Do Your Accomplishments Tell a Story?

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: July 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm

They should.

Namely, that you have advanced in your career/company/industry and that a new employer would be lucky to have you.

If your accomplishments don’t point to your success, then they’re not achievements. Most likely, they’re daily duties.

Accomplishments versus Duties

How can you tell the difference?

Duties are the tasks you do that have no quantified result. For example, simply doing your job. Yes, you’ve answered client calls and have kept customers happy, but how has that added to the bottom line? If you can’t quantify it, then it’s not an accomplishment.

An achievement, on the other hand, makes the company money or saves it money. It might gain recognition for a product, which in turn keeps the company in the black.

Accomplishments Provide Results

Whenever you’re dealing with accomplishments, you need to quantify the data, to tell a story of how you’ve succeeded. One way to do this is to use the challenge-action-result model. You write the challenge – “To turn around weak performance in the teen clothing sector.” Then you write the action – “Hired award-winning, trendy designers; advertised clothing on MTV and other sites with a demographic in the 13-20 age range.” You then add the result – “Increased sales by 58% within 6 months.”

That tells a story. It shows a hiring manager how you took a failing line and made it a success.

Not many job seekers take the time to do that in their resumes. The smart ones will. They’re the candidates who get called in to interview and get the job.