Listing achievements is what differentiates the top candidates from the rest.
See, most job-seekers only talk about their responsibilities and day-to-day tasks.
But that’s not what’s going to make you stand out.
The hiring manager knows EXACTLY what responsibilities you have for your profession. After all, they’re the one that wrote your job description!
Instead, to really get ahead of the competition, you should talk about your achievements and greatest accomplishments.
This way, your resume is focused on how you stand out and not on what your job title is.
This guide will cover:
- How to list achievements on your resume (and get the job)
- Where to mention your achievements
- 101+ achievements to you can use (30+ professions covered!)
Achievements & Accomplishments on Your Resume
Now, let’s start with the “Why?”
Why are achievements and accomplishments so important?
Well, compare these 2 entries:
- Hit and exceeded department KPIs by 20% for 5 months in a row.
- Increased the number of sales.
See the difference?
The first shows how, exactly, you stand out from the rest. You managed to hit KPIs (which is good) AND exceed them (even better) for 5 months in a row (amazing!).
The second example, on the other hand, doesn’t say anything at all. It’s pretty obvious that you did sales - you do, after all, work in sales.
Huge difference, right?
Now, let’s move on to the next topic:
Where Do I List my Achievements?
You should list your achievements in the following sections on your resume:
- Work experience
- Resume summary
- (Situational) Projects & Volunteering
Now, let’s cover each section one by one.
Listing accomplishments in the work experience section is the most common way to go:
You should also include achievements in your resume summary.
A resume summary is a short summary of your career that goes on top of your resume:
This section acts as an introduction to the rest of your resume, covering the main points and highlights.
Here’s what your average resume summary looks like:
“Experienced project manager with 5+ years of work experience seeking a position at Company X. Previous experience includes working at Company Y, developing software for clients such as Client A and Client B.”
This summary example is OK at best. All it says is that you’ve worked as a project manager for 5+ years in 2 companies.
Newsflash: so have all the other candidates.
Now, here’s what happens if we add an achievement or two...
“Experienced project manager with 5+ years of work experience seeking a position at Company X. Managed cross-department teams of 15+ people. Successfully managed the development of several software projects, including Project A and Project B.”
How to List Achievements (the Right Way)
Yep - there’s a RIGHT way to list achievements.
See, the more detailed you write them, the more you’ll stand out.
Compare these 2 examples:
Significantly improved sales.
Improved product sales by 12%, which led to a 20% increase in annual revenue.
The first is OK, but it’s not nearly detailed enough.
What’s “significant?” You could’ve improved sales by selling ONE extra product, or you could have lifted company revenue by 10%.
The HR manager has no way of knowing which one it was!
So, when possible, each of your achievements should include:
- Over what timeframe did you work on the task? E.g. “Increased customer satisfaction rate within 3 months of employment at Company X”
- How many times a week did you work on this task? E.g. “Talked to 50+ customers on a daily basis”
- How many people did you manage/work with? E.g. “Managed a team of 5 software engineers to develop software solutions for clients.” or “Worked with a team of 6 to create award-winning ad campaigns for Company X.”
- How big was the budget? E.g. “Successfully carried out X marketing campaign, going under the designated budget of Y USD.”
- How many clients/customers did you work with? E.g. “Managed marketing campaigns of 5+ SaaS clients in the fin-tech and hr-tech industries.”
- When possible, you should also include the results that followed your achievements. E.g. “Delivered a 1.8x ROI on total ad spend of $22,000”.
What If I Don’t Have the Data?
This is a very common question among job-seekers.
Unless you were actively keeping track of your results at your job, you probably don’t know how much impact, exactly, did your work have.
The solution here is pretty straightforward: just reach out to your previous employer and ask for the data. They should be more than happy to send it over!
Moving forward, though, we’d recommend really keeping track of your results and achievements in your next job.
You’ll thank us for it later!
How to List Achievements as a Student
If you’re a student or a recent graduate, you probably don’t have that much work experience (so you can’t exactly list too many achievements there).
What you can do, though, is list your achievements in several other sections, such as:
- Education. Your achievements during your time at the university. E.g. “Managed to maintain a 3.8 GPA while working and studying full-time.”
