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Have you ever wondered what makes a great resume?
What can you do to make your resume stand out and get the attention of the hiring managers?
There are several ways: using a clear layout, picking the right template, and writing in clear language are among them. There is, however, one key difference between a good resume and one that gets the job done: achievements.
How you list your achievements, awards, and accomplishments on your resume will be the key that determines how your resume will survive tough shortlisting processes in high-paying positions.
If you’re looking to upgrade your resume to be among the top-performing candidates and are planning to apply for the highest-paying positions in the market, this is for you.
This ultimate guide will show you:
- How to identify your achievements (even if you think you don’t have any)
- How to write your achievements (the right way)
- 99+ example achievements and writing templates for different professions
Try our ready-to-fill resume builder which you can use to create a perfect resume sample for your next job in any profession. It only takes 10 minutes to create one!
Where to List Achievements on My Resume?
We would say as much as possible in every section. However, there are more common sections where we can easily incorporate our resume achievements:
- Professional summary
In certain cases, other sections such as education, skills, or additional sections are used to describe achievements.
1. Professional Summary
Also called resume summary – is used to provide a short career summary of the candidate. This is usually a two-sentence long description that highlights the candidate’s key skills, work history, and career objective.
This is an extremely important part of any resume as this is the section most recruiters read in the first place.
Including one or two of your key achievements here will make a great first impression, leading to an appointment for your next interview.
Here is an example of a typical resume summary:
If tweaked just a little - it changes the hiring manager's perception:
If you are the hiring manager, which of the above candidates would you want to meet?
Probably the second!
It's straightforward since the second one shows that the candidate is an achiever. In the new position, he is likely to do the same as he did for his previous employer.
2. Experience section
This is where your recruiter makes the shortlisting. The biggest mistake candidates do here is providing a list of tasks and responsibilities held during their previous employment.
In fact, around 95% of the resumes recruiters get, fall into this category making their lives easy.
They already know the tasks you carried out in a particular job because they are experts in drafting job descriptions.
Now, when you repeat the same in your resume, here’s what happens. Though you think your resume is well-written and tailored to a job, it’s not specific enough to convince the hiring manager.
The missing piece is achievements!
Consider this example section from a retail store manager resume:
There is no surprise if a $100,000 per year managerial position goes for the second candidate.
Further, awards and recognitions could be included as an additional section in your resume. This separate section will attract recruiter-eyeballs.
- Recognized as the marketer of the year in 2020 at Global Digital Marketing Institution
- Awarded the best digital marketing campaign of the year in 2018 by The Institute of Digital Marketing
How to List Achievements on Your Resume Masterfully
A perfect list of achievements would make the employer immediately want to meet the candidate.
There’s a wrong way, a common way, and a perfect way of doing things – it's the same for your achievements in the resume.
Very few candidates write them the wrong way, but most candidates write them in a common way. We want you to stand out from the rest by understanding the perfect way of writing this.
When you are crafting the experience section, consider these tips:
- Start each sentence with an action verb
- Use PAR (Problem-Action-Results) framework to write each sentence
Problem: Stock lead time
Action: Introduced a new inventory management system
Result: Lead time dropped by 10%
- Use numbers whenever possible – numbers add credibility to your statements
- Limit your experience in one position to five to seven bullet points – carefully select what is relevant to the position and order them on the importance
How to Quantify Your Achievements
Numbers add credibility: what numbers should you add and how to find them? 👇
Three ingredients go to highlight an achievement masterfully in your experience section:
This includes the day, the year, or the time you spent on something. Also, how frequently you carried out a task.
Ask yourself these questions:
How long did you work on a particular task?
When did you start working on the task?
How many times a month/ year did you make the achievement?
This relates to numeric information that represents the size of the work you handled.
What is the size of the team you lead?
How many clients did you handle?
How much did you achieve in a particular period?
Describe the results your actions led your company to achieve. The results could be in many forms such as a percentage, a sales figure, or a time.
What is the impact of your actions on the bottom line of the company?
How quickly you could recover the investment of a project?
You would say “I don’t have all these numbers with me from my previous employment”.
