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The ABCs of Effective Resume Writing: Part 2 – Flesh Out Your Achievements

Figuring out what you’ve actually accomplished in your career is one of the most difficult parts of writing your resume. Many people believe they haven’t done much of anything; just every day tasks that don’t amount to anything.

Think again.

I am willing to say virtually everyone can think of at least one achievement per position they’ve held. Not you? Don’t be so quick to judge. You just have to know where to look and how to dig deep to find the information.

The right place to look

If you’ve been at a particular position for more than a year, most likely you have had a performance review. What good does that do? It reviews the year for you. It’s difficult to remember what you did and what you accomplished and the written review is a great way to bring it all back.

Another way is to take a close look at your department. Does it run more efficiently since you’ve been employed there? Did you develop a key to improve intra-office communication? Are backorders reduced by 80% because of a process you created?

Note to self: To make this process easier for future jobs, keep a journal of your activities and achievements so that it can be referred to at any time.

What if you were never there…

Just sit back and close your eyes and run through a typical day at work. How has it changed since you started? Has it gotten better? Of course! You made it better. Think about who you come in contact with and how you impact their productiveness and efficiency. You’ll be surprised by how much impact you have on your co-workers – and even your bosses.

When you start to even think about job hunting, be aware of the day-to-day tasks that occur. Some seem minute; others not so much. How do you contribute to the meetings you’re involved with on a weekly or monthly basis? All these ‘little’ responsibilities and achievements can add up to something great.

Remember - think highly of yourself

Whatever you do, do not ever say, “I don’t/didn’t make a difference,” in the process of writing your resume. Nonsense. With that mentality, your resume isn’t going to include anything noteworthy for employers. If you don’t think you amount to anything, why in the world would someone want to hire you? Have confidence in yourself and it’ll shine through to your resume.

As you’re brainstorming, write down everything you can think of that might be useful on your resume. Then the information will be at your fingertips as you proceed to the next step in creating your resume - deciding the best format for you.

- Heather Eagar

Recognized as a leading expert in the employment search industry, Heather Eagar is passionate about providing working professionals with current, reliable and effective job search tools and information. If you are considering hiring a professional resume writer, check out reviews of the top companies in the industry at www.ResumeLines.com

Part One

Part Three

Part Four