How to List Your Achievements on Your Resume (the Right Way) in 2020

Ready to learn how to add achievements on a resume? Or wondering whether adding a resume accomplishments section is worth it? In this guide, we'll go over why resume achievements are important and how you can add your wins to make a resume that gets you an interview!

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One of the main gripes recruiters and HR managers have about candidates is that they document their past work experience without identifying just how capable they were in carrying those tasks out. Job applicants often add skills without proving how talented they are with each one or include academic stats without going into detail.

That’s where achievements on a resume come in!

In this guide, we’ll show you how to list accomplishments on resumes in each major section, as well as how you can maximize its impact in each one.

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Here are the best ways to add your professional accomplishments on a resume:

In Your Resume Summary or Objective

The resume summary or resume objective is a short little paragraph at the top of your resume, just below your contact information. It’s meant to give the reader—in this case, the recruiter or hiring manager—the essential information about you, almost like an elevator pitch.  

Here’s an example of a typical resume summary:

Recent college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing skilled in copywriting, social media management, and outreach. Seeking to build on relevant experience to become the next digital marketing specialist at WooXoo Unlimited. 

However!

This opening statement on a resume is a prime location for adding your achievements, whether academic, professional, or even personal.

Now let’s add a few accomplishments and see what happens:

Recent college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing skilled in copywriting, social media management, and outreach. Increased social engagement by 53% in 2019. Received 2020 Digital Marketing Certification from the American Marketing Association. Seeking to build on relevant experience to become the next digital marketing specialist at WooXoo Unlimited. 

Small additions here, but very powerful!

In the second example, all we added for achievements were a digital marketing certificate from the AMA and one example of how your previous work has had real results. These tiny inclusions prove to the hiring manager you are capable at digital marketing much more than simply saying you are.

Related Read: Career Fairs: How They Work & 5 Tips for Making the Most of Them

In Your Work Experience Section

On most resumes, especially those where you have previous work experience to show, your job history section often comes next.

This is the core of your resume, which makes it an ideal spot for placing any professional accomplishments you’ve had.

First, let’s look at an example of a resume experience area without achievements:

Digital Marketing Assistant
Ballytrouper Media Agency
December 2018–August 2020
– Performed competitor research to identify opportunities in content and social media marketing.
– Drafted weekly email newsletter to engage with clients.
– Managed social media profiles and WordPress blog.

Now— 

Here’s an example of accomplishments on a resume job history section:

Digital Marketing Assistant
Ballytrouper Media Agency
December 2018–August 2020
– Performed competitor research to identify 15+ weekly opportunities in content and social media marketing.
– Drafted weekly email newsletter to engage with clients, growing subscriber base by 75,000 readers in 2019.
– Managed social media profiles and WordPress blog, increasing the conversion rate by 15% over a 1.5-year period.

Way more compelling, right?

In this case, adding actual numbers when writing your achievements leave the reader with no doubt you’re their top choice. Rather than saying “I know such-and-such,” you’re telling them “I can prove to you that I know such-and-such because I’ve been able to achieve this-and-that in the past.”

Related Read: 15+ Best Jobs For High School Students (Part-Time, Weekends, Summer)

In Your Resume Education Section

As a student or young professional, your education section is likely one of the most impressive areas of your CV or resume. This is especially true if this is your first job ever.

Which makes the academic area on a resume—you guessed it—a great place for listing any of your proudest academic achievements.

Here’s an example of a bare-bones resume education section:

Bachelor of Science in Digital Marketing
City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
2016–2020 

And here’s one which uses just a few more words to say a whole lot more:

Bachelor of Science in Digital Marketing
City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
2016–2020 

Academic Achievements:
Graduated summa cum laude.
Retained 3.9 GPA or higher through every semester.

When you place your education on a resume, having something bare bones as in the first example doesn’t tell the hiring manager much at all. You could have just barely passed or you could have passed with honors. If you have items to list here that would help set you apart from the other applicants, make sure to add them!

Related Read: 25 Best Interview Tips: Expert Advice for Acing Interviews & Landing Jobs

In Its Own Dedicated Accomplishments Section

Finally, a dedicated achievements section on your resume is a great way to show a variety of personal, professional, and academic accomplishments, especially when they don’t fit anywhere else. 

Also, creating a dedicated place to add your resume accomplishments allows each one to get noticed more easily than being grouped as sub-items in other sections.

Here’s an example of a possible resume achievements section:

Accomplishments
– Increased blog conversion rate by 15% over a 1.5-year period.
– Led marketing club chapter at university.
– Created personal, bi-weekly marketing blog to discuss latest social media strategies.

Just as in the other resume sections, adding an accomplishments area to your resume is the ideal way to showcase your proudest wins!

Related Read: 55 Resume Tips, Hacks & Expert Advice to Help You Score a Job Interview

That’s all for now on our guide to adding achievements on a resume, and we hope you add your own the next time you apply for a job. Got any questions, feedback, or other advice for including accomplishments on a CV to add to our guide? Let us know in the comments below, and thanks for reading!

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Christian Eilers
Written By Christian Eilers
is a writer and expert on the topics of education, entrepreneurship, career advice, travel, and culture. On the Goodwall Blog, he covers topics including self-improvement, social impact, college preparation, career development, climate action, and more. Christian is originally from New York City and now resides in Warsaw, Poland. At his desk, you're sure to find Pickwick, his Devon Rex cat, either attacking his fingers as he types or the monitor as the mouse pointer moves around.

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