Key Accomplishments

Showing what you can do in a potential role through your resume and other materials, is critical to being passed on to the next round. Not only does your resume want to say you want to be friends, but you want to be sure to showcase your key accomplishments throughout the hiring process.

Sounds simple enough, right?

Except many of my clients have a difficult time figuring out just what they have accomplished in previous roles. For most of us, we may easily recognize a few metric-driven examples: I increased sales by 25% in a three month period; I restructured a department to save $10k, and so on.

But two or three accomplishments doesn’t paint a very complete picture over time. Don’t worry – I know that you have more accomplishments just waiting to show itself. Here’s how you will find them.

What is a Key Accomplishment?

At its core, a key accomplishment showcases a specific skill and delivery that you utilized in a role. It’s showing the hiring manager what you have done.

But before I show you how to implement then, let’s talk about what key accomplishments are not:

  • Your job description
  • A list of things that you do on a daily basis in your role
  • Actions or things that “everyone” can do
  • Things that lack a “wow” factor

Key accomplishments are BIG. They are the actions, projects, milestones that take consistent work. Usually key accomplishments can be determined by your annual goals/milestones. They are things that are of high importance to your company and to the business. They are usually tied to improvement, efficiency, deliverables, or breakthroughs.

They are the actions that you are known for in your job. It’s what your specialty is. It’s what makes you “irreplaceable.”

  • Make a list of all of the things that you do in each role, that are not “everyday” things. Think outside of your job description – what do you do beyond answering the phone, responding to emails, or running a report?
  • For each item, see if it passes the litmus test by answering:
    • How did this impact the business?
    • Was it well-received by my boss and management?
    • Was this duty/activity/project important to my overall success and performance in my role?
  • Turn it into a measurable statement. This is the tricky part, as not every accomplishment has a metric tied to it, but push yourself to get it there.
  • Remember to answer the SO WHAT question – a measurable statement easily does this for you by showing where it was, to where it is today because of your work.

When all else fails, consider parts of your job that come very easily to you. What feels second nature to you, but others struggle with? What types of activities does the company depend on you to do or deliver? These are all components that make you uniquely qualified for positions – leverage it as much as possible on your resume materials.