Describe Resume Achievements Using These 5 Steps to Look Like the Ideal Candidate

Resume achievements are a MUST. Anyone can talk about past job duties but not everyone can talk about specific outcomes. Nothing speaks louder than your actions. 
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Astley Cervania
Updated
July 28, 2023

Resume achievements are a MUST. 

Anyone can talk about past job duties but not everyone can talk about specific outcomes. Nothing speaks louder than your actions. So, prove your ability by showcasing the results you’ve been responsible for. 

In this guide, you’ll learn about the main types of achievements as well as how to describe them in a unique, personalized way so that you can write a job-winning resume that impresses the hiring manager.

4 Main Types of Achievements to Put on a Resume

Each of these resume achievements will help you highlight key skills. They also showcase desirable qualities such as strong work ethic and business acumen.

Educational Achievements

These are academic accomplishments earned through formal education such as:

  • High GPA
  • Awards or honors
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Master’s degree
  • Publishing academic papers or research
  • Presenting at academic conferences
  • Scholarships

Having any of these on your resume is a clear indicator of your character as well as your knowledge and skills. 

Project Achievements

These are usually outcomes that you achieved from a project you worked on. Here’s a few examples:

  • Reaching milestones
  • Delivering the final product on time and within budget
  • Meeting quality standards
  • Exceeding goals and objectives

Work Achievements

Work achievements refer to accomplishments throughout your professional career. This takes on many forms such as:

  • Helping a company reach a certain sales figure
  • Improving business processes and/or increasing efficiency
  • Demonstrating a high level of leadership 
  • Navigating through difficult situations 
  • Mentoring peers and new colleagues

Personal Achievements

These are achievements related to your personal development which take place outside of formal work experience and education. 

Here’s a few examples:

  • Winning an athletic competition or receiving an award for a sports-related accomplishment
  • Starting and running a small business
  • Learning a new skill or language in your spare time
  • Completing a passion project like publishing your first book

How to List Achievements In Different Resume Sections

How you write about your achievements depends on where you’re including them on a resume. So now, we’ll go through how to list key achievements in the following sections:

  • Work experience 
  • Education 
  • Additional 
  • Summary 

We’ll also show you how to use Rezi’s AI resume writer to generate bullet points for you based on the best resume writing practices. If you want access to this feature, you can sign up here to get started for free!

Work Experience Section

Here’s how to write about your achievements in the work experience section:

  • Start with a strong action verb to describe what you did
  • Quantify the result of your efforts or highlight the outcome that was accomplished
  • Include a timeframe 

To take it to the next level, consider how you can structure it in a way that tells a story and is personalized to your background (we’ll go through this in more detail shortly later on in this guide).

AI Resume Writer for Work Experience

Step 1: Enter your job title. 

go to the experience section

Step 2: Press “generate bullet.”

generate bullet point

Step 3: Click “AI writer generate” to try again or select “apply suggestion” to save the bullet point generated.  

Education Section 

Here’s how to highlight your academic achievements

  • State the name of your university degree in bold text 
  • Mention where you earned the qualification
  • Include the institution where you studied
  • Write the date of graduation
  • Shared what you minored in (optional)
  • Include GPA score (optional)
education section

Additional Resume Section 

A few examples of additional resume sections include:

The way you write about your achievements here depends on whether it resembles the education section or work experience section. 

For instance, let’s say you’re listing courses in the relevant coursework section. The way you’d include these on your resume would be similar to how you listed your university degree in the education section. However, you could expand by adding a sentence or two that describes what you accomplished or learned.

Now instead, let’s say you’re writing about an achievement for a side project you worked on. In this case, you’d write about your achievements the same way you’d write about them in the work experience section. 

AI Resume Writer 

Step 1: Enter the title of your project.

go to the project section

Step 2: Press “generate bullet.”

generate bullet point

Step 3: Click “AI writer generate” to try again or select “apply suggestion” to save the bullet point generated.  

Summary Section 

A powerful resume summary statement opener would include one of the following:

  • Years of experience
  • Areas of expertise
  • Career highlights

Here’s a few examples below. 

  • Digital marketing and technical storyteller with 10 years of experience across start-ups, agencies, and corporations. Specialized in growing tech and SaaS businesses.
  • Senior Engineering Manager with over 20 years of experience in engineering leadership, team building, and software as a service while leading a direct and skip-level headcount of over thirty people. Proven record of success in scaling engineering teams, product development, and business operations and applying for a Director of Engineering level position to lead the growth of a company's engineering team.
  • MBA student with experience in real estate with the world's largest real estate network, Remax.
  • Executive with advanced degree in quantitative financial analysis. Managed $8 billion portfolio of fixed income investments including MBS, CMOs and high-grade municipal bonds that provide liquidity, interest income and balance sheet management.

AI Resume Summary Writer 

Our AI resume summary writer generates a personalized overview of your application based on two things:

  • Your work background
  • Your top skills

Here’s how it works.

