Professional Achievements To Include on Your Resume

Updated July 31, 2023

When crafting your resume, ensuring that your claims are as specific and impressive as possible can make your application more memorable against the competition. Including your professional achievements on your resume is one way to demonstrate why you're the right candidate for a position and what value you can bring to the organization. Understanding what accomplishments to add and how to optimize them can help you submit a strong and persuasive application.

In this article, we discuss the best ways to share professional achievements on your resume, including examples of accomplishments for different kinds of resumes.

Key takeaways:

  • Including specific achievements on your resume, like key performance indicators (KPIs), awards and major projects, can help you distinguish yourself as a high-quality candidate.

  • Use this formula to highlight professional achievements: [strong action verb + task, project or honor + positive result or metric.]

  • Add professional accomplishments to your summary statement and work experience or add a distinct section for awards and achievements.

What is a resume that highlights professional achievements?

A resume that highlights professional achievements is an application document that allows you to feature your accomplishments from previous employment and education experiences and discuss any milestones you've reached throughout your career. Professional achievements can include significant projects that brought in revenue, clients or leads, awards and honors you've received in your industry and impressive responsibilities that contributed positively to the business's success.

Including professional achievements on your resume may be particularly helpful when looking for a position in a new industry because it allows you to showcase your ability to reach and exceed professional goals, regardless of your industry or job title. Including your achievements can help you capture the attention of a recruiter and show the hiring department why you're different from other candidates.

Read more: Listing Accomplishments on Your Resume (With Examples) 

How to highlight professional achievements on your resume

You can highlight your professional achievements in various sections of your resume, allowing the reader to gain an in-depth understanding of the milestones you've reached and the significant impact you've had on other employers. Use the following template when discussing your achievements on your resume:

[Strong action verb + task, project or honor + positive result or metric]

Here are three ways to add your professional achievements to your resume:

How to include achievements in the summary section

Follow these steps to discuss achievements in the professional summary section of your resume:

1. Review the job description

Before writing a professional summary, consider reviewing the job description of the position you're applying for to familiarize yourself with the role and with the employer's expectations. Since the professional summary is usually the first thing a hiring manager reads, it's important to capture their attention and showcase your knowledge of the position and industry. Make sure to notice any keywords, experiences or crucial skills listed in the job posting so you have a better idea of what to include throughout your resume and in your introduction.

2. Select one or two major accomplishments

Since a professional summary is typically only two to three sentences long, it's important to remain brief and only include the most meaningful details that highlight why you're the best option for a role, team and organization. Consider your most valuable professional achievements or accomplishments that relate to the position you're applying for, even if you currently work in a different field than your prospective industry. This can help you refine the details you want to include and make a positive impression on the reader.

3. Write a summary highlighting your achievements

Next, create a draft of your professional summary highlighting the achievements you find the most relevant to the position or that may impress a hiring manager. If you're unsure which accomplishments to include, consider creating multiple drafts so you can review all your options and choose the one that suits your prospective role. Make sure to proofread your professional summary and revise any errors before adding it to your resume.

Read more: How To Write an Effective Resume Summary (With Examples)

How to include professional achievements in the experience section

Here are some steps you can follow when listing professional achievements in the work experience section of your resume:

1. Consider the tasks your prospective role may include

When deciding what to include in the work experience section of your resume, consider the tasks your prospective role may require. You can use this information to list the accomplishments from previous positions that provided you with transferable skills applicable to your new employer and role. For example, if your current role involves speaking with customers and your prospective role may require you to communicate with managers, you can include a professional accomplishment that highlights your communication skills.

2. Reflect on your most important achievements

Adding your professional achievements to the work experience section of your resume can help you showcase the experience you've gained throughout your career and highlight what you've done with your professional opportunities. When deciding which bullet points to add beneath a role, reflect on your most substantial accomplishments during your time with that employer and the contributions you made to the organization overall.

3. Include the timeframe and results

Once you've identified the most significant achievements of your career, consider the timeframe, scale and results of your accomplishments and the projects you contributed to or completed. For example, it may benefit you to highlight if you completed a major achievement within six months, a year or five years, and discuss how many other professionals you collaborated with to get it done. This can provide your prospective employer with important context about your achievements so that they have a thorough understanding of your capabilities.

