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The Importance of Accomplishments on Your Resume

Posted: 13 Oct 2016 02:05 AM PDT

It doesn't happen very often, but once in a while a mainstream media article gets personal finance right.

Here's a case in point: this piece from US News that lists the three most important things to include on your resume:

In particular they hit a home run IMO with #2. Here it is:

Numbers. Anyone can add a goal that they accomplished to their resume. But to really reveal impact and show the value you could potentially bring to an organization, you need to quantify your achievements. This simply means including data and metrics whenever possible on your resume. For example, if you spearheaded a project, don't just list the project – describe the impact of the project using numbers. Did you oversee a team of eight people? Did it result in 100 additional sales? Did it increase your department's profits by 50 percent? If you have impressive numbers that can help hiring managers better understand how your successes impacted organizations where you've worked, add them to your resume. If possible, try not to use general terms like "tripled" or "decreased spending" unless you can back them up with solid figures. If there are confidentiality issues with including numbers in your resume, consider adding an overall range to avoid specifics yet still show employers the rough numerical impact you made.

Great, great advice.

I've posted on this same thing in the past. If you're interested in reading more, check out my thoughts on How to Write a Winning Resume.

A resume without accomplishments is useless in many cases.

A resume without quantified accomplishments is not nearly as good as one with them.

And the accomplishments need to be substantial/impressive.

For instance:

  • Not great: "Grew sales 1%"
  • Great: "Developed and implemented plan that grew sales 12.4%"

Now what if you don't have any accomplishments? You need to get some. Develop a plan for how you can put some points on the board over the next six months and then re-write your resume with those accomplishments added.

Of course a great resume does just one thing (mainly): it gets you an interview.

From there, you need to ace the interview if you want a job offer.

I'll talk more about both of these in future posts. Stay tuned.


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