Including Key Achievements in your Resume

If I had a dollar for every resume I saw that did not include “key achievements”, I would be a very wealthy resume writer!


Failing to include key achievements throughout your resume is a recipe for disaster and will cause your resume to be put straight in the deleted folder and never to be seen again.


The job market is competitive, and if you’re going to prove to the hiring manager that you are the best candidate for a job, you need to show off every key achievement and skill that will stand you out against all the other job candidates.  Remember the golden rule of resume writing – your resume is a marketing document and, as such, needs to market all the great things that you can bring to a potential job. Providing achievements that are backed up with quantitative evidence will guarantee that you will stand out from the other job seekers.


The best written resumes adequately sell the person’s achievements, skills and personality. Do this correctly and I guarantee that you will find success.


What Types of Achievements should you include in your resume?

Employers want to know the value you are going to add to the business and therefore want to see examples of your past behaviours to indicate your future behaviours. Types of achievements to include are:


  • Ways you saved the company money
  • Examples of how you reduced costs
  • Examples of new ideas or implementations that resulted in positive outcomes
  • Special awards or recognitions you received (e.g. voted #1 salesperson for two consecutive years)
  • Training, hiring, mentoring, leading, managing staff
  • Resolution of problems or issues that led to a positive outcome
  • Training courses, seminars, workshops that you successfully completed


2 key Tricks and Tips to turn your resume into a selling tool


  • Use strategic keywords throughout your resume to catch the reader’s eye. Strategic keywords will ensure that your resume will be picked up by employers using software programs that help eliminate candidate resumes
  • Go through the job requirements to find out exactly what the employer is looking for in the right candidate and incorporate these directly into your resume. For example, if the job is looking for someone with leadership skills, make sure you provide examples about the leadership you performed either in your past jobs or through community involvement or extra curricular activities

Including responsibilities and duties in your resume are important because it shows the reader what you actually do on a day to day basis. However, in order to take your resume to the next level and stand out against the competition (and get the highest possible salary!), you need to focus on value added achievements.


© RedStarResume Publications –

The journey to finding your dream job starts with a brand new professional resume


Views: 14141

Comment by Valentino Martinez on July 9, 2011 at 10:18am



I couldn't agree more.  Listing achievements, on the job, gives perspective of individual and team accomplishments that resonate with employers who value results and want to attract results oriented candidates for employment consideration.  In fact, the more specific the achievements, the more meaningful the achievements relate to the specific job opening.

Comment by Valentino Martinez on July 9, 2011 at 10:42am

...Oh, and make sure listed achievements are bona fide.  A few questions about them, by an experienced manager, can expose exaggerations and downright Bullcrappy.

Comment by Gavin Redelman on July 10, 2011 at 8:24pm

Thanks Valentino,


Do people have further suggestions about tips on how to turn a resume into a selling tool?

Comment by Charles Van Heerden on July 11, 2011 at 2:50am

Hi Gavin, fully agree achievements are more powerful than responsibilities.


Though it requires some skill, I agree a well-written achievement is more useful for recruiters.


I agree with Valentino's caution that achievements should be real - sometimes candidates seem to s-t-r-e-t-c-h the truth just a bit too much.


Some candidates also seem to overindulge and include too many, rather than highlighting the really important and relevant achievements. 




Comment by Gavin Redelman on July 11, 2011 at 3:26am

An experienced hiring manager / recruiter can spot an exaggerated resume from a mile away!


I recently sat down with a candidate who was finding it tough to find a new job. The candidate was a recent graduate however had worked part time (during her university degree) as an assistant for a prestigious law firm and had included achievements how she had increased firm revenue and saved the company money....


This exaggeration was so unnecessary. The candidate had a strong educational background and fantastic skills. By exaggerating her role and achievements she was doing herself a major disservice!





Comment by Karen Rehn on July 11, 2011 at 12:10pm
I agree if the achieved goals are real, promote the good and the value it brings  and how that can apply to the company they trying to get into.
Comment by Amy Ala Miller on July 11, 2011 at 4:10pm

It just has to be relevant to the position.  If I'm a stellar salesperson who made $X for the company, yet I'm applying to a non-revenue producing training position, my acheivements aren't going to have diddly squat to do with what the job actually is.


Of course this analogy begs the question, why does a successful salesperson want to be a trainer, but you get the point.  :)

Comment by Megan Flynn on July 14, 2011 at 12:22pm
I couldn't agree more. Hiring in the IT arena, I know very little about what the people I hire do because most of it goes way over my head. When people include their certifications and skills (such a Linux, MAC, etc) it helps me significantly!
Comment by Gavin Redelman on July 14, 2011 at 8:01pm
A good resume communicates these skills effectively to the reader. If the reader cannot identify the skills of a candidate then they have little hope of having their resume stand out above the competition. When I prepare a resume for any type of candidate (From a student to a CEO), I include targeted Keywords / Skills which are designed to highlight the resume and as Megan highlights make it easier for the recruiter or hiring manager to understand their skills
Comment by Valentino Martinez on July 15, 2011 at 3:32am

I would also recommend mentioning achievements beyond the standard workplace kind. 

Athletic accomplishment/involvements also have value, particularly when they display:  coaching, leadership; team play; high achievement; record breaking; discipline; goal achievement; training; work ethic; and an orientation to good health habits.  All transferable characteristics that also work well in the work environment.  Staying active in athletics also sends the message, for older employees in particular, that they're up for the challenge of demanding jobs and assignments.



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