Related: How To Write Strong Bullet Points for Your Resume

4. Quantify accomplishments if possible

When listing your accomplishments in the work experience section, consider quantifying your achievements whenever possible. This makes it easy for readers to understand information quickly and deduce the impact of the milestones you reached. Consider using key performance indicators (KPIs) if applicable or highlighting percentages that reflect strategic improvements, such as an increase in sales or employee retention rates.

Read more: How To Quantify Resume Accomplishments (With Examples)

How to list achievements in an awards and accomplishments section

Another option is to add an optional section to your resume highlighting your key professional achievements. Follow these steps to add a unique section:

1. Compile a list of concrete accomplishments

First, draft a list of relevant achievements that might impress the hiring managers. Consider any awards or honors you've received in the workplace, such as employee of the year or top producer. If you've published writing or research in your field that earned any accolades, you might include it here. If you're a recent graduate, major scholarships, relevant projects or leadership positions you earned in school may also qualify.

Related: How To Track Accomplishments in 3 Steps (Plus Why It's Important)

2. Choose the most relevant achievements

Select the most impressive accolades that relate directly to the position or exemplify an in-demand characteristic or skill. For example, if you're applying to work as a data analyst and held the highest in-major GPA across statistics students when earning your degree, you might want to include this achievement over a state championship in college soccer.

3. List the details of each award or achievement

Denote the name of each award or honor you earned, the institution that granted it and the year each occurred. Here's an example of what this section might look like:

  • Most Improved New Nurse, Praneberry General Hospital - 2022

  • Salutatorian, Handberg State University - 2022

  • Honorable mention for "Compassion and Cultural Competence in Nursing," Midwest Nursing Research Convention - 2021

Read more: How To Include Awards and Achievements on Your Resume

Examples of professional achievements

Here are some examples of professional achievements to include on your resume:

For a marketing and advertising resume

Here are some examples of achievements to include in a marketing or advertising resume:

  • Restructured and revised the copy for William and Smithson's website to increase site traffic by 30%

  • Created a new social media campaign for the organization, which attracted 9,000 new followers and increased engagement by 23%

  • Managed the company's annual advertising budget of $65,000 and implemented cost-saving measure to reduce spending by 12%

  • Led SmartBrite's SEO initiatives and published a minimum of eight educational articles per month

  • Managed Spot Tech's ad spend ROI of 2.1 for their advertising campaign over the past year

  • Saved the Stat Fly's advertising department $1,500 a month by reducing their paid ads cost-per-click (CPC) while still retaining the same conversion rate

  • Grew organic site and social media traffic for Luxe Media from 100,000 to 300,000 followers 

    in one year

  • Led a three-person team of freelance copywriters to create 12 SEO content articles on a monthly basis and attract new clients to the organization

  • Spearheaded a social media advertisement generation campaign for NXT Plus Agency which helped drive over 25 leads a month for members of the sales team

  • Introduced a new system for allocation of the advertising budget, saving the organization $1,200 a month on average

Related: Marketing Resume Template and Example

For a business resume

If you're writing a business-focused resume, here are some example achievements you might consider:

  • Developed actionable strategic plans using insights derived from modeling and prediction data, creating a 15% increase in revenue in the last six months

  • Engaged with 12 local community centers and organizations to grow our professional network and increase brand visibility among local businesses

  • Reduced customer churn by 20% within the last year by evaluating forecast data to make predictions regarding typical customer churn instances and preparing for these circumstances

  • Utilized web traffic and social media analytics to revise existing scripts and implement new copy and increase performance by 30% in the eight months

  • Created a partnership program to grow the organization's professional network and outreach, leading to three new partners across the United States

  • Led succession planning efforts and stabilized work environment during a transition between CEOs, leading to a 9% increase in net promoter score among employees

  • Negotiated new contracts with three primary software vendors, achieving a $40,000 decrease in overhead spend

  • Restructured the organization to promote cross-functional collaboration without sacrificing specialization, earning the company the "Innovative Workplace 2023" award from WorkingTeam Magazine

  • Hosted monthly one-on-one meetings with client representatives to forecast issues and develop proactive solutions

  • Developed a leadership training program that facilitated 13 internal promotions last quarter

For a human resources resume

If you're an HR specialist, generalist or manager, you might consider incorporating achievements similar to the examples below in your resume:

  • Planned and executed over 10 hiring events throughout the year, increasing the number of candidates by 65%

  • Used professional networking sites, social media and referrals to source qualified candidates and fill 45 open positions in the last year

