Have you ever been in a job interview that you think is going well until suddenly the hiring manager asks this disarming question?
“I see your resume tells me what you’ve done. But...what have you accomplished?”
The hiring manager has a point. Your accomplishments reflect whether you can reach goals for your employer, as a result of your job duties.
This question comes up so much because:
- Resumes often look like job descriptions.
- Explaining accomplishments is not as easy as it sounds.
- Most online job applications usually ask to see your “duties” or “responsibilities”.
This post will explain exactly how to show hiring managers what you accomplished.
1. Understand the need for evidence
Imagine you are a Corporate Director for a global company and you list on your resume:
“Managed a global team of people.” (job duty)
But it really says nothing about what you accomplished. So instead, try showing numbers and results. This is your evidence of success:
“Achieved $50M in sales while managing a global team of 300 employees.”
Hiring managers already know what the positions’ duties are. They just need to see how the skills you claim to have on your resume and your job duties led to numbers that offer evidence of success.
2. Compile a list of questions to interrogate yourself for evidence
Be a bit tough and ask yourself the questions all interviewers are really thinking about. You know you have to show evidence. So, take out your resume and ask yourself these questions for each job position on your resume:
- What problems did I solve?
- Why was I really great at my job?
- How did I stand out in my last job?
- How much money did I save the company?
- Do I have any awards or accolades I am proud of?
- Did I ever consistently meet or exceed goals or quotas?
- What did I do to go above and beyond the call of a job duty?
- What new processes did I implement that lead to improvement?
- When and why was I recognized by a supervisor for a job well done?
3. Illustrate your evidence with those numbers
Take the answers to your questions. Add in as many numbers and facts as you can:
- How many people were impacted by your work?
- What percentage did you exceed your goals by?
Do not just say, “I effectively managed a budget”. Show the numbers to explain how much money you saved. You are quantifying your accomplishments, making them easier to understand, and illustrating for the hiring manager the level of work or responsibility required to achieve accomplishments.
4. Show some evidence of the added benefit of “You”
Show this new company how much of a benefit you were to your last company and boss. Communicate to the employer exactly what he/she will receive by hiring you. After all, they need to know what you can do for them!
Let them know your approach to work by stating how you communicated at your last job. Try something like this:
- “Prepared detailed weekly presentations of team status reports in a timely manner to ensure client satisfaction.”
This communicates to the hiring manager that, if you are hired, you will work to provide great service to both staff and clients. You are offering tangible evidence of your work to let others know why you are an asset to this company.
Why this matters
A resume full of accomplishments shows you know how to execute, not just “do something for money”. It’s the best way to show an employer you mean business, how you will be of value to others, and why working together will be mutually beneficial!