- Projects. Any type of projects you’ve worked on. For example, the marketing strategy you created for a class. E.g. “Created a marketing strategy for Company X as part of my Marketing 101 course.”
- Volunteering Experience. E.g. “Taught kids elementary mathematics as a volunteer at Saint Jude’s orphanage.”
101+ Achievements You Can Steal (For Every Profession)
Need some inspiration?
Here are 101 achievements you can steal (for different positions):
Sales and Support Achievement Examples
Sales Associate Achievements
- Cold-called 20+ potential clients on a daily basis, with a closing rate of 10% to 20%.
- Hit and exceeded sales KPIs by 30% for the months of October, November, and December in 2019
- Sent 200+ cold emails on a daily basis, managing to set up calls with 10% of the recipients
For more examples, check out our guide to the sales associate resume.
Customer Service Achievements
- Maintained a customer satisfaction rate of 95% for 2019
- Solved 20 - 25 tickets on a daily basis
- Carried out retention calls with unsatisfied customers, convincing 20% of them to keep using the software
For more examples, check out our guide to the customer service resume.
- Trained and supervised 5 other cashiers over a period of 2 years at Company X.
- Got the employee of the month award for June, August, and December.
For more examples, check out our guide to the cashier resume.
Administrative Achievement Examples
Office Manager Achievements
- Reached out to and made deals with new office supply providers, cutting annual supply costs by 20%.
- Hired, trained, and managed 15+ cleaning and maintenance staff
Administrative Assistant Achievements
- Worked directly with the senior management, scheduling their meetings, flights, and other appointments on a daily basis
- Communicated with 20+ company partners and clients on a daily basis
- Assisted onboarding 14 employees during my time at Company X
For more examples, check out our guide to the administrative assistant resume.
Finance Achievement Examples
- Managed an annual budget of $400,000 for a period of 7 years.
- Worked with a team of 3 accountants, creating financial reports for all company activities composed of 8 departments.
- Helped Company X stay within the budget for the past 3 years in a row
For more examples, check out our guide to the accountant resume.
Financial Analyst Achievements
- Implemented and streamlined cutting-edge data management procedures, improving the operational efficiency of the company by 5%.
- Managed 5 different projects with a budget of over $200.000.
- Reduced labour and material costs by 7%.
For more examples, check out our guide to the financial analyst resume.
Bank Teller Achievements
- Processed 30+ customer transactions with extreme attention to detail on a daily basis
- Established rapport with 40+ regular customers, making sure to remember everyone’s names
- Helped onboard 3 new bank tellers, bringing them up to speed with the bank’s rules and policies
For more examples, check out our guide to the bank teller resume.
Business & HR Achievement Examples
Branch Manager Achievements
- Sourced qualified candidates utilizing various web technologies, social media, resume databases and referrals from networking events while reducing the hiring costs by 35%.
- Participated in community affairs to increase branch visibility and to enhance new and existing business opportunities.
- Provided a superior level of customer relations, promoted the sales and service culture through coaching, guidance and staff motivation.
- Planned, organized and executed hiring events partnering with 12 local community organizations; facilitated and delivered presentations showcasing Novorésumé career opportunities.
- Managed data integrity within the applicant tracking system, ensuring timely entry and visibility of recruitment activity within ATS/CRM technologies.
Data Analyst Achievements
- Utilized Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager and implemented new scripts that increased performance by 25%.
- Converted data into actionable insights by predicting and modeling future outcomes, that increased revenue by 10% last year.
- Managed to reduce customer churn by 15% using collected data to perform a forecast analysis of when customers would churn.
For more examples, check out our guide to the data analyst resume.
Business Development Manager Achievements
- Managed 3 software projects end-to-end. Defined growth strategy, hired software and marketing team, and set goals and expectations.
- Established new key partnerships with Company X and Company Y, resulting in a 20% increase in annual revenue.
- Started a partnership program, kick-started work with 4 implementation partners in Europe.
For more examples, check out our guide to the business development resume.
Project Manager Achievements
- Led the digital transformation project, adopting software to help with marketing, accounting, and HR duties at Company X.
