If you want to write the best resume you can, one of the most consistent pieces of advice you’ll get is to frame your experience in the form of accomplishments, rather than responsibilities. This method is effective because it shows hiring managers the specific things you did, rather than a list of things that anyone else would have done in the same roles. It takes more work, but the payoff is a resume that makes it clear you’re a catch.
To fill your resume with accomplishments, you need to reflect on your experience and think about how to demonstrate the benefits of what you’ve done—and how to back it up with numbers whenever possible.
In addition to a resume that you target for each opportunity, you should keep a separate career management document. This is a list of resume accomplishments and key achievements that you add to on a regular basis. Perhaps in your volunteer work, you recruited speakers for panel discussions at an event attended by 25,000 people. Maybe you are a grant writer who has written grants garnering $200,000 in just two years on the job. A career management document will provide you with a steady stream of accomplishments that you can pick and choose from over time.
No matter what you do, here is a list of 12 sample accomplishments to help you jumpstart the process of taking your resume from generic to great.
1. Managed budget of X number of dollars.
2. Managed a team of X number of employees.
3. Trained X number of new employees on Y process.
4. Promoted X number of times in Y number of years (particularly if promoted quickly).
5. Grew customer or donor base by X percent.
6. Cut costs by X percent (or number of dollars).
7. Grew site traffic by X amount over Y period of time.
8. Received, or was nominated for, X award.
9. Earned X license or certification.
10. Presented at X seminar, workshop, or conference (attended by Y number of people).
11. Published X number of articles, columns, white papers, or books (generating Y amount of traffic or selling Z number of copies).
12. Exceeded sales quota for X number of months.
Once you get started thinking along these lines, you will be well on your way to writing the best resume possible, allowing you to stand out in a sea of candidates still trying to sell themselves based on their responsibilities.