  • Used methods such as coaching and staff motivation to promote positive customer relations, leading to an increase in positive reviews on professional forums

  • Implemented a new strategy when managing the applicant tracking system (ATS) to ensure data security and easy access for recruiters

  • Ensured that the hiring team delivered reports of recruitment activity within 24 hours to keep managers informed of potential candidates and open positions

  • Revised performance management system to promote a two-way feedback model that strengthened manager-employee relationships

  • Reduced average time-to-fill by 13 days by streamlining interview processes

  • Implemented diversity, equity and inclusion measures that increased the diversity of candidates in final-round interviews by 19%

  • Published 15 articles on the Beverly-Crange HR Insights blog on topics like benefits administration, recruitment technologies and compliance

  • Earned a promotion from HR Assistant to HR Manager in a record nine months due to outstanding performance

Related: 11 Top Human Resources Skills for a Resume (Plus Sample)

For an education and teaching resume

Here are some example achievements for an education or teaching resume:

  • Improved students' performance on standardized tests by 20% compared to scores from the previous year.

  • Supervised three graduate students as they completed their master's theses

  • Edited six articles for colleagues for submission into peer-reviewed journals

  • Helped students improve their final exam test scores by an average of 15% compared to their midterm scores

  • Surveyed students and parents after two semesters of specialized tutoring and received 92% positive feedback

  • Conducted ethnographic research and published a book about the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology

  • Tutored 12 students on AB and BC calculus for six months, helping all students increase their performance by at least an entire letter grade

  • Assisted students in the lowest-performing creative writing class at Clear Creek High School to help them improve their wiring skills and increase performance on standardized tests by 25%, allowing them to surpass other classes within the school

  • Created an after-school program for teachers to assist students in a variety of academic subjects and help them develop positive study habits

  • Developed a system for teachers to provide school administration with input and feedback anonymously, helping the teaching team to feel more supported

For a finance and banking resume

For a finance and banking resume, you might want to incorporate achievements like these in your resume:

  • Helped reduce material and labor costs by 10% in the last year

  • Ensured that Fresh Market Management stayed within its budget for the last five years

  • Managed an annual budget of $550,000 for Mountain Marketing Firm for three years and advised them on beneficial spending strategies

  • Acted as Financial Analyst for four different projects with budgets of over $175,000

  • Introduced and implemented advanced data-management procedures, which improved operational efficiency by 8%

  • Trained seven incoming bank tellers throughout the past two years to help them understand customer service standards and the institution's policies

  • Collaborated with a team of four other accountants to develop financial reports for the company's five departments

  • Created a positive rapport with over 30 customers per year, helping them manage their finances and open new accounts within the bank

  • Used keen attention to detail and organization skills to process over 50 customer transactions daily

  • Assisted bank managers when onboarding and training new employees to increase employee satisfaction and retention by 25%

For a sales resume

Here are some achievement examples for a sales resume:

  • Met sales KPIs within the third quarter of last year and exceeded them by 30% by the end of the final quarter

  • Solved more than 30 service tickets daily, becoming the top-performing customer service representative within the organization after my first year of employment

  • Sent an average of 65 cold emails to potential customers daily and scheduled calls with an average of 15% of email recipients

  • Maintained an impressive customer satisfaction rate of 92% over the past year, a 10% increase from the professional who previously held the position

  • Sustained a closing rate of 15% to 20% while cold-calling over 25 potential clients a day over the course of 18 months

  • Won "Employee of the Month" five consecutive months in a row due to record sales volume

  • Conducted retention calls with customers who required assistance or were unsatisfied with the organization's service, leading to a 15% increase in annual customer retention rates

  • Created a new sales script for all sales representatives performing cold calls, leading to a 10% increase in responses

  • Revised sales ticket information so managers can easily evaluate effective sales strategies

Related: Retail Sales Resume: How-to Guide With Tips and Example

For a tech resume

If you're in tech, here are some example achievements to consider:

  • Developed an automated test that reduced testing time by 83%

  • Wrote original code for a productivity app now valued at $2 million

  • Analyzed IT infrastructure and recommended alternative software programs to reduce overall IT spend by $100,000 annually

  • Implemented a threat monitoring program that prevented over 200 potential breaches and attacks

  • Optimized user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) to promote and simplify in-app purchases, raising the average revenue per user by 14%

