Your resume should highlight your skills, education and professional experiences. You may find it helpful to list accomplishments in your resume summary, professional experience, education and skills sections. Listing achievements on your resume can help employers better understand your strengths and talents.
In this article we’ll discuss how to add accomplishments on your resume and show examples of how to do it.
Should you place accomplishments on your resume?
Accomplishments are any professional, educational or personal milestones you have achieved. Including such accomplishments on your resume can help illuminate your strengths and growth to potential employers.
For example, if your master’s degree is your highest level of education, you should include it in your education section. If you achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher and academic honors while getting your degree, these are also achievements you should include. This information demonstrates your skills in learning and applying new information at a high level.
Additionally, including relevant professional accomplishments such as exceeding sales goals or earning industry-specific certifications can make you a stronger candidate. Review the job description for credentials required by the employer.
Achievements to keep off your resume
Many educational, professional and personal accomplishments can strengthen your resume. There are also many accomplishments that you should consider leaving off your resume.
1. Old or irrelevant achievements
While you likely have many achievements from your past that you are proud of, some may no longer be beneficial on a resume as you grow in your career. For example, accomplishments from childhood or high school might not be valuable information for employers if it does not apply to the role.
If you’re a recent college graduate, it is helpful to include accomplishments from your time in school such as academic awards and leadership positions. If you’re several years into a career, you should focus on relevant professional achievements rather than accomplishments from college.
2. Personal or alienating topics
Some achievements or accomplishments may be too personal. For example, you might avoid political or religious accomplishments. For best results, only include relevant examples from your career, volunteer experience or hobbies. Professional accomplishments should always be prioritized.
3. Exaggerated information
Avoid embellishing accomplishments on your resume. You may be asked to provide specific details about your accomplishments during the hiring process. Additionally, employers might ask your references or former employers to verify the information you listed. If that information is false or exaggerated, you may hurt your chances with potential employers or even lose job offers. If you do not have accomplishments that are relevant to the position, it is perfectly acceptable to leave this section off your resume.
4. Accomplishments that reveal sensitive information
Be cognizant of the details you include with your professional accomplishments. Some information may be privileged or proprietary information. Try to keep your professional accomplishments as general as possible.
No space on your resume for an accomplishments section
If your resume is becoming long and difficult to read, you should avoid including an accomplishments section. Instead, incorporate your accomplishments in your education, experience and skills sections. It’s best to keep your resume to one page in most cases.
Sample resume accomplishments section
In most situations, it’s best to list accomplishments within your resume under the sections and subsections where they are most relevant. For example, you might want to list professional accomplishments as part of the details for your work with a previous or current employer:
Boston, Massachusetts • (123) 456-7891
Accomplished graphic artist with over 10 years’ experience with expert-level using industry-leading design tools from Adobe.
3D Graphic Designer, Graphics America, LLC
January 2016 – Present
- Crafted multiple graphic designs over 20 high-profile, Fortune 500 companies
- Awarded “Best New Graphic Designer” after first year
- Helped orchestrate three large contracts with new clients, contributing to a 5% year-over-year profit increase in 2017
Here, the candidate includes their most relevant and impressive achievements from their last position instead of simply listing tasks and responsibilities. While it is important to convey your experience with certain responsibilities, listing them as accomplishments is more impactful and provides the employer direct value you have demonstrated at another organization. When possible, measure your accomplishments with numbers.
If creating a separate accomplishments and achievements section, place it at the end of your resume:
Accomplishments and Achievements
- Raised $10,000 for cancer research through community efforts
- Created and organized annual “Feed the Homeless” events within my community
- Hiked the full length of the Appalachian Trail in 2015
If you include a separate accomplishments section, keep it short and to the point. Include a few strong examples that strengthen your resume without becoming a distraction to your career goals.
Professional and educational accomplishments can help employers understand your current skills and value as an employee, while some personal achievements and accomplishments can show how you dedicate yourself toward completing goals. You can incorporate your key professional and educational accomplishments throughout your resume, or create a separate section on your resume for additional achievements.
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