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Using career accomplishments on your resume is the best way to make it standout.

But all resume accomplishments are not the same. How you write and present your accomplishments can make or break the success of your resume.

In general, action words combined with numbers are the best way to differentiate yourself on paper during a job search. When you use action words with quantifiable results in your resume accomplishments, you're powerfully communicating the value you can bring to an organization. Action words imply movement, progress and change, whereas numbers (presented in their numeric format) quickly communicate the breadth of your experience, responsibility and success.

Your goal in writing your resume accomplishments is to quickly convey your most significant, relevant and marketable achievements, skills and qualities in a manner that easily differentiates you from the hundreds of other candidates. Action words used in combination with quantifiable results is the best way to achieve this objective.

Consider some sample resume accomplishment bullets:

Example 1: "Created new programs to support sales efforts."


Example 2: "Ignited sales gain and won new customers by developing and launching innovative sales and marketing programs."


Example 3: "Ignited $2+ million, 1-year sales gain and won 25+ new customers by developing and launching innovative sales and marketing programs."

Which resume accomplishment grabs you?

The first example, although it lets you know the person is experienced in creating new sales programs, leaves you with a "So what? Big deal?" feeling.

The second example uses more action words and is therefore stronger than example 1, but it still has a lot of room for improvement.

Lastly, example 3 hits the nail on the head! It lets you know what the person did, what the quantifiable results were and what the timeline was for achieving those results.

Why is this important?

Employers want to know what you can do for them. Example 3 communicates the contributions the candidate made to the overall growth of the company. Quantifying your resume accomplishments puts the achievement in perspective for the reader. Trust me - all hiring executives know what an additional $2+ million revenue in one year would mean to their company and, hopefully, they'll want more details. They may wonder, "What kind of sales program was it? Can this sales program work for my company? What type of results can we generate with this strategy?" These questions should encourage the reviewer to pick up the phone and call the candidate for more information. This is resume success!

Can resume accomplishment example #3 bear some improvement?

Absolutely! Consider:

Example 4: "Ignited $2+ million, 1-year sales gain and won 25+ new customers despite market downturn by developing and launching innovative sales and marketing programs; surpassed sales objective 23%."

Now the reader has quite a bit of information about what the candidate achieved. We already know that $2+ million revenue was generated in 1 year through the acquisition of 25+ new customers. Since sales come more easily in a booming economy vs. a down market, the hiring executive now knows that the sales growth was not just a result of good times, but instead was produced during a challenging period. Plus, the candidate exceeded his or her goal. That one bullet gives your reader a tremendous amount of information about the strengths of the individual.

By using action words and quantifying your accomplishments you give your resume the punch it needs to standout in a crowd. Employers like to see how job candidates have favorably impacted the growth, profitability and performance of past companies and quantifying your resume accomplishments is the fastest way to deliver this information.


Resume not getting results? Janice Crockett has over 12 years of resume writing experience working with senior executives, managers and professionals across all industries. Get your free resume critique at
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