There are a couple of ways you can get these:
- Ask your current or previous employer – most employers will provide you the information if they are not confidential.
- Refer to the company’s annual financial reports and management accounts – most of these are available to the general public
- Now that you know the importance of these numbers for your future careers, start writing them down as you work
Types of Achievements for Your Resume
Among your resume accomplishments could be work-related, industry-related, academic, etc. Here is a list of achievements and key accomplishments you can write in your resume:
- The contribution you made to increase the profit, sales, or revenue for the company
- The strategies you created to save money or reduce costs for the company
- Any saving in the form of time, money, or effort
- Special projects you carried out
- Special customers, you served
- Systems, solutions, or processes you introduced or developed for the company
- Key problems you solved or suggested solutions for
- The training you attended and the training programs you carried out for the staff
- Industry awards or work-related awards you won
- Media coverage gained
- Research papers you published
- Scholarships you received
- Academic awards you received
Other relevant accomplishments
- Social media following or influence you have
- Your achievements in sports or volunteering activities
Now, if you think about it, there will be many achievements in your work and life that you can write in your resume. However, there are a few you should avoid
- Political or religious accomplishments (eg: a regional association of the Democratic party since 2014)
- Personal achievements (eg: 10kg weight loss in 3 months)
Examples of Achievements, Accomplishments, and Awards on the Resume By Industry
Here is a list of example achievements for some popular job descriptions and professions. Feel free to copy these and tailor them to your experience. These examples were carefully picked to cover all the variations of career accomplishments so that you can create your own combination.
- Saved $50,000 of company money through negotiation on office furniture refurbishment deal
- Carried out manual shortlisting, calling, and arranging interviews for 6 key leadership positions in the company
- Carried out a 4-hour administrative assistant training program for new recruits to familiarize them with the administrative functions
More examples: Sample Administrative Assistant Skills Resume
- Managed company’s annual business travel budget worth $150,000
- Edited, proofread, and prepared legal documents related to employment, client affairs, and regulatory requirements
- Managed the calendar and daily meetings for the CEO, Chairman, and the Finance Director since 2019
More examples: Sample Resume for Secretary
- Answered over 40 calls a day from the clients, staff, and the management
- Prepared daily attendance records of over 150 staff and reported to the HR
- Achieved a 9/10 satisfaction score from the feedback of over 2000 customers in 2020
For Sales and Customer Support
- Developed a high performing team of 12 salespeople that surpassed last year's annual sales target by 12%
- Expanded the product portfolio to reach a new segment of the market that led to acquiring 45% market share in the first year
- Cut down the product delivery time to customers by 30% followed by an extensive bottleneck analysis of internal and external delivery process
- Handled the client account of RC Constructions which accounted for 10% of the total revenue company made
- Carried out over 150 product demonstrations and presentations in 2020 acquiring 45 new clients in the last year
- Achieved 85% of the last year’s sales target regardless of the financial crisis
Customer service officer
- Achieved a customer satisfaction ratio of 87% (an increase of 15%) for clients who visited the physical store in 2020
- Awarded the best customer service officer in the downtown store for 3 consecutive quarters
- Served 30-40 customers a day with a closing rate of over 75%
- Handled a daily cash register of $70,000 with zero POS system mismatches for 3 consecutive years
- Awarded the fastest cashier in the last quarter serving over 15,000 customers
- Completed an advanced cash registry and maintenance training program in 2020
For Marketing and Advertising
- Managed a marketing budget of $2 million which increased by 20% every year
- Distributed the companies marketing budget of $300,000 among social media, search engine, and influencer marketing to achieve 21% growth of revenue last year
- Created a content marketing strategy that boosted the paid subscriptions of a Saas product from 1000 to 70,000 in 6 months
- Managed multiple PR projects as a freelancer for clients with budgets ranging from $10,000-$1M
- Developed a digital marketing strategy for a healthcare product starting from zero to 1M followers over Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok in 6 months
- Worked with 100+ influencers in 7 different industries to generate over $4M in influencer revenue last year
SEO and SEM specialist
