MAKE YOUR RESUME A JOURNAL OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Writing a resume can be tricky today. The competition is tough, with hundreds of job seekers competing for the same position. If you want to be placed high on a recruiter or hiring manager’s “Must See” list and stand out in a crowd, start by showcasing your achievements in your resume.
What are Achievements or Accomplishments?
Achievements are your work-related accomplishments or contributions. Let’s say you designed a company website that increased traffic by 100%.This would be considered an achievement. Or maybe you developed a cutting-edge marketing campaign that helped bring in an unprecedented amount of new business. You initiated a project that increased the bottom line. Or you have a patent for developing a product that helped your company soar to #1 among the competition. These are all achievements.
Seven Surefire Ways for Your Achievements to Help You Land the Job
Here are some foolproof resume writing tips that will help you highlight your achievements and become more marketable in today’s job climate. First, take a look at your resume, go line by line and think about each job duty. Would any of these duties be considered achievements or things you do or did well?
Next, begin quantifying those duties. Ask yourself: what were the results of my work? Think in terms of dollars, numbers, percentages, solutions to problems, saving time, and any recognition for your efforts. Below are some examples of ways to quantify your job duties:
Future employers are especially interested in candidates who have significantly contributed to the bottom line or added to the revenues of their previous employers’ coffers. With this in mind, did you make money for your company? If you sold real estate, an achievement might be: “Sold 10 houses valued at more than $500,000 each and brought in more than $50 million dollars of annual revenue for the company.” Or perhaps you increased sales in your territory. What was that dollar amount?
In addition to making money, consider how much you have saved your company. For example, you may have initiated a cost-effective advertising campaign across the country, saving $200,000.
You can also determine your achievements by thinking in terms of numbers. Maybe you process or have processed customer emails. How many per day? 150 or 200? If you made cold calls, how many did you make on a daily or weekly basis? If you handled and rerouted phone calls, how many each day?
Another great and often forgotten way to determine achievements is by thinking of your job duties in terms of percentages. Did your project, for example, increase employee effectiveness by 75%? Have you effectively dealt with an escalating company crisis by developing and implementing an innovative work/life balance program that reduced employee absenteeism by 35%?
Don’t forget about your promotions. Were you quickly promoted to a new position in record time or at an earlier-than-expected time period? Were you the only person to ever achieve this? For example, did you receive a promotion from Assistant Manager to Manager in three months, making you the first employee to do so in the company’s history?
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Every revenue-producing company or nonprofit organization has a pressing need to come up with innovative ways to solve problems, particularly in today’s marketplace. Have you provided a solution or solutions to help your company succeed? Did you, for example, reimburse company vendors by developing a system to expedite their payments? Maybe you did superior troubleshooting and resolved a system glitch. You might have come up with a solution that ensured customer satisfaction. Or you could have researched and written a paper offering solutions on sustainability that were ultimately adopted as a company policy by the CEO, senior management, and the board of directors.
As they say: time is money. Have you saved a significant amount for a process or function at your company or organization? Did you save time, for example, by designing a system to upgrade operation methodologies at a much faster pace? Have you designed an office system that increased document retrieval time by 60%?
Too many people take their work-related awards for granted and consequently neglect to include them in their resumes. But these are achievements. Were you “Employee of the Month” or “Innovator of the Year”? Did you receive a cash bonus for excellent customer service? Were you awarded for your stellar diversity efforts of increasing the number of women and minorities within your company? Were you honored with sales club membership for selling the most in your department? Did you receive an industry award?
In conclusion, you probably have many achievements, accomplishments, or contributions over the course of your work history. The challenge is to make your work experience more marketable and have employers clamoring to interview you. If you take the time to include your achievements in your resume, you’ll be more successful with your job search