Resume Tip: List What You’ve Accomplished, Not Just What You’ve Done

Most of the resumes I see contain a list of jobs, and under each is a series of bullet points detailing the responsibilities and tasks associated with the position. And, I have to admit, after reviewing hundreds of resumes with this format, I get a little bored.

You scheduled meetings and presentations, coordinated events, and generated reports; you led a team of 5 to complete all projects as assigned within a given timeline; you trained and hired staff, and processed HR paperwork. You organized the sales floor, took inventory, cleaned the coffeemaker. You…

I really need to do my laundry. And I should give my sister a call, maybe after I buy cat food.

This is what happens when I read the lists of things people have done at their jobs. I drift off and think of other things, because it all looks the same after a while. This is why I always ask my clients what they’ve accomplished throughout their career – not just what they’ve done.

Did you recently complete an important project? Did you find and implement a particularly innovative solution to address an issue? List this on your resume. You don’t need to replace your responsibilities, but you can pare them down a bit and focus on the tasks that were most challenging and rewarding. Then, for each position, highlight one accomplishment – put it first, before your list of responsibilities, and instead of using a bullet point, use a check mark or a star.

Listing your accomplishments gives the reader an idea of what you can contribute to their company, and highlights your strengths by showing them concrete evidence of what you can and have achieved.

Brag a little! You’ll be glad you did.

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