- Over the past 5 years, successfully completed 6 projects from start to finish, generating a total of $600,000 in revenue.
- Worked as a single point of contact for over 15+ clients, answering all their requests and questions in a timely manner.
For more examples, check out our guide to the project manager resume.
Marketing & Advertising Achievement Examples
Marketing Manager Achievements
- Revamped Company X’s social media accounts, improving user engagement by over 60% on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Revamped the copy for the Company X website, increasing conversions by 20%.
- Led Facebook ad lead generation campaigns, driving 20+ leads for the sales team on a monthly basis, at a $2.7 CPC and $9 CPA.
For more examples, check out our guide to the marketing manager resume.
Media Buying Specialist Achievements
- Managed a monthly ad budget of over $20,000.
- Maintained an ad spend ROI of 1.8 for Company X’s ad campaigns over the past 3 months.
- Managed to reduce Company X’s Search Ads average CPC while maintaining same conversion rate, saving them $2k in monthly ad spend.
SEO Specialist Achievements
- Fully managed Company X’s SEO. Created and published 10+ articles and built 40+ links on a monthly basis.
- Grew Company X monthly organic traffic from 0 to 200,000 within 2 years.
- Managed a team of 4 freelance writers, creating and publishing 10+ SEO content pieces every month. Around 70% of the content we published is now ranking page 1 of Google.
IT and Software Dev Achievement Examples
IT Specialist Achievements
- Improved error documentation systems, resulting in increased workplace efficiency and reduced yearly labor costs of $2,000.
- Consulted in the redesign of a company’s website, resulting in a 25% increase in traffic.
- Updated the business continuity plan and created a 3 year disaster recovery plan for Company X.
For more examples, check out our guide to the IT resume.
Software Engineer Achievements
- Led and managed a team of six in developing new financial management software.
- Developed company procedures and guidelines for data analysis and security that increased efficiency by 30% in the first six months after implementation.
- Created, maintained, and monitored the entire cloud infrastructure of Company X, while working on 20+ microservices for 5 clients.
For more examples, check out our guide to the computer science resume.
Education Achievement Examples
- Published 16 research papers in several peer-reviewed journals
- Published a book on the subject of machine learning
- Supervised over 23 B.A. theses
- Most classes taught managed to perform 30% better on standardized tests than school average
- After being assigned to the lowest performing class of X school, I managed to improve the average GPA of the class by 15% and increased attendance rates by 25%.
For more examples, check out our guide to the teacher resume.
- Improved SAT and ACT scores by 40% for the average student.
- Tutored 4 students at linear algebra, helping them improve their grades by two grades on average.
- Received 90%+ positive feedback from private tutoring students.
Other Achievement Examples
- Participated in all phases of the design and construction process on 6 major international projects, including Project A and Project B.
- Worked hand-in-hand with clients to help design their dream-house. In our routine feedback survey, 90% of all clients were satisfied with our work.
For more examples, check out our guide to the architect resume.
Bar & Restaurant Manager Achievements
- Increased bar revenue by 20% by redesigning the cocktail menu and adding several new options.
- Hired and onboarded 15 servers and bartenders over the past 4 years.
- Worked with an external marketing agency to run ads for the bar, resulting in a 14% increase in annual revenue.
For more examples, check out our guide to the bar manager resume.
Engineering Resume Achievements
- Increased performance of the engineering team during a critical Q4 by 15%, to successfully meet end-of-year KPIs.
- Took 8 active building projects from research to development to completion in under 2 years.
For more examples, check out our guide to the engineering resume.
High School Resume Achievements
- Maintained a 3.7 GPA throughout my time at school
- Short story published in the school paper
- Worked part-time as a cashier while studying, managing to juggle two responsibilities seamlessly over the years
For more examples, check out our guide to the high school resume.
Now, let’s recap everything we’ve learned:
- Listing achievements instead of responsibilities can really boost your chances of getting hired.
- You can mention achievements in your resume summary and work experience section. If you don’t have much work experience, you can also use achievements in education, volunteering, or projects sections.
- When listing achievements, make sure they include time frame, scale, and results
- Finally, if you’re having difficulty writing your achievements, just scroll up and steal some of the ones we mentioned!
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