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Effective Resume - Writing Resume Accomplishments

Writing Your Resume Accomplishments - A Recruiter's Top 5 Tips

© David Alan Carter
All Rights Reserved

The resume that fights its way to the top of the pile does so, in large part, by the effective use of resume accomplishments. Every resume has a heading, an experience section, a nod to education and so forth. But the resume that distinguishes itself through accomplishments that speak to the hiring official is the resume that generates the phone call. Here's help.

Top 5 Tips for Writing Effective Resume Accomplishments

With Effective Resume Accomplishments... You're Looking Good1 - An accomplishment on a resume is not a vehicle for your own personal ego trip. Rather, the intention of the accomplishment is to feed the needs of the prospective employer. Every employer looking at your resume will be asking themselves one question: "What's in it for me?" Or put another way, "What can this candidate do that will make money, save money, save time, increase efficiencies, solve a particular problem, or otherwise make me look good for having hired him?" Filter all your resume accomplishments through the lens of the prospective company's needs before committing those accomplishments to paper.

2 - Employ numbers whenever possible. In the battle between adjectives and numbers, numbers win. Why write, "Significantly reduced receivables" when you can write, "Reduced receivables by $1.8 million in 30 days, and recovered $25,000 that had not been billed." The latter replaces subjectiveness with facts that are universally understood and appreciated.

3 - Unearth relevant accomplishments by revisiting past performance reviews, and by looking over your personal career file (you're keeping one of these, aren't you?). If it's slim pickings, ask yourself a series of probing questions to get the juices flowing. What were the sales (or number of accounts, or production stats, etc.) when I started with the company, and what are they now (or what were they when I left)? Did I make any particular contributions that positively affected said sales (or number of accounts, or production stats, etc.)? Did I make work life easier on anybody or any department? Did I solve some problems? Did I receive accolades, either inside or outside the company, for a job well done?

Having trouble fleshing out... your most effective accomplishments, and putting them into proper language? Now might be a good time to consider a professional resume service.

But beware, not all resume services are created equal. Former recruiter and pro writer David Alan Carter put the Web's most popular resume writing services through their paces – comparing writing quality, customer service, pricing and more. See who came out on top...

Reviews of Resume Writers

4 - Try to flesh out 5 or more accomplishments for each job you've held over the years. They won't all be of equal importance, so rank them. Then decide which will be included beneath their respective jobs in the Experience section of the resume.

5 - Don't forget that your resume has a critical area of real estate that the reader will see before he or she gets to the Experience section. That would be the Profile or Summary of Qualifications. This is a perfect place to slip in a couple of your more impressive accomplishments. Save a little something as well for your cover letter. Not to mention for conversation during interviews, or for use in networking opportunities.

Resume Accomplishments - Your Campaign Key

When the job market is hyper competitive, professional accomplishments are the lynchpin of a successful campaign. Learn how to dig them out of your work history, how to quantify them with numbers when possible, and where and when to employ them most effectively. And be ready to answer to phone.

Where we go from here: The placement of resume accomplishments are dependent - to a large extent - upon the format you choose for your resume. Wondering which format makes the most effective resume? Chronological or functional? Get into the nuts and bolts of the Effective Resume Format.

David Alan Carter is a former recruiter and the founder of Resume One of Cincinnati. For more than ten years, he personally crafted thousands of resumes for satisfied clients from all occupational walks of life.

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