  1. Enter the job position you want to highlight. 
go to the summary section
  1. Enter the top skills you want to highlight. 
enter skills
  1. Press “AI writer ready.”
click on ai writer ready
  1. Press one of the following:
  • “AI writer generate” to try drafting a resume summary again.  
  • “Save suggestion” to save the resume summary generated.
  • “Cancel suggestion” to clear the entire section. 

The Best Way to Describe Resume Achievements

The best way to describe your achievements on a resume is to quantify the results and tell a story like the startup founder resume sample below. 

startup founder resume

Notice the first job position in the work experience section in the sample above, i.e. CEO & Founder at Rezi. This is the most ideal way to list achievements on a resume since:

  • It can’t easily be replicated by another job seeker not just because of the numbers, but also because of how each sentence is personalized
  • Each bullet point flows well right after the other 
  • The results are quantified and uses specific numbers, e.g. not 123,000 users but 123, 390 users

Aside from that, a common approach is to use the STAR framework:

  • Situation: What specific scenario or problem did you have to face?
  • Task: What was the objective or goal you were working towards?
  • Action: How did you take action to overcome the obstacles in your way?
  • Result: What was the outcome of the actions you took?

This is an effective framework overall for writing your resume

But we do have a few more steps that we would add when describing relevant accomplishments. Use the following steps below to improve your positioning as the perfect candidate! 

1. Focus on what you did by using strong action verbs

Firstly, use a strong verb that depicts a clear picture of the actions you took. This does two things:

  1. Gets the reader engaged
  2. Puts more emphasis on the impact you made

In other words, start by highlighting what you did the right way by using the right words. Here’s a few examples of good action verbs:

  • Founded
  • Proposed
  • Transformed

2. Be specific about the outcome by quantifying the results

The other half of your bullet point is about the result that was achieved because of how you applied your skills. 

However, be specific by using numbers. 

If you don’t have the numbers, you can still be specific about how you excelled by mentioning awards on resumes after describing job responsibilities, e.g. receiving employee of the year.

3. Include a time frame

Mention the timeframe of the accomplishment like so:

  • Collaborated with the development team to engineer scalable partnership strategies such as redemption-code-based access which resulted in over 50,000 new users in 1 month with zero marketing dollars spent.

Now we’re looking at a very specific achievement. This reinforces your credibility and makes the outcome look twice more impressive. 

If you have no work experience, don’t worry about this step! We’ll show you shortly how to write about achievements when you have no data to include.

4. Tell a story with each bullet point

Consider how you list each bullet point – start off with the most significant achievements and work your way down. 

Here’s a good bullet point that demonstrates this:

  • Founded Rezi at the age of 22. At 23, successfully globalized into South Korea growing to be South Korea's leading English resume company, the most awarded global startup in South Korea, and securing over $650,000 in investment, grants, and awards.

Think about how you can portray a timeline of your career progression as well as the results that were achieved. This positions you as someone who understands every step of the process and makes your professional development transparent to the reader.

5. Personalize parts of your writing

Try adding personality. Here’s an example sentence going back to our template from earlier:

  • Built Rezi - the most loved resume software in the world, trusted by over 124,000 users.

The words 'loved' and 'trusted' make this bullet point more personal to the reader. And it doesn’t come across as cocky because there are numbers to back this up.

How to Describe Achievements on a Resume as a Student

You might not have numbers or statistics to describe the outcome that was achieved when writing a student resume. However, I’d still use the following process:

  • Start with a strong action verb 
  • Describe your role/what skills you applied
  • Highlight the outcome that was achieved

There are alternatives to quantifying the results if you don’t have the specific numbers. For example, make an estimated roundup such as “100+”. However, make sure that these numbers are accurate. 

Other ways you can use numbers is to describe your responsibilities, e.g. “managed a team of 5 people…”

What If You Have No Numbers to Mention? 

No worries, just describe the outcome that was achieved without using the numbers. This also works for internship resumes

Here’s a few examples:

  • Received Employee of the Month award for outstanding performance and contribution to team projects.
  • Advised students weekly with professional development skills including resume building, cover letter review, interviewing etiquette, and more through daily drop-in hours.
  • Managed a complex project that was completed on time and within budget, resulting in a higher customer satisfaction rate.

3 More Tools to Help You Write Your Resume Achievements

We’ll now go through 3 tools that’ll help you write your resume achievements. 

Each of these tools are available on Rezi so if you’d like to get access to them all from within one place, sign up here to get started for free. You won’t be asked for any card details. Simply enter your email address and create a password then you’re all set!  

AI Resume Editor

As shown earlier, you can use an AI writer to help describe a previous role. But if you already have your own bullet points, you can use our AI editor to edit them based on the best resume writing practices. 

See how this works in the short clip below. 

Real-Time Content Analysis 

Getting real-time feedback based on the best resume content and formatting practices is super useful for optimizing your application faster.

See how this works in the short clip below. 

Keyword Targeting

The keyword targeting tool gives you a list of keywords to put on your resume so that it matches the company’s job description. This ensures that your application gets past the applicant tracking system. 