- Handled the Google ads account of the company spending over $200,000 that generated an additional $6M of sales in 2020
- The most successful ads campaign last year generated a CTR of 40%
- Introduced a new content strategy that generated 60 million organic views on Google with 200,000 signing up for the 30 day trial period
For Education and Teaching
- Created personalized study programs for 50+ students who had difficulties in math
- Conducted classes, assignments, and examinations for 100+ students every semester
- Created course materials and modules based on the learning outcomes for a new subject that started in the institution in 2019
- Published 3 research papers on industrial automation and robotics in the 67th World Industrial Automation Summit
- Became the youngest scientist to hold a Patent in Mechatronic systems design
- Completed my MPhil under the supervision of renowned scientist Dr. Gray Cummin
Achievement for Financial services
- Restructured the company’s debt and save $200,000 annually that was used to fund a new project
- Negotiated with the bank and obtained financing facilities at a 2% lower rate than the market rate
- Developed long term strategies to increase the company asset base, which was reflected with the 12% increase in share price last year
- Analyzed 3 investment projects, each worth around $20 million, and suggested the project with the best ROI to proceed with
- Increased average client revenue by 20% by analyzing the customer buying habits and market trends
- Cut down product cost by 2% analyzing the financial data related to the manufacturing process
- Introduced a store layout plan that reduced the refrigeration cost by 15%
- Developed a loyalty card program to promote other related business units of the company to over 20,000 customers who visited the store monthly
- Proposed a price discount strategy that put the company among the top 3 players in the market
- Achieved an individual customer satisfaction rating of over 90% for the 3rd consecutive year
- Served about 40 customers a day to create new accounts in the bank
- Promoted the digital banking mobile application to existing customers resulted in 3000+ new active users in 2020
- Provided general medical care to 40+ patients a day and referred them to relevant consultants
- Increased the Dietetics Center sale by 15% through 200+ referrals in 2020
- Enhanced relationship and negotiations with pharmaceutical agents resulted in cutting medical and equipment costs by 15%
- Planned out clinical rotations for 200+ staff including nurses, doctors, and attendants
- Made EMR records for about 20 patients a day on medical history and prescriptions
- Write about 100 prescriptions daily in OPD
- Carried out X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs for over 30 patients daily
- Performed over 2000 intra-articular injections in the last year
- Appointed the head nurse for the special Children Care Unit recently opened with 60 beds
- Nursing Management Resumes
- Nursing Resume Examples, Tips, & Templates
- How to create an original resume for Certified Nursing Assistant
- Reduced the machine down-time by 15% introducing a daily maintenance schedule
- 3D remodeling of the product helped reduce the material consumption by 6% saving $650,000 per year
- Reduced the machining waste by 13% by introducing computer-assisted machining with an initial investment of $1.2M
- Managed a technical and labor force of 60 to complete a 14 story building construction project
- Negotiated with the client and the consultants to get a $12M variation approved due to changes in design
- Recognized as the best structural engineer in 2019 by the Civil engineering association in the US
- Introduced a new machine floor plan that could accommodate two more machines in the same space, increasing the production capacity by 12%
- Made a recruitment decision for technicians reducing the over-time cost by 15%
- Negotiated a plant automation deal with a Chinese company saving $20 million from the base price
IT project manager
- Led the team to successfully complete a $200M project for a European supermarket chain to develop a CRM systems
- Completed an IT infrastructure project utilizing 15% fewer hours than budgeted saving $200,000
- Recognized by media as one of the 10 most influential project managers in the IT industry
- Cut down security breaches by 97% for clients
- Managed a $6 million data mining project with a team of six software engineers
- Developed a Saas design software that attracted $20M funding for the company
- New UI design for an online store resulted in a 20% more user retention rate with a 12% increase in web conversions
- Led the team that won the best UI/UX design at Grand Technology Awards Ceremony in 2021
- Analyzed customer buying habits through machine learning to achieve a 17% increase in B2B landing page conversions
- Measured team performance of 8 team members with performance reviews every 6 months and provided them with feedback to improve
- Received a $100,000 bonus for completing a construction project on time and within the budget
