While your resume should highlight your skills, education and professional experiences, you also want to consider emphasizing your accomplishments and achievements. Accomplishments and achievements can be stand-alone or be included throughout your resume in your summary, professional experience, education and skills sections. Listing achievements on your resume can help employers better understand your strengths and talents while setting you apart from other candidates
In this article, we discuss how to add accomplishments to your resume and show examples of how to do it.
Should I place accomplishments on my resume?
Most candidates know to include the duties and responsibilities of their positions on their resume, but often leave out one of the most important elements of their professional history, which are their accomplishments. Including accomplishments on your resume can help illuminate your strengths, history of success and growth to potential employers.
1. Name and contact information
2. Summary or objective
3. Professional history
a. Company name
b. Dates of tenure
c. Description of role and achievement
6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)
What accomplishments should I include on my resume?
Accomplishments are any professional, educational or personal milestones you have achieved. . For example, if you achieved a GPA of 3.5 or higher and academic honors while getting your degree, you should include it in your education section This information demonstrates your skills in learning and applying new information at a high level.
Additionally, including relevant professional accomplishments such as exceeding position goals or earning industry-specific certifications can make you a stronger candidate. Review the job description for credentials required, or desired, by the employer to get a better idea of what accomplishments will be most impressive to employers
Examples of accomplishments on your resume
Accomplishments can, and should, be listed throughout your resume. The most common places for you to showcase your accomplishments are in your summary, skills, professional experience and dedicated accomplishments section. Below you will see examples of how to include accomplishments in each section.
Your summary is often the first section on your resume. It highlights your valuable experiences and skills that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. It’s the section recruiters will see first, and therefore a great place to include relevant accomplishments.
Recent graduate with a Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering and 4+ years of industry experience. Extensive experience with frequency calibrators and simulators and semiconductor process systems. Seeking a position that allows me to utilize my creative problem-solving and leadership skills.
Marketing Manager with 10+ years of experience in growth-focused marketing. Recently awarded 2019 Marketer of the Year at XYZ Company. Looking to bring my leadership, passion and experience to a user-centric company.
Accomplished graphic artist with 5 years of experience using expert-level, industry-leading design tools from Adobe. Certified in Graphic Design Elements by University of Colorado Boulder.
Read more: How to Write a Summary of Qualifications
Your work experience section is a vital component of your resume. The content of this section shows employers your qualifications and skills so they can assess if they are fitted with the position. 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 crafting the bullet points for this section consider the ‘what ‘and the ‘why’—what you did and why you did it. Did you hit your goals, save the company time or money, learn something new or make something more efficient? This will help you be accomplishment oriented. Include numbers to quantify your accomplishments when possible.
See some examples below.
CLOUD CLEARWATER | Chicago, IL
3D Graphic Designer, Graphics America, LLC
January 2016 – Present
- Crafted multiple graphic designs for 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
TRADELOT | Tampa, FL
May 2016–April 2018
- Processed cash, check, and credit transactions, maintaining 98% accuracy to minimize end-of-day balancing errors
- Balanced check payments, identifying and resolving discrepancies immediately
Accurately prepared and sent bank deposits (~100K each) semiweekly
CRANE & JENKINS | Denver, CO
Customer Service Representative
March 2017 - Present
- Resolve 300+ customer complaints per week via phone and email, consistently exceeding targets
Pioneer development of improved system for following up with unsatisfied customers, reducing customer churn by 6%
- Train and mentor 4 new employees on conflict resolution, JIRA, and Salesforce CRM
- Propose more efficient call script to reduce average customer handling time, which was well-received and implemented by management
Achieve 97% average customer satisfaction rating to date, surpassing team goal by 12%
An accomplishments section can be helpful if you have impressive achievements outside of the workplace. It can also be helpful if you’re more senior in your career to add a ‘Career Highlights’ section to the top of your resume that showcases the many accomplishments you’ve achieved throughout your career at different positions.
See examples below:
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 2018
- *Led a team of 15 employees in a local call center location for more than 5 years
- *Saved XYZ Company
- *Created and implemented a new training program which resulted in a 25% increase in customer satisfaction
*Managed international customer service team of 25+ employees
Example accomplishments by industry
It can be helpful to see examples of accomplishments broken down by common industries to help you recognize what kind of accomplishments to list on your resume. See examples below:
- Managed quality assurance program, decreasing rework by 40% and saving the company $250,000 in annual production cost
- Constantly exceed monthly KPIs by 10% or more
Implemented Lean Management directives, which cut overall operating cost by 35%
- Researched and instituted behavior management strategies, decreasing adverse interactions between students and developing a culture of caring
- Provide regular home visits to educate 10+ disabled students who are unable to participate in traditional classroom lessons, increasing their comprehension and building rapport with guardians
Pioneered and coordinated Career & College Day, introducing 800 students and parents to 60 universities, colleges, and companies
- Designed and developed front-end for 20+ websites, using jQuery, AJAX, RequireJS, and Handlebars.js
- Orchestrated the repair of company machinery which reduced equipment expenses by $25,000
Reduced costs by ~$3,000 each month by eliminating unnecessary servers and consolidating databases
- Reduced bad debt by 12% by analyzing delinquent accounts and creating customer surveys to pinpoint common payment problems
- Implemented cost-saving initiatives and productivity tools, including streamlined internal audit procedures and use of SAP ERP software company-wide
Analyzed and reported variances on overtime expenditures by comparing payroll's OT Differential Report versus approved OT requests, resulting in 33% cost savings
Marketing and sales
- Optimized website pages with relevant keywords and improved formatting and readability, decreasing bounce rate from 62% to 34%
- Effectively solicited orders and promoted product upgrades to current customers, resulting in a 33% increase in upgrade sales over two years
Wrote and directed series of YouTube videos that reached 20,000+ in total views
Achievements to keep off your resume
While many educational, professional and personal accomplishments can strengthen your resume, there are also some 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.
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. Make sure to check with your current and past companies to understand what information should be kept private. If you’re not sure, keep your accomplishments general.
5. 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.
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.