How To Include Your Accomplishments On Your Resume (With Examples)

By Chris Kolmar - Jan. 14, 2021
Articles In Resume Guide

Find a Job You Really Want In

0 selections
Articles In Resume Guide

You’ve probably been told not to brag about yourself. Even though that’s usually good advice, throw it out the window when you start writing your resume.

Your resume is supposed to convince a hiring manager that you’re the best person for the job, so make sure you include all of your accomplishments that demonstrate why you really are the best.

You don’t need to get cocky or start stretching the truth, but it’s important that you don’t sell yourself short. Recruiters genuinely want to know what makes you great.

Accomplishments You Should Include in Your Resume

  1. Honors and awards. The most obvious accomplishments you should include in your resume are the awards and honors you’ve received. If you’re a recent graduate, this might be graduating summa cum laude or receiving your department’s outstanding student award.

    In the professional world, this could be a promotion, an achievement award, or even recognition from your CEO at your last company meeting.

  2. Reached or exceeded goals. If you met a personal goal to do something like increasing sales or speeding up a process’s completion time, include that on your resume.

    Or, if you exceeded a standardized target, mention that as well. For example, if your department’s standard quota is 50 sales per person per month and you made 100, that’s a resume-worthy accomplishment.

  3. Certifications. If you earned a certification from a class or training, you could include that on your resume as well. Just make sure you’re only mentioning the ones that actually have something to do with your work:

    For example, employers usually don’t care if you’re an accountant and you got a welding certificate.

  4. Problems you solved. If you came up with a creative solution for a problem, especially if you went above and beyond and did it without being asked, hiring managers want to know about it.

    Just make sure you focus on what you did and the results of your efforts and not on the person who caused the problem in the first place.

  5. Improvements you made to the company. Along with your problem-solving skills, recruiters want to see that you’re willing to find ways to improve the organization actively.

    If you found a way to streamline recordkeeping, cut down errors, or improve a product, mention that in your resume.

  6. Excellent work. Include any significant positive results of your work, even if they didn’t necessarily break any records. Employers want to see that you know what you’re doing and do it well, so mention anything you’d like to point out and say, “See? I did that.”

  7. Volunteer work. Especially if you’re a recent graduate or have a short employment history, you should include any volunteer work you’ve done. Hiring managers like seeing this on a resume, as it shows that you aren’t afraid of hard work and are a well-rounded individual.

    Job type you want
    Full Time
    Part Time
    Internship
    Temporary

Accomplishments Not to Include in Your Resume

  1. Fake or stretched achievements. You should never lie on any section of your resume, including when you’re talking about your accomplishments. Yes, make sure you communicate the full weight of what you did, but don’t stretch the truth in an attempt to make yourself look better.

    Recruiters know how to quickly find out if someone is lying, and it won’t go well for you if they do. Better to sound less impressive than to dig yourself into a hole that could damage your career.

  2. Proprietary information. Never share industry secrets or any other sensitive company information on your resume.

    Even if you think it doesn’t matter if this particular company knows the information, chances are your future employer will want you to keep some things quiet for them too, and they won’t hire you if they see they can’t trust you.

  3. Offensive or polarizing accomplishments. If you have any inkling that achievement could come across as offensive to anyone, leave it out. It isn’t worth driving a potential employer away for no good reason. Instead, keep your accomplishments professional and applicable.

  4. Outdated achievements. Your resume should grow along with you, so if you’re four jobs into your career and still have your high school awards listed, it’s time to let those go. (If you’re just starting your career and need some filler, though, those can be beneficial.)

    The same goes for references to your years in college or your first few jobs once you have some more experience to put on your resume. Focus on your more recent achievements, as those will typically be most impressive to employers.

  5. Irrelevant accomplishments. If you won the best knitter award at your Tuesday night class, good for you, but most hiring managers won’t care about that when they’re reading your resume. Use that space for something more applicable to the job you’re applying for instead.

    Similarly, if you are changing or have changed your career path, be careful about what you include from those past jobs as well. Include accomplishments and awards that recognize your transferable skills, but leave out any irrelevant experience.

Tips for Communicating Your Accomplishments Effectively

Now that you know which accomplishments you’re looking to include on your resume, there are some best practices on how to add them:

  1. Make a list of accomplishments longer than you can include on your resume. It’s always better to have too many options than not enough, so before you begin to add anything to your resume, write out as many achievements as you can think of. This way, you can pick and choose which ones you want to include.

  2. Adjust them to fit the job description you’re applying for. Once you have your list of accomplishments, compare them to the job description, and start noting which ones match it. Include those on your resume and save the rest for later applications.

    It’s important to tailor your resume to fit a particular job description because many companies use automated applicant tracking systems that scan your documents for keywords. No matter how impressive your resume is, if you don’t hit enough of the points the system is looking for, you won’t get through to human eyes.

