4 Resume Writing Rules For Listing Your Accomplishments

If you haven’t heard it before, here it is: Your resume needs to showcase the top accomplishments you’ve achieved on the job. Related: How To Quantify Your Accomplishments On A Resume Employers want to hire the best talent and they won’t have a reason to consider you for their job opening unless your resume presents an indication of the success you have had in your previous work. So, now that we have that out of the way, the question becomes: “How do I describe that experience and the resulting accomplishments on my resume?” The language you use to highlight your accomplishments can make a huge difference, consider the following:


1. Begin with an action verb.

Many are often stuck in the pattern of describing responsibilities on the resume rather than demonstrating what’s been achieved when holding those responsibilities. Avoid starting with “Responsible for….” or using a passive voice. It’s more effective when you apply an action verb like “accelerated,” “formulated,” “governed,” “instituted,” “leveraged,” “maximized,” and so on. However, do not go over the top and use words that would not be heard in normal conversation. You can also turn almost anything into an accomplishment by starting the sentence with “Recognized,” “Noted,” “Praised,” or “Credited." For example: “Recognized for high level of productivity, professionalism and the ability to meet aggressive deadlines”

2. Remove superfluous language.

Employers look right past fluff and often find it annoying. Avoid using words like, “visionary,” innovative,” “effective,” “dynamic,” and so on. If that is really what you are, then demonstrate it through examples on your resume.

3. Back up your accomplishments with numbers.

It’s easy to write you increased sales, shortened processing times, improved customer relations, and so on, but it needs to be backed up with facts. Include quantified, as well as qualified results, through numbers, percentage or a dollar amount. That will offer employers a form of accurate measurement as to your success. Note too that resumes break English grammar rules and you should have all numbers under ten in digits as they attract the eye (ten vs. 10).

4. Use an inverted pyramid to present information.

An inverted pyramid is a term familiar to journalists and writers, and one you should apply when writing your resume. It essentially helps you prioritize information. The main points go first and then it is followed by supporting points. This not only applies to prioritizing bullet points under each work experience, but also to your resume as a whole. It makes you think whether the section for Work Experience should come after your Profile Summary or whether putting Technical Skills first will give your resume greater impact. Pulling a resume together is no easy task. You not only have to carefully evaluate and think what information needs to be included to get the point across, but also how to most effectively present that information in words.

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About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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