I’ve been writing a lot lately about how important it is for job seekers to demonstrate their value to potential employers—by using a career summary instead of a resume objective, for example. Orienting application materials towards an employer’s needs instead of your own personal goals is a good way to get noticed.
To make a resume really stand out, though, there’s another essential strategy that should be in play: the practice of including resume accomplishments as opposed to job duties. Anyone can rattle off lists of things they did in a position, such as “answered telephones,” “filed documents,” or “prevented children from self-destructing.” What takes a little more effort is articulating your work history in terms of value. Go back through your previous jobs and ask yourself:
- How much money did I save the company?
- What resources did I maximize?
- How quickly did I achieve my team’s goals?
Once you identify the accomplishments to highlight, it’s simply a matter of phrasing. Here, split into two handy categories, are 20 accomplishment examples to make a resume marvelous instead of “meh.”
Category 1: Fully Assembled
1. Grew donor base by 40% over 5 years.
2. Secured $275,000 in grants from 15 funding organizations for environmental education deliverables.
3. Led team of 5 marketing professionals in producing tailored campaigns for 18 clients.
4. Managed 50 total volunteers for 4 fundraising luncheons.
5. Cut costs by 20% by maximizing existing partnerships.
6. Rescued 13 people in distress from 3 different burning buildings.
7. Raised $5,000 through Irish sports fundraising auction.
8. Saved company $20,000 over 2 years by streamlining permitting process.
9. Produced 4 short films for annual Seattle International Film Festival.
10. Coordinated travel arrangements for 6 executive-level employees.
Category 2: Fill in the Blank
1. Completed X number of training hours to receive Y certification/license.
2. Presented X number of campaign proposals to marketing team.
3. Prevented X number of attacks on New York City after being frozen in ice for Y number of years.
4. Saved X number of dollars by refining Y process and communicating with Z stakeholders.
5. Completed project X in Y months ahead of schedule.
6. Cultivated X number of corporate sponsorships.
7. Raised X amount of dollars through Y number of direct appeal campaigns.
8. Established partnerships with X number of organizations to execute Y event/project/campaign.
9. Crafted X number of email marketing campaigns to reach Y number of potential customers.
10. Trained X number of employees over Y number of years.
Although you’re definitely more than just a number, quantifying your resume accomplishments for an employer is one of the best ways to advance in a hiring process. Try a few of these out in your next application and show companies what you can do for them!