One of the most effective ways to improve a resume is to turn a list of duties into a concrete list of accomplishments--and actually show a potential employer how well you made an impact in a role, not just what your role was.
Duty vs. accomplishment
Duties only state what you did. Accomplishments show how well you did you job. When you are applying for a job, you want to tell the employer something they don't know. For example, an employer will already know that a web manager builds website traffic, so your resume should show how much traffic you brought to the website.
How to determine your accomplishments
- Make a list: Ideally, you want to keep a running list of your accomplishments while you are working. If you haven't take some time and ask youself:
- What problems did I solve?
- Did I save the company money?
- What new processes did I implement to improve things?
- What things was I recognized for by my manger or coworkers?
- Add numbers: Next you will want to quantify your achievements to give concrete evidence of how well you accomplished the job. Example:
Recruited 50 new participants and maintained a 78% retention rate by launching partnerships with three local nonprofits and implementing a new tech-based curriculum.
- If you can't quantify: Ask yourself, what did you accomplish that someone else might not? How was your performance above and beyond what was asked?
- Choose only relevant accomplishments: A long list does not impress an employer--they are only interested in accomplishments that can translate into the role they are hiring for.
- Think outside of work: If you've taken time off or devote time to volunteer work, or other activities, think of powerful achievements from those experiences to highlight other relevant skills. However, if your volunteer work is with a cancer organization, keep in mind that this may reveal information that you may not want an employer to know.
- Cancer and Careers' FREE Resume Review Service: have our Career Coach, Julie Jansen, professionally review your resume--and even some new accomplishments you've just added!
- FREE Job Search Toolkit
- Write Your Best Resume - article includes sample resumes!
- Blogs on Resumes
- 60 Sample Resume Accomplishments