  3. Sprinkle them throughout your resume. There are several places you can include your accomplishments in your resume:

    Shoot to work your personal one or two most notable achievements into your summary statement and add the rest to your job experience bullet points. You can also go into more detail about the ones in your summary statement when you’re writing your experience section.

    If you have space and enough material to fill it, you can create a separate section for your achievements and awards. Just make sure you don’t force this if it doesn’t make sense for your resume.

    If you’ve had a long career, this section might be precious to you, as you can call it “Career Highlights” and bring hiring managers’ attention to the main achievements of your work over the years.

  4. Demonstrate the impact of your accomplishment. Saying that you “redesigned processes” isn’t enough. You need to help hiring managers understand what you did by including the data that paints a picture of the fruits of your labors.

    So, a better way to word the previous example would be something like, “Streamlined data collection processes while increasing number of projects completed by 10% and decreasing errors by 15%.”

Accomplishments Example by Resume Section

Here’s an example of what listing your accomplishments may look like in each section of your resume:

Summary

An elementary school teacher with eight years of experience in both public and private schools. Won Outstanding Teacher award for three years in a row for implementing new teaching and communication methods. Relocating and looking to use my skills to further a school that values both excellence and relationships.

Work Experience

Third Grade Teacher
Woodridge Elementary, 2014-2020
Chicago, IL

  • Implemented a new parent communication system, increasing parent satisfaction by 7%, according to end-of-year surveys.

  • Won Outstanding Teacher award each year from 2018-2020 for excellence and innovation.

  • Led committee to improve parent dropoff and pickup systems, reducing both times by 15 minutes.

Accomplishments and Achievements

  • Organized fundraiser for a local food pantry, raising over $8,000 in one month.

  • Established summer sports camp program for the school district, which had 150 attendees its first year.

  • Volunteered at Piedmont Tutoring Center for 2015-2020.

  • Received special education certification in 2018.

Accomplishments Examples by Industry

If you’re struggling to know which types of accomplishments you should include in your resume, here are some ideas to get your wheels turning:

Student/Recent Graduate

  • Led five-person senior project team to complete working flight simulator.

  • Volunteered at a local homeless shelter once a week.

  • Worked full-time and graduated with a 3.9 GPA in four years.

Administrative

  • Created and implemented a new electronic filing system, allowing all branches to access the same files and cutting down the number of faxes sent between branches by 20%.

  • Became certified administrative professional (CAP) in 2018.

  • Onboarded and trained 15 employees over four years.

Education

  • Established teacher support group for the school district’s having approximately 350 teachers.

  • Improved class standardized test scores by 10% during the first year at Richmond High School and increased average by 3% more over the next four years.

  • Reorganized classroom filing system, which administration implemented throughout the rest of the school.

Design

  • Designed logos for 52 clients each year.

  • Individually recognized by CEO for outstanding work at the company conference in 2019.

  • Negotiated materials pricing with vendors, reducing average project costs by 5%.

Engineering

  • Coded automated filing system for the design team, reducing average project time by 15%.

  • Managed four teams of five people, seeing projects through from design to the final product.

  • Inspected 104 designs for auto parts division in 2020.

Finance/Accounting

  • Created and implemented an invoicing system to automatically sort documents by vendor and date instead of just date.

  • Managed 14 different grants and kept them within budget for all five years of working at the organization.

  • Worked with 25 department heads to get their expense reports finished correctly and on time each year.

Marketing

  • Implemented SEO marketing techniques on the website, increasing page views by 15%.

  • Created and managed company social media profiles, amassing 12,000 total followers in two years.

  • Expanded reach to new demographic, increasing sales by 20%.

Sales

  • Maintained status as the top salesperson for four years.

  • Set a personal goal to exceed sales quota by 50% in 2018, cold-called 20 additional clients a month, and reached a goal, earning the company over $200,000 in addition to regular sales.

  • Trained and mentored six junior sales representatives who eventually became top salespeople in their teams.

Customer Service

  • Fielded over 200 calls per day while maintaining over 90% of customer satisfaction from 2017-2019.

  • Created reference handbook for new team members to use.

  • Managed 35 employees and handled their more difficult calls.

IT

  • Solved over 115 help desk requests in 2020.

  • Implemented a company-wide single sign-on system to increase security and cut down the number of password-related requests by 10%.

  • Created a new web form system that cut average student registration time in half.

Restaurant

  • Organized 15 employee schedules to ensure every shift was fully staffed.

  • Developed new seating and bussing system to increase table turnover speed by 5%.

  • Trained 30 new employees over five years.

Take the hassle out of your job search & get an offer faster
Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

Find The Best Job That Fits Your Career

Major Survey Entry Point Icon

Where do you want to work?

0 selections

Related posts