A resume is an extremely important and common document submitted by people when applying for a job. One of the major components of a resume is your work history, which should include notations of your professional accomplishments in each position you have held. Your specific accomplishments will have much influence in getting the hiring manager to call you for an interview.
When you respond to a job posting or seek consideration for a job interview, you typically submit a resume and cover letter to the hiring manager. A resume includes sections that highlight the education, work experience and skills that you have accrued to that point. Resumes often begin with a basic summary statement with your career intentions, and have a major section devoted to an overview of your work history. Your work history section is where you highlight your professional accomplishments.
Too often, job applicants use a resume simply to list the positions they have held, and they do not include enough about what they have accomplished in those positions. As you highlight each work experience, add a list of critical accomplishments. These specific achievements are what separate you from other candidates with similar qualifications. Ultimately, the hiring manager wants to see that you can achieve great success in the job you seek.
The actual accomplishments you should highlight vary based on the experiences you have had and the career path you are on. Consider mentioning that you've increased a company’s bottom line, streamlined procedures or decreased costs. List any promotions or awards you've received, special projects you've completed or certificates or licenses you've earned. Avoid any overly general items and less-than-glowing accomplishments as these are not effective. Noting that you have good attendance is not a major selling point, nor is referencing general work duties that are well understood within your job description.
Along with identifying appropriate professional accomplishments, you need to know how to best present them in your resume. The Career Strategy website suggests three basic steps: highlighting the challenge, your actions and the result. The challenge and action indicate the work issue and what you did. The result notes the specific benefit you provided the company, with importance placed on numerical or quantifiable value. For example, it's not enough to say that you "increased sales production." Instead, you could say that you increased sales production by a specific percentage.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.