Crafting a compelling resume is a strategic art form, where every word has the potential to make a powerful impression. Among resume's crucial components, highlighting achievements in your resume stands out as a beacon of your professional prowess.

Whether you're a seasoned executive or an entry-level candidate, showcasing your accomplishments effectively can set you apart in a sea of applicants.

In this article, we examine what achievements to put on your resume, why they matter, how to identify those and the best strategies for presenting them to captivate prospective employers.

What are the achievements?

The greatest achievement is to outperform yourself.

Denis Waitley

Resume achievements are a critical component of any job application. But what exactly are accomplishments?

In essence, they are a representation of the strengths you have demonstrated in your past positions. Work accomplishments are tangible results or significant contributions that you have achieved in your professional career.

They can include:

  • Quantifiable Achievements. Can be measured in numbers, such as increasing sales revenue by a certain percentage, reducing costs, or completing projects ahead of schedule.
  • Recognition and Awards. Any honors you've received for your work, whether it's "Employee of the Month", a commendation from a supervisor, or industry-specific accolades.
  • Successful Projects. Highlighting projects you've led or been a part of that resulted in positive outcomes for your employer, such as launching a new product, implementing a new system, or improving efficiency.
  • Problem Solving. Instances where you identified a problem, devised a solution, and implemented it effectively, leading to improved processes, cost savings, or enhanced productivity.
  • Teamwork. Demonstrate leadership by directing teams, mentoring colleagues, or spearheading initiatives that have had a significant impact on the organization.
  • Client Satisfaction. Any achievements related to improving customer satisfaction, retaining clients, or winning new business through your efforts.
  • Professional Development. Examples of your continuous learning and development, such as completing certifications, attending relevant training programs, or acquiring new skills that benefited your role or team.

Achievements vs responsibilities

Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?

Jim Rohn

During the resume writing process, it's common for individuals to occasionally blur the lines between responsibilities and accomplishments.

Responsibilities are the duties and tasks associated with a particular job or role. They outline what you were expected to do as part of your job description.

Achievements, on the other hand, are the results that you attain while fulfilling your responsibilities. They are a testament to the quality of your work and the difference you made to the company.

Achievements in resume vs responsibilities

When creating a resume, placing your key achievements is just as crucial as outlining your work experience and skills. This requires a strategic presentation to effectively showcase your qualifications.

How to identify your achievements?

Finding out what accomplishments to put on your resume can sometimes be challenging, but there are several strategies you can use to uncover and articulate your victories.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  • Review your job descriptions and think about your daily tasks. Consider what you were responsible for and how you went beyond your basic duties.
  • List significant projects you’ve worked on. Note the goals of these projects, your involvement, the actions you took, and the outcome.
  • Go through past performance feedback from supervisors, or peer reviews. Locate any praise or recognition for your work. This often highlights your key achievements for your resume.
  • Brainstorm problems or challenges you've faced and the ways you resolved them. Underline instances where your work led to favorable results.
  • Reflect on your role in team projects and collaborations. Recognize how your contributions helped achieve goals or enhance performance.
  • Recall positive testimonials from customers. Winning client projects or high customer satisfaction scores are strong achievements.
  • Ask trusted colleagues or supervisors for their perspectives on your key accomplishments. Sometimes others can see your progress more clearly than you do.

Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.

Paul Ryan

How to write resume achievements?

Unlike listing job responsibilities, focusing on achievements showcases your ability to produce deliverables and demonstrates your impact in prior roles.

How to list accomplishments on a resume:

  • Start each accomplishment with a strong action verb to convey your proactive role in achieving outcomes. Examples of action verbs include "led", "increased", "implemented", "achieved", "optimized", etc.
  • Whenever possible, quantify your accomplishments with numbers, percentages, or other measurable metrics. This adds credibility to your achievements and provides concrete evidence of your progress.
  • Emphasize the positive consequences of your accomplishments and how they benefited your employer. Whether you saved time or money, improved processes, or contributed to revenue growth, clearly articulate the effect of your actions.
  • Customize your resume attainments to align with the requirements of the job you're applying for. Point out achievements that demonstrate your relevant skills and qualifications for the position.
  • Avoid exaggeration or embellishment. Be honest and specific about what you have done and how you contributed to the success of your previous roles.

Where to include achievements on a resume?

Achievements should be strategically incorporated throughout your resume to underscore your qualifications.

Here are some key sections where you can include achievements:

1. Professional summary/objective

Start your resume with a brief professional summary or objective statement that highlights some of your key achievements. This sets the tone for the rest of your resume and immediately captures the recruiter's attention.

