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How to Write an Accomplishment Driven Resume

by Sara Mahuron, studioD

Your resume is a marketing tool, so sell yourself using your accomplishments. Help employers know what you have done and how well you did it. An accomplishment-driven resume is powerful and gives you the chance to toot your own horn. Do this well, and you will be able to add your resume to your list of accomplishments.

Be a Fan

Get excited about yourself. Be your own biggest fan and show your confidence. Your enthusiasm and positive attitude about what you have done and learned is contagious when you present them properly. In order to share your accomplishments, you must recognize them first. Review every line of your resume and ask yourself what you accomplished for employers.

Action Verbs

Pack your resume full of powerful action verbs -- words that describe what you did. This is what employers want to know. Make them positive and detail those that will make you stand out -- catching their eye. Use an active voice so that you are clear about what you did. Choose verbs that show you excelled in the action over those that suggest merely performing an action. For example, "exceeded sales goals" rather than "sold." Also, give yourself credit when appropriate. For example, write "planned" rather than "helped plan" sales events. Your resume is a sales tool -- every action verb counts.

Use a Formula

The Princeton University Career Services office suggests turning your tasks into accomplishment statements. Rather than just listing what you did every day at each job, list those things you did well and specify how well you did them. Use the APR Formula, or action -- project -- result formula. Write a sentence that begins with an action verb, addresses the project or problem you dealt with and what the result was. For example, you could write "Sold $75,000 in new residential services, exceeding the monthly quota by 300 percent."

Be Objective

Do not leave anything up to the employer to figure out. Be specific and tell the employer exactly what they need to know. Be sure you define every aspect of your accomplishments -- saying exactly what and when you did things. Quote figures and percentages. Tell the employer how your accomplishments were measured; use numbers and statistics to quantify everything you can.

About the Author

Sara Mahuron specializes in adult/higher education, parenting, budget travel and personal finance. She earned an M.S. in adult/organizational learning and leadership, as well as an Ed.S. in educational leadership, both from the University of Idaho. Mahuron also holds a B.S. in psychology and a B.A. in international studies-business and economics.

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