Highlighting your past accomplishments on your resume is one of the most effective ways to impress employers and show them what you’re capable of.
In this article, we break down where, when, and how to list accomplishments on your resume, complete with helpful examples.
Where to include your resume accomplishments
When you write your resume, there are several places where you’ve got the opportunity to draw attention to your accomplishments and contributions at work:
- Your resume introduction
- The work experience section
- A dedicated “Awards” section
Here are three examples of what this looks like on a resume:
Highlight your most impressive achievements in your resume introduction to immediately grab hiring managers’ attention.
Use the work experience section of your resume to go into detail about your most relevant work achievements.
If the key accomplishments you want to highlight include multiple awards, add a dedicated awards section to your resume.
How to spotlight your professional accomplishments
Here are some essential tips for making the accomplishments on your resume stand out:
1. Use action verbs
When writing the work experience section of your resume, always begin your bullet points with strong action words. A powerful action verb places you as an initiator of action, clearly showing the employers what you achieved and how you achieved it.
Take a look at these two examples:
Worked on creative projects to teach children
Designed and implemented a creative arts curriculum for elementary school children
In the first example, the candidate makes a general statement that doesn’t explain how they were involved in the project, or what they accomplished.
By contrast, the second example uses the action words “designed” and “implemented”, telling the hiring manager what their role was and that the project was successfully executed.
2. Follow the PAR method
There’s a simple formula that any job seeker can follow to construct accomplishment-oriented bullet points.
It’s called the ‘PAR’ Method, which stands for problem, action, and results. When applied to your resume, the ‘Par Method’ encourages you to:
- Identify a responsibility or issue at work (the problem)
- Discuss how you addressed the problem (the action)
- Explain the outcome of that action (the results)
While that may sound like a lot to fit into one sentence, ‘PAR’ can easily be implemented in resume bullet points in your experience section. Check out the examples below:
Notice that the problem, action, and result doesn’t always need to be placed in the same order.
3. Quantify your accomplishments
Employers want workers who can achieve concrete results at the job, and results are best stated in terms of hard numbers.
How many employees did you work with or oversee? By what percentage did you increase sales or efficiency? How much of a budget did you work with, with what type of results? Providing numbers like these will help highlight your accomplishments and show hiring managers what you’re capable of.
By using numbers in your work experience section, you’re demonstrating your focus as being results-oriented rather than task-oriented. For example, compare these two statements:
Responsible for selling products to customers at XYZ Store
Increased sales revenue by 30% in three months
By including a percentage as well as time spent, the second statement ensures the potential employer has a measurable, defined idea of what the candidate has accomplished, rather than a general job responsibility that can already be guessed from the job title.
In order to measure your accomplishments, try to obtain as much data as you can in regard to your previous work experience
Below are some questions to help you think of ways you can quantify your achievements (broken down in terms of percentages, numbers, dollar amounts, and time).
Questions to ask yourself:
- Did you increase sales, market share, or customer satisfaction by a certain percentage? How?
- Did you increase efficiency or productivity by a certain percentage?
- Did you recruit, work with, or manage a certain number of employees or teams?
- How many customers did you serve on average? Did you increase the number of customers served? By how much?
- Did you implement new ideas, systems, or processes to the company? What was the impact?
- Did you propose or work with a budget of a certain dollar amount?
- Did you increase sales or profitability by a certain dollar amount? How?
- Did you decrease delivery or turnaround time on a project? How?
- Was one of your achievements completed within a tight deadline?
- Did you resolve any particular issues? How soon?
All of these are examples where you can quantify an achievement and translate your work experience into a results-oriented approach. In order to provide even more detail, consider also answering “How?” in regard to how you achieved the accomplishment.
Work accomplishment examples by industry
Not sure what highlighting your accomplishments looks like in practice? Here are a few industry-specific examples demonstrating how to include accomplishments on your resume:
- Memorized restaurant’s wine stock and the meals they should accompany, leading to daily wine sales averaging $150, fully 20% higher than company average
- Write patrons’ food orders on slips, memorize orders, or enter orders into computers for transmittal to kitchen staff in a 110+ seat restaurant
- Developed new filing and organizational practices, saving the company $3,000 per year in contracted labor expenses
- Answered incoming calls (avg. 40/day) resolving issues with both customers and billing department
- Provide direct quality care to patients including daily monitoring, recording, and evaluating of medical conditions of up to 20 patients per day
- Led and mentored 10 newly licensed nurses in developing and achieving professional expertise
- Increased students’ scores in standardized tests by 24% in literacy and 35% in math
- Educated an average of 18 students in grades 2 and 3, and received four “Best Teacher Award”
- Manage a $350,000 budget, with a reduction of costs totaling 15% over two years
- Trained and supervised 2 new employees, ensuring they maintain fastidious attention to detail
- Consolidated multiple ticketing systems, improving communication and ticket turnover rate by 7%
- Refined and improved existing documentation system, resulting in reduced labor costs totaling $15,000 annually via increased workplace efficiency
- Operate POS cash register, handling 92 transactions on average daily, and count money in cash drawers to ensure the amount is correct
- Assist an average of 40 customers per day in finding or selecting items, and provided recommendations that generated $8K in additional revenue