At some point in the past, you may have learned it’s usually best to err on the side of modesty. However, modesty isn’t the best policy when it comes to writing your resume.
Hiring managers are on the lookout for samples of achievements on candidates’ resumes to help them identify achievers who go beyond their basic job duties. Your resume should highlight all of your biggest achievements so companies will know what you are capable of doing for them.
If you think you don’t have any big achievements, think again. Everyone has them; it’s simply a matter of figuring out what they are.
Achievements can be quantified
On your resume, a “duty” or “responsibility” tells a potential employer what you did, while an achievement describes how well you handled that duty or responsibility.
For instance, “tested samples for contamination” is a responsibility you had, while “identified contamination in more than 100 samples, saving the company more than $350,000” is an achievement.
Most hiring managers know the responsibilities of the open position and how they might be similar to responsibilities held by applicants in the past. When you put your responsibility into hard numbers, it helps to distinguish you from the rest of the pack in the mind of the hiring manager.
Putting achievements on your resume
Now that you know the difference between a responsibility and an achievement, it’s time to start putting them on your resume.
Start by writing down the duties you had in your most recent position. Then, figure out a way to convert those duties into hard numbers. Repeat this process for each job on your resume.
You should also rack your brain for any accolades, praise or awards you received because of your work, including promotions, special project selections, and bonuses.
Digging a little deeper
If you can’t come up with a major achievement, or if your list is looking a little thin, try asking a former coworker or former supervisor for some suggestions. Other people may have an easier time recognizing your value than you.
Also, try looking over past performance evaluations, transcripts or letters or recommendation. These documents often include the measures of your success.
Translate achievements into value
After you have put numbers to your past duties and listed your noteworthy accomplishments, take each item a step further and add what the benefit ended up being to your supervisor or your employer. By completing this task, you clearly convey not only what you’re able to do, but also the direct benefit the company will get by employing you.
Simply put, you want to show “what’s in it for them” if they put you on their team.
At SSI, we help job seekers with every part of their search – from resume writing, to interview preparations or deciding which jobs to apply to. If you are looking for assistance in your job search, please contact our team today to set up a consultation.