Forget Job Duties—Add Accomplishments to Your Resume to Land the Job
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Put yourself in the shoes of someone looking for a new office manager for a second. Which resume bullet point makes you more likely to hire the person who wrote it?
- Ordered office supplies
- Saved organization over $500 monthly by creating a spreadsheet in Google Sheets that tracked average monthly usage for 20+ common office and kitchen supplies and recorded the amount in stock to eliminate over-ordering and duplicate ordering.
Probably the second one, right? That’s because while the first bullet point merely lists a job duty, the second lists an accomplishment. It tells you not only what that person has done, but also how well they’ve done it and what kinds of tools they’re familiar with.
So why the hell are you still listing your job duties? Here’s how to list your accomplishments on a resume instead in a way that’ll show off what you can really do—plus examples!
Why you should include achievements and accomplishments on your resume
When you apply to a job, chances are you’re not the only applicant who’s qualified. You’re not the only applicant with experiences and skills that match what the job description is looking for. But your professional accomplishments and achievements—with all their details and results—are yours alone. They tell hiring managers: “Here’s what I’ve done for my past employers. Imagine what I could do for you.”
Where you can list accomplishments on a resume
The vast majority of your achievements will be in your experience section, under your past jobs, but you can also highlight impressive, relevant accomplishments in other sections such as your:
- Resume summary
- Education section (especially if you’re early in your career)
- Volunteer and activities sections
- Awards section
- Projects section
How to include accomplishments on your resume
So you’ve decided to swap those boring job duties for your professional accomplishments from your past roles. Here’s how to do it:
1. Choose the right accomplishments.
Take a look at the job description for the position you’re applying to. Make a note of any skills or experiences you have that line up with the required or preferred qualifications or the job duties you’d be responsible for. Then, think about which accomplishments best exemplify these skills and experiences.
If you’re struggling, start by thinking about your major responsibilities. What were your goals? If you were responsible for managing a social media account, were you supposed to schedule a certain number of posts? Grow the follower count? Meeting one or more of these goals is an accomplishment—and exceeding them certainly is!
2. Use strong action verbs.
Traditionally, resume bullet points start with verbs. Choosing strong, descriptive action verbs (in your bullet points and throughout your resume) will tell the reader more about your accomplishment—did you create a new process? Or did you streamline one? And don’t forget to change them up so the first word of every line isn’t the same!
3. Include the skills and tools you used.
Don't forget to actually say what skills you’re trying to emphasize with each achievement—preferably using the same phrasing as the job description. If the posting specifically mentioned Salesforce experience as a requirement, for example, make sure you explicitly state that you used Salesforce to schedule all those meetings in your last job!
4. Don’t forget the results.
Even painting the most cinematic picture of everything you did and the hard work you put in can still leave a hiring manager or recruiter thinking, “So what?” That is, if you don’t include how your accomplishment helped your team, department, company, or clients.
Remember, anyone looking at your resume wants to know what you can do for them—so show them what you’ve done for others. Did you save or make money? Increase efficiency? Grow reach or visibility?
5. Add numbers.
Whenever possible, you want to quantify your accomplishments, or add numbers to give them scale. If you work with numbers directly, this might be self-explanatory. But even if you don’t, you can add numbers to your achievements by mentioning:
- Time frames and frequencies for the tasks you’re describing
- The number of times you did something or the amount of work products you handled
- Money saved, earned, or managed
- The number of employees, clients, or other stakeholders you managed, coordinated, or helped
- Percent growth you saw and percentages of goals and KPIs you hit
- Audience size
If you don’t know the exact numbers or they varied over time, you can list a range (from three to six employees), an approximation (~$100,000), or a minimum (over 50 clients).
