Your accomplishments are what you achieve when you use your skills. Employers will be even more impressed by your skills if you describe the positive results you have achieved.
What are accomplishments?
Accomplishments are your successes, large or small, that you’ve earned after you’ve completed an activity. These successes highlight what you can offer. They can be related to work or to other parts of your life, such as at home, at school, or in your community.
Types of accomplishments include:
- Meeting or exceeding goals
- Taking on more responsibility
- Meeting tight deadlines
- Organizing activities or events
- Achieving high standards in school or training
- Accepting leadership roles when asked
- Receiving recognition or awards
- Earning bonuses
You will want to focus on your accomplishments in your resumés and cover letters, as well as in job interviews. You could:
- Describe what happened after you took responsibility for a task
- Describe how other people’s behaviour changed because of your efforts to motivate them
- Tell employers about an award you received for good attendance or a good safety record
A great way to describe your accomplishments is with the STARS method (Situation, Task, Action, Result, Skills). Using this method, you can give employers concrete examples of how you solved the kinds of problems they may also be facing.
To sell yourself to potential employers, you need to identify and describe your achievements. By focusing on specific details, you allow employers to see your success.
Facts that are quantifiable (like numbers, dollars, or time) or proven (like promotions and awards) will make your successes stronger.
The bold items in these lists show examples of quantifiable or proven successes.
Examples of early career accomplishments
Early in your career, your successes may look something like this.
- Served 20 customers per hour over the daily lunch rush
- Organized a neighbourhood garage sale which raised $1,000 for a local library
- Perfect attendance record in Grade 11
- No sick days reported over a 6-month period
- Commended for error-free work for the last 3 months
- Completed the Food Safety Alberta Certification course
- Volunteered as assistant coach for a kids’ soccer team that won the league championship
Examples of later career accomplishments
Later in your career, as you have the opportunity to build up more experience, your successes could look something like this.
- Served up to 12 tables at a time
- Supervised and trained 10 part-time employees
- Received an average customer review score of 4.2 stars
- Achieved savings of $15,000 through volume discounts and central co-ordination
- Maintained accurate bookkeeping records and reduced outstanding accounts by 15%
- Promoted from store clerk to store clerk supervisor
- Received Employee of the Month award for excellent performance
- Chaired the Health & Safety Committee for our team
List your accomplishments
What have you done that makes you proud? Take some time to write down your accomplishments. Don’t be shy. The more you’ve done, the longer your list will be. Keep the list up to date, as it will be useful for future job searches.
Record them somewhere you won’t lose them. You can write them in a notebook, save them in a document on your device, include them as achievements in your master resumé, or enter them in the form below.
If you’re having trouble thinking of what you’ve achieved, work through this How to Identify Your Accomplishments exercise.