying to get and what you accomplished in your prior positions, even if you did something only once.  For example, if you spent a lot of time answering phones, you should not make your first bullet point (or ANY bullet point) about answering phones, unless that’s the kind of work you want to continue doing. 

As you begin to analyze your work or volunteer experiences, no matter how minor they may seem, think about the following:

  • What are you most proud of having done on this job or volunteer experience?
  • Did you ever receive a compliment from your supervisor, coworker or customer about your performance? What did you do that earned you the compliment?
  • What was the most challenging problem you solved?

Also, think about times you may have:

  • Anticipated a problem before it occurred, so you are ready with a solution
  • Found an easier or better way to do something
  • Identified and corrected errors or reduced the error rate
  • Improved morale or teamwork
  • Had customers request you specifically
  • Increased sales (by how much?)
  • Increased efficiency or saved time
  • Saved the company money
  • Created a new form, process, program, brochure, etc.
  • Earned the cooperation of others
  • Resolved conflict
  • Received an award or other recognition
  • Improved the quality of work produced
  • Outperformed others in your work setting
  • Reduced losses (from theft or poor bookkeeping or breakage, etc.)
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Overcame obstacles
  • Performed well with little information or few resources

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