- Managed a $400 million IT infrastructure project for a major technology company in the USA for 3 years
Chief executive officer
- Developed strategies to increase shareholder value by 12% in a year
- Established a performance review system that reduced managerial turnover by 30%
- Negotiated a $40M equity funding to facilitate an expansion of the manufacturing facility
- Hired 12 regional managers from Europe that contributed to 30% of the sale in 2 years
- Negotiated a new logistics arrangement with DHL that saved $300,000 per year
- Introduced self-checkout facilities for one of the supermarkets that increased revenue by 12% and customer satisfaction by 24%
- Achieved the annual revenue target of $14 million before Christmas in 2019
- Increased the menu items by 30% in a year including Indian, Thai, and Japanese food on the menu
- Achieved a 35% increase in take-away and delivery sales by collaborating with third party delivery applications and websites
More examples: Restaurant Manager Resume Example
- Increased sales by 15% with the introduction of the new hotel booking mobile application on Andriod and iOS
- Increased customer retention by 25% with the introduction of the loyalty discount scheme for long stays
- Facilitated credit transactions for corporate clients that led to 3X the number of bookings for the conference room and training hall facilities at the hotel
More examples: Restaurant Manager Resume Example
- Scored 96% menu knowledge for customers' concerns and inquiries
- Took more than 10 dining reservations a day through phone calls and responded to their inquiries
- Contributed to increasing the customer satisfaction ratio by 12% and Google review score to 4.8/5 in 12 months
More examples: Hostess Resume Example
Listing Achievements on a Resume for Students?
Do you struggle with what to write as a student?
Most students find this difficult and ignore writing achievements or accomplishments in their resumes. If no one else does it, you should definitely do it. That’s how you tap into the best opportunities in the market as a student.
Though you don’t have many professional achievements to write, you can focus on writing more educational accomplishments.
Here’s a list of achievement examples you are free to use as a student:
- Led a student team of 15 in the University student union for 8 months
- Maintained an average GPA of 3.6/4 throughout the 7 semesters
- Made it to the Dean’s list 2 times in 2018 and 2019
- Final year individual project on sustainable energy won the best project of the year
- Selected for a 6 months internship at CBL under a competitive job interview process
- The Saas product I developed that achieved a monthly recurring income of $3000 was sold for $60,000
How to Know What Achievements to Put on Your Resume?
1. Ask yourself
Until you figure out the formula, you will find it difficult to think of any achievement in your previous work.
A brainstorming exercise will help you get through the situation. Ask yourself questions about what you did in your work. Here are some example questions:
- How big was the team you managed?
- What was the biggest project you were involved in (in terms of value)?
- What was the impact of your decision on the revenue/ cost?
- What have you done in the company that saved either money, time, or effort?
- Have you ever been praised by your manager?
- What action demonstrated your leadership skills?
2. Make a list
Now, create a list of these achievements in your previous workplace. These achievements could be of different sizes and impacts. However, list them all.
Do not confuse achievements with your everyday work duties.Duties are what you do in your work, while achievements are how well you perform them.
3. Associate a numeric value to your achievements (if possible)
Most of your achievements could be quantified. If you don’t know the exact numbers, you can refer to companies’ managerial accounts (if you have access) or financial accounts.
You can also call your manager and get this information.
If you can’t find the exact number, you may guess it. If you do, make sure you write it on your resume as a guess.
4. Write only what is relevant to the job
Refer to the job description and find what achievements and accomplishments from your list are relevant to the position you apply for.
You can also maintain a separate book to note your achievements for future work. It would make your life so much easy when applying for a new position.
Should I write a separate section for achievements on my resume?
You could use a dedicated achievements section in your resume if you have many awards, and accomplishments to write or if you want to highlight a particular career achievement in your resume.
In either case, you should still include achievements in other sections.
What resume format should I pick to write work achievements?
There are mainly three standard resume formats: reverse chronological, functional, and combination.
A reverse chronological resume format is typically used to write experience sections and achievement sections where you begin with the most recent experience.
Check our complete guide to choosing a resume format.