Thursday, January 31, 2013

Purpose of Achievement Statement Resumes

If you've ever visited our Career Resource Centre (if you haven't, here's your reminder!) you'll know that we advocate for resumes that are achievement-based. So what does that mean, exactly?

In a nutshell, we believe (in addition to many industry gurus) that resumes should be written and organized in terms of what you've achieved, rather than just what you've done. It's very common for students and professionals alike to base their resume on duties instead of accomplishments, something that doesn't quite serve the purpose of letting the employer know how you made a difference in your previous positions.

Here's what I mean...

Instead of listing a position on your resume like this:

Tim Horton's, Niagara Falls, ON
  • Cleaned dishes
  • Received orders
  • Baked products for the store daily
Try this:

Tim Horton's, Niagara Falls, ON
  • Maintained a clean, organized working space while adhering to health and safety standards
  • Received orders in a timely, efficient manner to ensure products were organized and ready to sell
  • Baked products for the store daily, ensuring quality met customer's expectations

See the difference? 

The point is: the employer can infer from your position title what you might have done in the job, so there's no reason to simply list your duties because it doesn't provide any new information. A better idea is to use achievement statements to outline the action you performed (ie. the verb in the sentence), what you did, and what resulted because of what you did.

Start making these changes in your resume, and you're bound to see a difference in who responds to your applications.

Stop by the Resource Centre if you have any questions about writing your resume or need help creating effective achievement statements.

Good luck high achievers!
- Lia
Lead Career Assistant

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