list of accomplishments

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list of accomplishments

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List of Accomplishments A resume for a new job should emphasize your major accomplishments. A potential employer for an entry level professional position wants to know that he or she is hiring a person that has a record of accomplishments. For that reason, before attempting to write your resume it is best to draw up a list of your accomplishments that you feel will convince a potential employee that you will build on this track record while working for him or her. The list of accomplishments should be written in a specific format. A separate document in the Handouts section is titled “Sample Accomplishments and Power Verbs”. As is demonstrated in the handout, for each accomplishment you have achieved, describe it in a single sentence that starts with an action verb in the past tense, followed by the word “by” and a verb that ends in “ing”. In other words, tell the world what you did and how you did it. Everyone has accomplished something. Even if you have never held a job you have accomplishments. It is a matter of identifying your accomplishments. I have had some students state they have never held a job. The only thing they have done is work in their parent’s shop or business and they were never listed on a payroll. In such a case, even if you received no pay, you should consider such work to be a job and think of your accomplishments at your parent’s business. What we are looking for here is not just a list of the duties you were assigned. We need to see what you did while performing these duties. What were your major contributions to your employer? Even more important, did you show initiative by having accomplishments in areas that were not even on your list of duties? As a warning, just listing the duties that appear in your job description is a very common error and very boring for the reader of your resume. Just listing your duties without showing what you accomplished will usually condemn your resume to the reject pile. At the end of the document is a list of common action verbs that you can use to jump start your brain for this exercise. The list of accomplishments you will develop will be incorporated into your resume, which is an upcoming assignment. In the professional world not all accomplishments are equal. There is a hierarchy of accomplishments. For a resume the most important accomplishments are your accomplishments at work. Have you ever come up with an idea that saved the company money? Did you train other employees for specific tasks that improved the operation of the company? For a recent college graduate your efforts at any part time employment while attending school are looked at for accomplishments. The second level of accomplishments is your accomplishments at the university. Did you contribute to any activities or clubs at the university, especially student versions of professional organizations such as an accounting club, a psychology club, etc.? Were you elected to an office in any student organization? What did you do to merit the recognition of your fellow students so that they elected you to an office? The third level of accomplishments is your high school accomplishments. Only occasionally do high school accomplishments carry much weight in the professional job market. The fourth type of accomplishments is volunteer work. Volunteer work can be extremely valuable in your resume if it is relevant to the job for which you are applying. If you are a psychology major looking for a career in youth counseling and you have significant volunteer time with a youth group, your accomplishments could rank up there with work accomplishments. On the other hand, if your volunteer time is mostly sitting at the bar of a local fraternal organization, it may rank below high school accomplishments and be better left out. Whenever possible your accomplishments should be expressed in numbers. Numbers are an important in creating an impact with the American reader. As an example, you might state that one accomplishment was: “Resolved past due amounts of one million dollars by researching and organizing the corporate Goodyear account.” You might state the same accomplishment in the following manner: “Collected $1,000,000 in past due accounts by researching and organizing the corporate Goodyear account.” The difference is to put the results, the number 1,000,000, more to the front of the sentence. The number is also in Arabic numerals. Both of these changes make the accomplishment more visible to the reader. An American reader will focus on a number much easier than text. The bored human resources person who first reads the resume, and decides to discard or keep, will usually speed read the resume. The speed reader will look at the first few words of each sentence and decide if they need to read further. You will get attention if you have a number at the beginning of the sentence. Here are some additional examples of how to state your accomplishments. Don’t just state that you saved your company money by finding a new vendor for office supplies. State, for example, you saved the company $5,000 per year by locating a new vendor for office supplies. In another example, don’t list that you were assigned to take inventory of the stock room. State that you discovered $3,000 of unrecorded merchandise by inventorying the stock room. Of course, be sure your accomplishments are true and can be verified. Some employers will check on your claims. Some students may have significant accomplishments in the workplace, but they do not know how much money they saved the company, or how much faster work was accomplished, or how much more efficient the work was done as a result of their accomplishments. They do not have a number because they do not, or did not, have access to the financial data or other data that would allow them to quantify the results of their accomplishments. You may not have the exact numbers, but you can make an educated guess at the numbers. For example, one of your accomplishments may be that you simplified the filing system and were able to eliminate a large number of files. You don't know the exact number of files you were able to eliminate through your effort, but you can make a "best guess" as to the number. You usually have some idea of the number of files you eliminated. Was it 10, 100, 1,000 or 100,000? Which of these numbers do you think comes the closest? As long as you come up with a reasonable number it is legitimate to use it. You might pick a conservative number then state that you eliminated at least that number. As long as you have a conservative number you should be OK if anyone wants to check on your claim. By now, of course, you have figured out that the accomplishments assignment is the real guts of your upcoming resume. This is the place to spend your time thinking of and honing the description of your accomplishments. As many accomplishments as possible should be listed. When you write your resume it will be easy to leave out some of the accomplishments that don’t fit, but it will be difficult to come up with new accomplishments once you start writing the resume. I don’t know the age of each of you. But, even if you have been out of high school 20 years, try going back at least as far as your high school graduation. If you are a recent high school graduate and have gone directly from high school to college, definitely include any part time jobs you held in high school and consider your major high school accomplishments. The list of accomplishments is due no later than Sunday at 11:59 PM. ...
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School: Carnegie Mellon University

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Student’s Name
List of Accomplishments

Enhanced student-teacher relationship as a school captain by conducting annual togetherness
events in high school

Improved culturally responsive teaching in school as a culture ambassador by researching
and advocacy campaigns

Resolved accountability i...

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