Including achievements in professional summary in resume


Results-driven marketing professional with over 5 years of experience in developing and executing campaigns for global brands. Proven track record of driving significant increases in brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales revenue. Led a cross-functional team to launch a new product line, resulting in a 30% increase in market share. Successfully implemented targeted digital marketing initiatives that generated a 40% lift in website traffic.

2. Work experience section

The work history section is the most common area to showcase your contributions. Under each job, describe your position and any significant accomplishments.

Including achievements in work experience section on resume


Digital Marketing Manager

BrightWave Solutions, New York, January 2018 - March 2020

  • Developed and executed comprehensive digital marketing strategies that drove a 50% jump in online sales within the first year.
  • Led a team of five specialists to conceptualize and implement email marketing campaigns, resulting in a 15% improvement in mail open rates.
  • Spearheaded the redesign of the company website, optimizing user experience and implementing SEO best practices.

3. Education section

While the academic block typically focuses on your credentials, you can still include relevant achievements in the resume such as educational honors, scholarships, internships, or leadership roles.

Including achievements in education section in a resume

Bachelor of Science in Marketing

University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Philadelphia, PA

  • Graduated: May 2016
  • Magna Cum Laude with a GPA of 3.85/4.00.
  • Recipient of the "Wharton Marketing Excellence Award" for an innovative research paper on marketing trends.

4. Certifications and awards

If you've received any honors, consider including them. This can involve professional certificates, industry awards, or recognition for outstanding performance.

Certifications and awards on a resume example

Employee of the Year

BrightWave Solutions

  • Awarded: December 2017
  • Implemented a new CRM system that streamlined customer interactions, resulting in a 40% increase in client satisfaction scores.

5. Volunteer work

If you have relevant achievements examples from community work or extracurricular activities you can include them in a separate section. You can also incorporate them into your work experience block if they demonstrate transferable skills.

Example of volunteer work as an achievement in a resume

Fundraising Chair

American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Boston, MA

June 2017 – July 2019

  • Organized fundraising campaigns that raised over $50,000 for cancer research and patient support services.
  • Developed and implemented social media initiatives, including audience segmentation, influencer partnerships, and engaging content promotions, that increased event participation by 25%.
  • Received the "Volunteer of the Year" award from the Red Cross for outstanding dedication and contribution.

6. Additional sections

Depending on your background and the requirements of the job, include additional blocks such as publications, presentations, or projects where you can highlight significant accomplishments.

Additional sections

"Leveraging Data Analytics for Enhanced Marketing Strategies"

Journal of Digital Marketing Research

Published: March 2023

  • Co-authored a peer-reviewed article exploring advanced data analytics techniques.
  • Analyzed case studies from three major companies, demonstrating a 20% increase in marketing ROI through data-driven tactics.
  • Recognized as one of the top-cited articles in the journal for 2023.

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How many resume achievements are necessary?

The number of accomplishments for a resume can vary based on your experience level, the length of your application, and the relevance of the achievements to the industry you're applying for.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Aim to include 1-2 achievements per job entry. This helps to provide a comprehensive view of your contributions without overwhelming the reader with too much information.
  • Focus on the quality and relevance of your submissions rather than the quantity. It's more impactful to have a few well-articulated, significant accomplishments that directly relate to the sphere.
  • Achievements should complement other resume sections like skills, education, and certifications. Ensure your document maintains a balance and doesn’t become overly weighted towards just accomplishments.

Why is it important to list achievements in a resume?

Integrating accomplishments into your resume is key because it displays your worth and potential to employers.

  • In a competitive job market, recording your honors helps you stand out from other candidates who may have similar job experiences and qualifications. It gives HR a clear picture of your capabilities.
  • Achievements serve as proof of your skills, abilities, and strengths in action. Whether it's leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, or innovation, highlighting them allows you to showcase these qualities effectively.
  • Listing accomplishments throughout your career demonstrates your professional growth and progression. It illustrates how you have continuously added value and achieved excellence in various roles, building a compelling narrative of your career trajectory.
  • Achievements are attention-grabbing and memorable for hiring managers. They provide actual examples of your attainments, making your resume more engaging to read.
  • Employers are interested in what you can do for them and how you can solve their problems or fulfill their needs. By emphasizing your successes, you demonstrate your ability to deliver results and contribute positively to their organization.

Achievements not to be included

When writing a resume, it's important to present yourself in the best possible light, but certain achievements might not be relevant or appropriate to add.

Here are some examples:

  • Personal Information. Background revealing personal information unrelated to professional qualifications, such as religious or political affiliations, should be omitted.
  • High School Awards. Unless you're a recent graduate, it's usually better to focus on experience at the college level or beyond.
  • Minor Projects. If you've worked on short-term projects or tasks that were not particularly impactful, leave them out to make room for more significant issues.
  • Every Job You've Ever Had. You don't need to include information from all previous roles held, especially if you have a long work history.
  • Unverifiable Accomplishments. If you can't provide evidence or references to verify your list of accomplishments, omit it from the resume to maintain credibility.

