Show your achievements

Stating Your Successes On Your Resume

If you’re like me, you were always told that being humble is a wonderful, virtuous characteristic.

Be humble when you meet the new neighbors. When you’re on a first date. When you’re posting to social media. Be kind, uplifting, and don’t brag about your achievements.

Yeah, ok, that’s great, but we’re writing a resume here folks! I’m not saying be a jerk about it. Tact is a critical element of any successful resume.

A resume without achievements is like a great steak, grilled to perfection, with no seasoning whatsoever. So much potential, but yet so bland.

Wake up that resume, people! Your resume’s one job is to get you an interview, and without talking about your spectacular achievements to date, you’re wasting a prime opportunity to make a difference in your potential employer’s success, and yours as well.

A resume is no place to be shy. Here are three reasons to let it all hang out on your resume:

1. If you’re going to give a true picture of what you did for your former employers, you need to show how much you achieved to give a complete picture of your experience.

2. Being humble can cost you the job. If you’re not upfront about your achievements, chances are you’ll lose out to the candidate who stated their achievements.

3. Achievements bring a resume to life! Everyone loves a good story. Dropping in a clear, concise story about your achievements shows that you took your responsibilities and made them sing!

Sales people often say “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.” So how do you tactfully ‘brag’ on your resume, while staying professional?

1. Be concise and stick with the facts – Even if it’s on a resume where you expect successes to be stated, the sweet taste of effective achievements can sour quickly if you drone on and on about what you’ve done. Stick to the facts, say what needs to be said, then move on.

2. Give numbers and time frames – Stating that you made ‘considerable’, ‘significant’, or even ‘monumental’ achievements looks like a snow job if you’re not using figures. So leave all the flowery superlatives out of the resume and stick to numbers and time frames. Example: Increased productivity by 15% within the first year by streamlining production processes and tracking progress. That will beat a ‘significant improvement’ statement any day of the week.

3. Show improvement – Achievement is great, but if you can show steadily increasing successes will always win the race. Example: Increased sales by 15% in 2012, 17% in 2013, and 20% in 2014.

4. State obstacles sparingly – Many times you achieved in the face of adversity. Perhaps staff was reduced, budgets were slashed, or a labor force went on strike.
These all make for great back stories that enhance the effectiveness of your successes. Be careful, though, that you do not dwell too much on the details. Many employers expect you to perform in the face of adversity, and while these stories can show you can do just that, be sure not to dwell on them too much. Example: Increased call volume by 15% in 2016 with a 20% cut in staff. If an employer wants to know more about your backstory, then they should call you in for an interview and ask you more about it.

Showing your achievements will add strength and credibility to your resume. You’ll be more memorable, you’ll show your true worth, and you’ll compete with the best in line for the job.


If you’re having trouble nailing down your successes or building a strong resume, One Great Resume can help! Every resume we write is powerful and personalized. Our clients’ resumes go from ordinary to extraordinary. Let’s get to work!


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