Top 3 Resume Examples on How to Highlight Key Accomplishments

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green-resume-advice-how-to-improve-achievements.jpgIn a professionally written resume (whether it is a green resume or a general professional resume), the accomplishments for each of your previous positions will be clearly highlighted to facilitate resume-skimming and get readers’ attention. Clearly defined accomplishments help readers see at a glance the nature of your achievements — and your potential value in a new role. But the accomplishments themselves are only half the story — the way those accomplishments are conveyed is almost as important. Here are 3 examples of how your key accomplishments can be transformed with the dynamic, targeted writing and presentation in which a professional resume writer specializes.

Example #1

BEFORE:

I helped my company bring in about $750,000 in new revenue.

AFTER:

Generated $750K new revenue by forging C-level relationships in high-potential markets.

Though the accomplishment itself is the same—bringing in $750,000 in new revenue—the second is much more effective for two main reasons. First, it starts with a strong action verb (“Generated”) that instantly communicates the nature of the achievement. Second, it tells not only the result (the $750,000 new revenue) but also the cause (the relationship-building). Telling what you achieved is just as important as describing how you achieved it. A professional resume writer will do his or her best to gather such information when writing your resume.

CleanTechies Professional Resume Writing ServicesExample #2

BEFORE:

The company asked me to lead a big software development project that involved collaborating with several divisions within the company. I managed the four million dollar project and brought it in on-time and within the allotted budget. Part of the reason was that I used my project management expertise and introduced best practices.

AFTER:

Delivered $4M software development project on-time/on-budget by leading cross-functional team and introducing project management best practices.

The meandering, wordy nature of the “before” example will lose readers’ interest quickly. It’s not exactly clear what was accomplished; the details drown in the first-person, narrative style. In the “after” example, the exact accomplishment is clear, as are the reasons why the client achieved it. Note the strong action verb and the concise summary of the accomplishment. If an accomplishment goes beyond 3 lines on your resume, you should strive to be more concise. Finally, note the use of the figure “$4M” rather than “four million.” You should always use numerals in a resume.

Example #3

BEFORE:

Used lean manufacturing techniques to reduce the number of employees and save approx. $500,000 annually.

AFTER:

Slashed annual costs ~$500K by initiating lean manufacturing techniques to reduce headcount and improve efficiency.

The “before” example comes close to doing things right. It starts with an action verb (though not a very strong one), uses numerals, and conveys both the cause and the effect. But look at what a few professionally written changes can do—the “after” example is more dynamic, conveying the very same accomplishment in a way that really makes it shine. “Slashed” is a strong action verb, and “reduce headcount” is a more concise, professional way of saying “reduce the number of employees.” And it’s always best to put the “effect” before the “cause.”

CleanTechies offers professional resume writing services specifically targeting green positions. Certified expert resume writers with years of experience and almost thousand of resumes written help job seekers at any career stage craft professional resumes. CleanTechies writes resumes targeting roles in renewable energy, resource efficiency, green building, and sustainable transportation as well as other environmental and sustainable positions. CleanTechies is dedicated to helping green job seekers pursue their dream careers.

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  • Jonathan Brown

    Why don’t we tone down the examples. Not all of us are corporate raiders who work in the millions. Providing examples for those who need to market skills rather than tote claims of pioneering effort would prevent the marginalized feeling I get when reading these articles.

  • http://CleanTechies.com Ceylan Oney

    Thanks for your comment, Jonathan – we’ll work to be more inclusive in future articles! The takeaway lessons from these examples, however, definitely apply to all different fields and professional levels. Starting an accomplishment with a strong action verb, trying to phrase accomplishments as effect-then-cause, using concise language, and including details and figures wherever possible are good rules of thumb for all resumes, whether you’re entry-level or 20 years into your career.

  • http://www.tier1.com/ IT Recycling

    I think its a restructuring of the phrases that does make the resume so much the brighter.

  • http://www.cssjunction.com Shekhar

    Tips you provided are helpful though not applicable in my case. I am a IT student, trying to get an internship opportunity. I have worked in 2 companies since 2009 alongside my college study to get more work experience – but all positions in deep technical and middle level. I do not have any direct achievements so that I can write numerals to indicate my impacts. Yes, I do have worked to change the traditional system with new template system which reduced the development time. Can you help me identify my key achievements.

    Fast reply is highly appreciated.

  • http://topresumesample.blogspot.com/ Anne Marie

    The Information is very useful for Job Seeker and Fresher also it present with example is attractively ,i like that presentation.Thanks

  • http://www.vinnumberlookup.org Chad

    Excellent advice. I agree that focusing on the “action” verb is key, and follow up with the “how”. Great stuff.

  • http://www.resumeformat.org Resume Format

    Good article.A resume is piece of advertising.So the most important thing is to put all good working experience.So that the recruiters will easily get good ideas of hiring for a job

  • http://recreation-law.com/2013/07/22/massachusetts-ski-safety-act/ Tommie

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!

    Very helpful info specially the last part :) I care for such info much.

    I was seeking this particular information for a very long time.

    Thank you and best of luck.

  • Esmeralda

    Excellent post

    Very helpful information to improve our cover letter..

    Thanks.