Achievement examples

Below are a few examples of noteworthy accomplishments by different industries that you can include in your resume.


Resume achievements for Architecture

  • "Received the 'Best Architectural Design' award for the Lakeside Modern Residence project, selected from over 100 submissions."
  • "Implemented BIM technology, resulting in a 30% reduction in design coordination errors and a 20% decrease in construction change orders."
  • "Managed a project budget of $5 million, maintaining spending control and achieving a 10% cost savings through value engineering initiatives."

Software engineer

Achievements in resume of Software engineer

  • "Resolved 100+ critical bugs in legacy codebase, resulting in a 38% decrease in production incidents and a 50% improvement in overall system stability."
  • "Identified and addressed performance bottlenecks, resulting in a 20% savings in cloud hosting expenses."
  • "Collaborated with managers and designers to define product requirements and user stories, resulting in a 90% customer satisfaction rate for delivered features."


Achievements in resume of Teacher

  • "Developed individualized plans, known as "Success Pathways," for students with diverse learning needs, resulting in a 15% boost in academic performance."
  • "Organized community outreach events, such as literacy nights and STEM fairs, to promote collaboration between schools and stakeholders."
  • "Recognized as 'Teacher of the Year' at Jefferson High School for outstanding contributions to student dedication to excellence."

Pharmacy technician

Resume achievements for Pharmacy technician

  • "Implemented time-saving strategies, such as color-coded labeling for inventory organization, resulting in a 40% savings in prescription processing time."
  • "Co-authored an 'Evaluation of Pharmacy Technician Training Programs on Medication Safety Practices' research presented at a hospital conference."
  • "Identified and resolved medication discrepancies and potential safety concerns, contributing to a 50% reduction in drug errors."

Police officer

Achievements in resume of Police officer

  • "Led a task force targeting drug trafficking and gang activity, resulting in the arrest and prosecution of 30 individuals involved in criminal enterprises."
  • "Conducted targeted traffic enforcement operations in school zones, resulting in a 50% drop in speeding violations and refined pedestrian safety."
  • "Receive 'Officer of the Year' recognition from the New York City Police Department for outstanding performance, dedication to duty, and exemplary service to the community."


Achievements in resume of Paralegal

  • "Achieved a 25% speed-up in processing time by implementing efficient case management systems, resulting in improved client communication and satisfaction."
  • "Completed the 'Advanced Paralegal Studies Program' at Harvard Law School with honors, demonstrating a commitment to professional growth and excellence in the field."
  • "Initiated a feedback program that solicited input on service satisfaction, driving a 20% jump in positive client referrals."

Data analyst

Resume achievements for Data analyst

  • "Developed predictive models using machine learning algorithms that corrected sales forecasting accuracy by 15%, resulting in more informed business decisions."
  • "Analyzed customer behavior data to optimize pricing strategy, resulting in a 10% increase in revenue and a 5% uplift in profit margins."
  • "Implemented quality checks and validation procedures, resulting in a 27% decline in data errors and discrepancies."


Achievements in resume of Nurse

  • "Implemented a fall prevention program that reduced incidence rates by 25% and minimized patient injuries."
  • "Received consistently high patient satisfaction scores, as reflected in patient surveys and feedback, for compassionate and attentive nursing care."
  • "Introduced evidence-based care interventions that resulted in a 20% reduction in patient readmission scores within 30 days of discharge."

Line cook

Achievements in resume of Line cook

  • "Optimized ingredient usage and portion control at Le Petit Bistro, leading to less food waste and significant cost savings for the restaurant."
  • "Implemented a new prep checklist system that minimized setup time by 20%, allowing for quicker turnaround during peak hours."
  • "Attained a 95% rating on health department inspections through strict adherence to food safety protocols and cleanliness standards."

Dental assistant

Resume achievements for Dental assistant

  • "Reduced instrument turnaround time by 30% through the implementation of streamlined sterilization procedures."
  • "Conducted oral hygiene education sessions for patients, resulting in a 25% improvement in patient compliance with home care routines."
  • "Managed patient scheduling and appointment reminders, which led to a 14% reduction in missed appointments and improved practice efficiency."


Don't mistake activity for achievement.

John Wooden

In conclusion, showcasing achievements on your resume is essential for demonstrating your skills and impact in your field. These measurable accomplishments differentiate your resume and provide concrete evidence of your capabilities.

So, take the time to identify and articulate your accomplishments effectively, letting them shine as evidence of your professional success and potential.