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How To Write An Achievement-Based Resume

How To Write An Achievement-Based Resume

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Many resumes I receive in my recruitment job are very “duty-oriented” – job seekers have long lists of what they’ve done but not enough tangible achievements. If you want to increase your chances of being called in for an interview, you need to give concrete examples of what you’ve done in a current/previous job, which will be relevant to your potential employer.

Related: How To Create Effective Achievements On Your Resume

Use My Tips To Create Your Achievement-Based Bullet Points On Your Resume:

Focus On CAR And STAR Formats

I’ve written about STAR format many times, mostly in the context of answering competency based interview questions but using this technique can help your resume writing process as well.

STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) or CAR (Context/Challenge, Action, Result) will help you introduce a problem you’ve solved in your job and highlight your contribution. Of course you wouldn’t be able to go through an entire story on your resume (save that for the interview!) – but it will help you illustrate your achievements, which in turn will make you stand out. Let’s suppose you’ve done something to increase customer satisfaction from 75% to 90% – put that on your resume.

Try to quantify your experience as much as you can. Numbers easily impress people so think of something you’ve done that has increased sales, or saved time/money.

Ask Yourself “How Do I Know I’ve Done A Good Job?”

Whenever you prepare a resume, for any bullet point you write, ask yourself “How do I know I’ve done a good job?” This will help you focus on the results you’ve achieved and will help you get called for an interview as well.

When you quantify your resume, the numbers don’t have to be focused just on revenue. Perhaps you’ve trained over 200 people on a particular system at work – mention that on your resume.

Also, be specific with business situations when describing your responsibilities. If you’ve managed a team of 25, mention that, or if you’ve managed a budget of £3m, you might want to put that number on your CV as well.

Don’t ever think you didn’t make an impact just because you weren’t in a sales role. There are other ways you might have made contribution to your employer, for example:

  • Increasing the loyalty or satisfaction of existing customers
  • Solving a problem or challenge
  • Saving money, e.g., negotiating a better deal from suppliers
  • Saving time, e.g., suggesting a new time-saving process, streamlining procedures
  • Developing an idea your employer acted on
  • Increasing the company press coverage or market recognition

Hope you’ve found these tips useful!

If you want some help in preparing for competency-based interviews, you’ll love my FREE 3-day e-course ‘How to win at job interviews’ which contains a wealth of other interview tips, too.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.


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Margaret Buj Margaret Buj is an experienced recruiter & interview coach who specialises in helping professionals get hired, promoted and paid more. In the last 11 years she's interviewed thousands of people across Europe and the US and she's successfully helped hundreds of job seekers worldwide gets the jobs or promotions they really wanted. Having worked with people across multiple industries, in both private and public sectors, she's learned EXACTLY what it takes to get hired in a competitive job market - and she wants to help you do the same. Schedule a complimentary consultation with Margaret here.