How to Quantify Your Accomplishments on Your Resume


The Accomplishments Section

The accomplishment section of your resume is a list of verifiable statements that spell value and emphasize your personal brand and what you have achieved.

Employers are looking for achievers. For example, in digital marketing, it’s all about delivering ROI for the employer and candidates who emphasize their accomplishments position themselves way above the competition.

How to Quantify Your Achievements

Highlight your track record by showcasing what you’ve achieved in the past. Use compelling “impact statements” to tell your success story and quantify your value to employers so that they can see what’s in it for them by hiring you. By showcasing your achievements in terms of hard-hitting, quantifiable results, you can make yourself shine by showing potential employers what value you bring to the table.

Your accomplishments should be included throughout your marketing documents, including the experience section, cover letter and any other career-related marketing documents. Bear in mind that your work history, achievements and results are completely unique to yourself and to your personal brand.

Where possible, provide evidence of a strong ROI (return on investment). It is important to be very specific about what you have achieved here, so that it comes across really well. This means your accomplishments should include specific examples, such as:

Example #1:

  • Increased targeted traffic from Facebook by 250% and tripled fan base from 2,500 to 7,000 within 6 months.
  • Increased targeted traffic from Twitter by 200% and increased follower base from 315 to 3,200 within 3 months.
  • Increased email subscriptions from social media platforms by 250%.
  • Increased conversions from social media by 150%.
  • Increased targeted social media traffic to company website by 175%.
  • Increased inbound links from industry-relevant blogs by over 250%.

Example #2:

  • Advanced knowledge of manual and automated testing.
  • Persuaded developers to fix 75% of bugs discovered in testing.
  • ISQTB and ScrumMaster Certified.
  • Provided technical know-how, support, mentoring and coaching to team members.
  • Identified the root cause of intermittent interoperability glitch in air-traffic control software.
  • Accelerated average QA testing turn-around time by 25% or more.

Example #3:

  • Achieved 156% increase in branded, non-paid traffic within six months;
  • Achieved 240% increase in organic traffic for geographic location-targeted search terms;
  • Achieved top of page one positions on 75% of competitive search terms;
  • Increased ROI by 230% from Google AdWords advertising spend within 3 months.
  • Increased likes and comments with fans on Facebook to between 5 to 15 comments per post within 3 months.

You should have an accomplishments section only if you have a lot of experience in the industry. If you are an entry-level candidate or lack measurable accomplishments, then it would be pointless to create one on your resume.

The Employment Section

Your professional experience is the heart of your resume, because it shows potential employers exactly what kind of developed skills and accomplishments you’ve made within your industry.

The employment section of your resume allows you to prove that you have the experience and accomplishments that you have listed in your professional summary. It provides the opportunity to tell recruiters and hiring decision makers why you are the right candidate for the position for which you’re being considered. It is important to convey your accomplishments in this section, rather than providing a laundry list of boring duties and responsibilities.

Describe the skills, knowledge and experience that you bring to the table, and show off your experience and accomplishments in the best possible light. Focus on accomplishments that relate to the job you’re applying for and remove job duties and accomplishments that don’t support your professional summary.

The employment section allows you to highlight what makes you a strong candidate for the specific role. Employers are looking for the best candidates, and if you focus your experience on demonstrating what you accomplished in your previous role that is relevant to the job you are applying for, you’ll position yourself way above the competition.

Focus on your track record by emphasizing the problems you solved and the results you’ve achieved so that the reader can clearly see what’s in it for them. Recruiters and hiring managers will scan your resume looking for clues to find out what type of worker you are.

If you can demonstrate that consistently produced positive results for your previous employers, they will view you as a desirable candidate. Use compelling “impact statements” to tell describe your work history and quantify your value to potential employers. Emphasize your accomplishments and provide proof of your potential value.

When describing your work history, talk about:

  • what types of challenges you faced.
  • what actions you took to overcome the problems.
  • the result of your efforts, and
  • how your performance benefited the company.

Your resume is not a job description, and it should not read like one. Simply copying job descriptions word for word like a lot of job seekers do, doesn’t tell the reader anything about how you performed in previous roles.

By listing your work experience in terms of hard-hitting, quantifiable results rather than boring and tedious duties and responsibilities, you can make yourself shine by showcasing exactly what value you bring to the table.

Contents of the Employment History

List your work experiences in reverse chronological order and only list experience that is relevant to the job you are applying for.

The following details should be in your employment history:

  • Names of the employer.
  • City and town or state of each organization.
  • Positions and/or titles you held.
  • Employment periods for each position, written as Month/Date – Month/Date.
  • Brief description and bullet list of problems, actions and results.
  • Give priority to tasks that are most relevant to the advertised vacancy.
  • Quantify your accomplishments with measurable results. Recruiters and hiring managers want to see:
Quantifiable Accomplishments
  • Numbers: how many employees did you work with or oversee? How much did you sell? How many problems did you solve? How many calls did you handle? How much of a budget did you work with?
  • The percent or currency sign: by what percentage did you increase sales or efficiency?
  • Time: show the time-frame in which you accomplished specific results.
  • Keywords: finance-related keywords such as savings, profit, conversions, sales, revenue, money, revenue, income, cost, etc.

Try to get your resume on one page unless you’re applying for an executive position or you have substantial work experience. If your resume spans more than one page, make sure you list your biggest achievements on the first page. Remember, you want to give people a snapshot of what you’re capable of doing.

Include all the jobs you’ve held and work you’ve done that are clearly relevant to the job you’re applying for, and focus on what you accomplished in each work role. When writing your past experiences, don’t forget to write your action verbs in past tense.

Example #1:

Canyon Studios, London

System Tester, Mar 2012 – present

  • Analyze business requirements and estimated project scope.
  • Perform system, unit, performance, load, regression and stress testing.
  • Collaborate with developers to recreate software defects.
  • Proactively learn automation principles and practices.
  • Log and prioritize software defects using Bugzilla.

Example #2: 

Virtual Studios, London

Social Media Strategist, Mar 2012 to present

  • Identified aspirations, problems and challenges faced by targeted community members.
  • Designed giveaways to generate leads and built relationships through email marketing.
  • Moderated social media comments and responded accordingly.
  • Engaged community members by listening, responding to comments, polling users, and sharing quality content.
  • Organized sweepstakes competitions.
  • Cultivated strategic relationships by identifying and engaging with industry influencers.
  • Increased targeted traffic from Facebook by 250% and tripled fan base from 2,500 to 7,000 within 6 months generating 150% increase in email subscriptions.
  • Used analytics to improve content strategy and evaluate performance.

As you can see, each bullet point begins with a strong action verb: “orchestrated”, “spear-headed”, “engaged” “cultivated”, etc. which is far more interesting to read than a list of banal duties and responsibilities.

This professional has also included results that demonstrate to prospective employers she really has the skills and abilities to meet the needs of the position he as applied for.

Quantifying her achievements with numbers and percentages gives the resume reviewer a clear sense of what results the candidate can achieve. Since past success is often a good indicator of future success, this allows hiring managers, HR professionals and prospective employers to visualize the level of success you can bring to the position they are recruiting for.

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