70 example accomplishments for your resume
Here are some example achievements that you can use to inspire your resume:
Entry-level job accomplishment examples
If you’re writing a resume for an entry-level job or your first job ever, you’re more likely to use accomplishments from your education and extracurricular activities. For instance:
- Managed communications for club of 50+ members, increasing average meeting attendance by 25% and doubling fundraiser turnout year-over-year, resulting in $2,000 more raised at annual Dance-a-thon
- Conceived, designed, and launched communications strategy for a local nonprofit looking to educate the public about COVID-19 and monkeypox safety with a team of 5 students leading to a 200% follower growth and over 200 students vaccinated at on-campus events as part of senior capstone project
- Received Knight’s Scholarship, a merit scholarship for juniors and seniors based on freshman and sophomore grades, professor recommendations, and contributions to the School of Digital Media; awarded $50,000 over 2 years
Read More: 12 Tips for Writing an Entry-Level Resume That’ll Get Your Career Started Right (Plus an Example)
Administrative assistant accomplishment examples
- Negotiated new catering vendor contract, resulting in more vegan and allergy-friendly options and saving the company $10K annually
- Reorganized digital filing system using PandaDoc, making the office 100% paperless and digitizing more than 1,000 clients’ records
- Managed meeting schedules and four conference room calendars for 10+ daily meetings each
- Prepared 20+ slide PowerPoint presentations for quarterly and annual meetings, consolidating updates from all departments across the company
- Collected and input 50+ expense reports monthly using Expensify, Quickbooks, and Excel, and reduced average time for employee reimbursement by 14 days
Read More: Applying for an Administrative Assistant Job? Here's How to Write Your Resume (Example Included)
Teacher accomplishment examples
- Incorporated practice tests and test-taking tutorials, resulting in a 21% improvement in STAR reading and 19% improvement in STAR math scores from 2021 to 2022
- Introduced student-directed learning strategies, including “When Will I Ever Use This?” and weekly “Questions Board” resulting in a 30% improvement in classroom participation grades
- Increased student reading and comprehension skills, improving 20+ individual student reading levels by at least one grade level each year
- Leveraged Canvas online learning platform to create remote learning resources during the COVID-19 pandemic including downloadable past exams, class notes, and lesson decks; recordings of lessons with captions; and topic specific discussion boards. Platform was opened up to the entire district and used by 50+ secondary education teachers to help students stay on track and hit goals through 2020-2021 school year.
Read More: 7 Rules for Writing an A+ Teaching Resume (Plus an Example!)
Graphic designer accomplishment examples
- Created images, designs, and layouts that contributed to a 30% increase in social media click-throughs, 12% increase in conversion, and a 150% increase in social media followers
- Played instrumental role in the creation of the X Inc website, social media, and marketing concepts, resulting in a 2021 Webz Award for Best Tech Review Website
- Spearheaded rebrand design for Copper Co., including new logos, digital images, social media concepts, and marketing materials, resulting in 300% increase in site traffic
- Created social media campaign images for SurfGirl Swimwear’s 2019 line, resulting in a record sellout within just six hours
Read More: How to Write a Graphic Designer Resume That Goes Beyond Looks (Example Included!)
Marketing accomplishment examples
- Created and edited digital campaign and sales enablement content for email, web, social media, and YouTube, resulting in a 150% increase in new clients YoY
- Monitored consumer engagement and responded to 50+ customer comments a day, resulting in a 27% increase in post engagement
- Collaborated on the design and creation of 30 unique email campaigns and up to 20 daily social media posts with an average CTR of 5%.
- Prepared detailed promotional presentations for client pitch meetings, resulting in a 15% increase in existing client spend
- Analyzed data from past Twitter marketing campaigns using Looker and Tableau to identify the most and least successful strategies and make recommendations for future campaigns, increasing CTR on Twitter 50% quarter-over-quarter
Read More: How to Write a Compelling Marketing Resume (Hint: Get Ready to Sell Yourself)
Financial analyst accomplishment examples
- Analyzed the financial health of 4 companies weekly by assessing balance sheets, P&L statements, and other financial records to identify potential credit issues and capital risks and reported findings to management in written reports and presentations
- Leveraged advanced Excel features including pivot tables, macros, and formulas to assist team of 10 finance analysts in creating annual financial reviews for 20 client companies
- Streamlined existing analysis process by creating macros to automate common spreadsheet functions, reducing average report turnaround times by approximately 25%
- Reduced product department budget by 30% without cutting any headcount by analyzing 4 years of financial records using Intuit QuickBooks, identifying waste, and making recommendations to VP of Product
- Conducted analysis of two possible acquisitions, evaluating financial records, risks, debt, and projected growth and made recommendations to executive team, leading to an acquisition that increased profits in two quarters
Read More: 6 Steps to Making a Financial Analyst Resume That Will Stand Out From the Competition
Product manager accomplishment examples
- Launched six new products in two years, resulting in 30% increase in revenue YoY
- Led design of Data-Boosted Ad feature with enhanced targeted ad–serving capabilities, resulting in a 44% increase in ad spend and a 99% customer satisfaction rate
- Implemented Waterfall methodology to launch new SaaS scheduling product, resulting in a 140% increase in revenue and a 200% increase in new advertisers
Read More: How to Write a Product Manager Resume That Gets Results (Example Included!)