See how this works in the short clip below. 

Examples of Resume Achievements for Different Industries

Here’s a few common examples of accomplishments to write about on your resume:

  • Annual budgets
  • Cost savings
  • Conversion rate
  • Improved efficiency 
  • Infrastructure project
  • Closing rate
  • Work-related awards

Below, we’ve listed sample resume bullet points for highlighting your achievements across several industries. Some of which are handpicked from our top ATS resumes

Programming

  • Debugged and fixed defects in the RFID tracking system that increased accuracy from 30% to 90%.
  • Assisted in the design and development cycle of an Android camera application for internal use to capture photographs of Freight trailers to replace over 5000 devices within a 3-month time frame. 
  • Participated in a 5-day hackathon to create a laser pointer using Python and Kafka to pinpoint a shipment on the dock to assist in stakeholder and upper management demonstrations. 

Marketing 

  • Optimized the PPC marketing campaign using methods such as A/B testing, audience segmentation, keyword research, and landing page optimization, resulting in an increase in company sales by 72%.
  • Improved organic traffic by 75% by leveraging and optimizing on-page content, title tags, meta descriptions, and image descriptions to increase SERP presence.
  • Executed and managed PPC campaigns across Google Ads to deliver strong ROI and drive website traffic by 35%.

Engineering

  • Managed 3 teams of strong cross-functional engineers across many aspects of the property and asset management divisions.
  • Accountable for the $2M+ data engineering budget in a highly competitive environment by providing monthly reports to stakeholders and key executives. 
  • Designed and architected the complete microservice system for powering property management for over 2000 homes in under 9 months with a team of 6. 

Business

  • Increased territory market opportunities by 247% and territory closed business by 256% from 2020 to 2021 during COVID-19 and achieved 129% of the running goal in 2022.
  • Promoted to Senior Account Executive in 6 months and mentored, coached, and led 9 Business Development Representatives. 
  • Collaborated with 20+ local buyers such as Costco Mexico, Walmart, and La Europea. 

Finance

  • Reduced departmental spending by 18% by collaborating with the team on performance management routines, including rolling estimates, budgeting, forecasting, business planning, and monthly & quarterly end-reporting reviews.
  • Created a $2 Billion annual revenue Plan for US Operations by developing and implementing a new planning model.
  • Increased revenue by 15% through trade spend optimization, retail strategy, and price-package planning with corporate pricing architecture and governance coherency enforcement.

Medical

  • Recipient of the “North Star Award” for exceeding 6 employee values including Patient/Customer Focus, Teamwork, Execution, Enabling Change, Organizational Awareness, and Developing Self.
  • Conducted patient care activities including phlebotomy in level 2 Trauma Center Emergency Department seeing 75,000+ visits a year.
  • Won November 2019 "Truly Southside" award for exceptional teamwork, leadership qualities, and patient-centered care.

Design

  • Developed, designed, and coordinated editorial illustrations and artwork for technical publications and 3D graphics in order to translate facts and features of subject material into graphic terms that best convey intended meaning.
  • Led all aspects of multi-disciplinary UX design, including research and personas; journey mapping; information architecture, UX, UI and visual design; prototyping and usability/end-user testing.
  • Led UX visioning sessions with Senior Level clients, utilize various methodologies such as design thinking and jobs to craft frameworks that organize disparate features into a strategic roadmap.

Legal

  • Led the DTT US Forms Subcommittee's efforts to develop and maintain a wide variety of IP and commercial agreements, including IP license agreements, website terms of service and privacy policies, development agreements, supply agreements, master service agreements, etc.
  • Prepared and reviewed suits, motion practice, discovery, large caseload management, substantial trial work in District Courts and courts in the surrounding counties.
  • Acted as the liaison on behalf of the Practice Group for information and technology needs: interacting with library, technology, business development, and other administrative departments on a knowledgeable and professional level.

3 Resume Examples With Well-Written Professional Achievements

Want access to 300+ more resume examples? Check out our free ATS resume library here.

Data Analyst Resume

Data Analyst resume

Chief Marketing Officer Resume

chief marketing officer resume

Resume Achievements In a Nutshell

Resume achievements are clear signs of exceptional skill and performance, which usually boils down to the following:

  • How well you solved a problem
  • The results of your efforts
  • Qualifications earned
  • Introducing a new idea, concept, or product
  • Learning or developing a new skill
  • Recognition by others

Your legacy is ultimately built upon the impact you’ve made. Remember the last time someone asked you to prove something you said? The first thing that comes to mind to reinforce your point is referring to data or a past experience where you made a difference. 

Similarly, this is how a potential employer would review your application. So don’t forget to mention as many achievements as you can naturally on your resume.

And if you’re struggling to come up with ideas, try Rezi’s AI resume builder. It’s free to use!

Rezi is an ai resume builder to help you to create a resume that os sure to check the boxes when it comes to applicant tracking systems : Rezi Review by Ashley