  • Managed product development process for a client scaling from one app to six apps, ensuring 100% of deliverables met client deadlines

Related: Technical Resume Writing: Tips and Examples

For a health care resume

For health care resumes, you might incorporate achievements like these in your document:

  • Cared for an average of over 25 patients per 12-hour shift

  • Inputted patient data into electronic medical records (EMR) system with 98% accuracy

  • Managed a staff of 45 ICU nurses, receiving zero patient complaints in the first six months

  • Facilitated a transition between health information management system (HIMS) software solutions, training over 150 hospital employees the new systems

  • Restructured facility's approach to testing and diagnostics to expedite patient results in urgent situations, improving efficiency by 9%

  • Supported over 20 life-saving kidney transplant procedures as Surgery Tech

  • Published "How AI Can Improve Patient Outcomes in Urology" in Health Innovations 245 Journal

  • Negotiated the acquisition of four small rural hospitals and supplied them with more efficient resources like supplies, equipment and talent to improve emergency care outcomes

For a skilled labor resume

Here are some skilled labor achievement examples to consider:

  • Led a $70,000 renovation for Bluestreet Renovation Crew's most high-value customers, earning a five-star satisfaction rating

  • Managed project timelines, budgets and supplies for over 100 civic projects, including the Andersonville Family Bridge and the Hathway Lake Dam

  • Performed weekly maintenance on a 60-acre property independently, cutting grass, watering plants, planting flowers and applying safe, eco-friendly fertilizers

  • Resolved unexpected problems on-site to minimize loss by 49%

  • Lifted over 100 pounds of metal and wood regularly

  • Implemented on-site safety policies that contributed to a 77% reduction in lost time incident rate

  • Trained 35 construction crew members in cabinetry installation

  • Served as Lead Electrician on a large-scale corporate installation across a 10-building campus, valued at $18 million

  • Implemented OSHA and NEC guidelines to earn Raymond's Residential Build Firm a passing score on its construction compliance evaluation

  • Resolved 90% customers' plumbing issues in a single 60-minute visit

Related: Skilled Labor: What It Is, Skilled vs. Unskilled and Types of Skilled Labor Jobs

For a food service resume

Here are some achievements you might consider adding to your food service resume:

  • Used extensive knowledge of wine and spirits to educate 1K customers and promote bottle purchases equaling $350K in sales

  • Trained 13 new Servers, quickly teaching food safety, customer service and point of sale (POS) systems

  • Scored a 100% on my first menu test, memorizing over 200 menu items and 25 rotating specials

  • Served as prep cook for award-winning Executive Chef, often chopping ingredients, preparing workspaces and making sauces and marinades for over 150 guests at a time

  • Employed sales and customer service skills to upsell items like cocktails, appetizers and desserts, increasing the average bill for a two-person party from $70 to $140

  • Chilled, preserved and protected supplies to reduce loss and prevent cross-contamination

  • Received repeated praise from customers, including multiple five-star reviews online, noting "friendly, fast service" and "upbeat attitude"

  • Supported kitchen staff by filling in for Dishwashers, Bussers and Line Cooks on my days off, earning the "Most Supportive Front of House Staff Member" award from my peers

  • Promoted from Host to Server after displaying quick problem-solving skills and expert knowledge of all menu offerings

  • Tended bar for over 60 high-profile events, including the annual Corporate Women of Cleveland Convention

For a manufacturing resume

Here are some manufacturing achievement examples that can help inspire the creation of your own examples to add to your resume:

  • Led department-wide training on safe equipment usage, reducing incidents by 44%

  • Took over demand forecasting after a sudden departure to ensure we fulfilled all client orders

  • Implement lean production principles, saving $10,000 in raw material waste

  • Re-strategized production processes to reduce cycle time by 22%

  • Restructured equipment logs to record more specific hazards, issues and abnormalities to promote proactive maintenance, reducing repair costs by $18,000 in Q3

  • Achieved 99% production attainment within my team, the highest across all production teams

  • Developed a cross-functional training program to ensure all 300 team members are capable of all tasks in the production cycle to minimize time lost to changeover

  • Used troubleshooting skills to address an unexpected machine failure, resulting in just 15 minutes of unscheduled downtime

  • Earned an OSHA Forklift Certification to help distribution and inventory management teams in organizing and transporting pallets

  • Won "Team Member of the Month" in April 2023 for noting a major workplace hazard and preventing an incident


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