Customer service accomplishment examples
- Manage 50+ daily customer calls; answer customer questions, clarify product offerings, and work to resolve account issues for an 88% customer satisfaction rating in FY 2021; and an 83% CSR in FY 2020
- Achieved consistent weekly call volume of 300+ customers
- Recommended new products and services to customers, depending on needs; generated 25+ new weekly sales leads
Read More: How to Write a Customer Service Resume That Will Catch a Recruiter’s Eye (Example Included!)
Project manager accomplishment examples
- Oversaw implementation of $600K e-commerce feature, achieving key milestones on time and under budget, resulting in a 27% increase in annual revenue
- Aligned existing e-commerce framework with expansion initiatives, increasing site traffic by 30% and generating $200K+ in new revenue in just six months
- Managed the creation of client tutorial tool, training and onboarding 500+ users and increasing renewal rate by 20% over clients who hadn’t used the tutorial
- Drove product launch initiatives across website, social, and digital advertising platforms; managed $1M budget and achieved 200% increase in customer reach
Read More: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Great Project Manager Resume (With an Example)
Software engineer accomplishment examples
- Spearhead end-to-end mobile web development using Python, Ruby, Amber, and React to build front-end architecture, back-end applications, and user interface, using an iterative Scrum-based approach
- Played an instrumental role in the development and successful launch of microservice-based customer-facing application in just three months using RAD approach
- Wrote code using PHP on Laravel framework; leveraged familiarity with CSS and HTML to ensure seamless front-end content delivery
- Leveraged knowledge of Agile XP practices to enable the build and integration of Snowflake’s new core accounting system, resulting in a 5% reduction in error rates
Read More: 5 Rules for Writing a Software Engineer Resume That Will Get You Hired (Plus Example)
Accountant accomplishment examples
- Reviewed customer financials and transactions; identify discrepancies and opportunities for growth, resulting in $850K in new revenue over three years
- Collaborated on budgets and forecasting, cutting annual expenditures by $500K and increasing efficiency by 30%
- Oversaw $12M annual operational budget, reducing costs by 20% over four years
- Executed 150+ monthly payments, disbursements, and expense reports
- Collaborated on 35+ financial and compliance audit initiatives for client companies within the tech space; identified discrepancies, prepared summaries, and made recommendations
Read More: An Accountant’s Guide to Writing the Perfect Resume (Plus an Example!)
Sales accomplishment examples
- On track to achieve 100% quota attainment for FY 2022
- Onboarded 33 new logos in FY 2021, resulting in $580K in new revenue
- Closed 95 contracts in FY 2021, resulting in $1.7M in new revenue
- Delivered 141% quota attainment for FY 2021
- Reached 110% quota attainment for FY 2020
- Sourced and qualified 200+ leads each month, contributing to $2M in sales
- Flipped 10+ daily cold calls into warm leads; scheduled 300+ initial meetings with AE team in two years
Read More: How to Write a Sales Resume That’ll Close the Deal (Example Included!)
Human resources (HR) accomplishment examples
- Ensured compliance with a broad range of regulations, including ADA, FMLA, and EEOC, reducing risk and liability for an organization with 12,000 staff in six countries
- Reduced time-to-hire by 25% through consistent follow-up with hiring managers in 22 offices, expanded utilization of ATS, and timely outreach to candidates
- Improved candidate experience, increasing percent satisfied from 52% to 76% through courteous, efficient, and thoughtful communication with candidate pool, resulting in 15% increase in referrals of high-quality applicants by current staff
- Reduced 20% of company’s benefits cost by conducting scrupulous benchmarking research and highly effective contract negotiations with five vendors
- Effectively mediated highly complex employee conflicts, resulting in improved performance and a positive organizational culture as demonstrated through a 25% increase in positive responses to organization-wide climate surveys
- Negotiated contracts with three different unions, avoiding a highly challenging potential labor dispute and coming to a mutually beneficial contract agreement
- Designed and implemented a new leadership curriculum, training 60% of key organizational leaders in 7 weeks and resulting in improved morale and staff retention in units led by managers who participated in training
Read More: Here’s How to Write Your Own Resume as an HR Professional (Plus an Example!)