How To Write Resume Achievements, Successes, Accomplishments, Results and Outcomes
You should always write your resume to focus more on achievements and successes and outcomes over responsibilities, and make your successes quantifiable, and qualifiable with weighty facts and figures, so an employer can quickly ascertain your suitability for a position.
An achievements section on the front page of your resume is a great way to illustrate your fit for a role.
Achievements are just what recruiters need to see so they can get a quick understanding of your experience, strengths and areas of expertise.
When it comes to achievements though, what recruiters are really looking for is results, and evidence or proof of those results.
Most people are great at stating their responsibilities and how they do (or did) their jobs, but don’t include the detail of what the outcome meant to the employer or the business as a whole.
Employers recruit people who can get results. And the best indicator of what you can do for your next employer is to provide evidence in your résumé of what results you have given your previous employers. It’s this detail that really interests employers. Evidence-based résumés get results.
This means that if you state you have ‘great communication skills’, a recruiter expects to see evidence of this. Include an example – give the reader the evidence in your document, of where you proved your great communication skills, and what the result of this was. This doesn’t mean just writing the headline ‘achievements’ and listing what you did underneath it!
For example: if you merely list what your job description says what you’re expected to do, a hiring manager or recruiter is going to ask, ‘so what?’ That’s what you were paid to do!
That approach tells the reader nothing about what the results you’ve obtained so far.
- Did you identify or resolve any problems on a specific project?
- Did you do it in record time?
- Did you overcome any obstacles?
- Did you save time, money, increase productivity, increase efficiency? If so, by how much? If you saved money, how were the savings used?
- What exactly were the results?
If you can add the result to your achievements, you’re ahead of the rest. A great way to draw the result out is to ask yourself ‘so what’ after each achievement because that is what an employer of recruiter asks when they see statements on a CV that aren’t qualified or quantified.
A great way to write your achievements is by using the following to guide you:
Just remember the simple formula. Every one of your accomplishments should be presented as:
Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z].
- Saved X amount of time by making Y improvement.
- Finished project X amount of time ahead of schedule.
- Ran marketing campaigns for X number of products.
For more detailed responses, you can use the following formulas:
CAR stands for Challenge, Action, Results and this simple format helps you frame your achievements in a way that makes it really clear to recruiters what you’ve done. To give this a try, pick one of your successes and write down the following:
★ Challenge – what was the problem you had to resolve or the challenge that you faced?
★ Action – What action did you take to overcome the challenge and why?
★ Results – What was the outcome of the action you took?
Not all situations fit the standard CAR format, and a good alternative is to use a SOAR statement. SOAR stands for:
★ Situation – what position did you find yourself in when you started the job?
★ Opportunities – what opportunities did you identify?
★ Action – what actions did you take to reach your goals?
★ Results – the results of your actions.
You could also try a STAR statement.
★Situation – Explain the background. Had something gone wrong? Had an opportunity arisen? Were you at a critical point in your career? What was happening and what issue needed resolving?
★Task – What were you trying to achieve? What were you and your team required to do? Keep the focus on the tasks you did personally, in the context of any team work.
★Action – What steps did you take to achieve your goal? What action was actually taken? Were there any unexpected challenges?
★Result – What were the results? (Be specific about money earned / saved, measurable increases in customer satisfaction, product performance, etc …) What happened as a result of your actions? Was the situation resolved or improved? Were the outcomes met? Would you do anything differently next time?
Some organisations may ask for SAO statements:
★Situation – Where and when did you do it?
★Action – What did you do and how did you do it?
★Outcome – What was the result of your actions?