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You are Here: Home > Resumes > Resume and Letter Center > Six-Step Resume Writing > Step Four: Resume Accomplishments and Special Skills

Six-Step Resume Writing

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Step Four: Resume Accomplishments and Special Skills

There is no data on your resume more important than your accomplishments. Why?

Think of it this way: you're a hiring manager with one position to fill and 10 qualified candidates clamoring for the position. Each candidate has the same basic educational and professional background. So, who gets the job?

The candidate who contributed the most at past positions. Accomplishments are all that separate you from other equally qualified candidates, with one caveat. Your accomplishments must be quantified.

What is an Accomplishment?

  • Increasing the company's bottom line (e.g., facilitating its growth)
  • Streamlining procedures
  • Promotions
  • Special projects successfully completed
  • Decreasing costs
  • Company- or industry-sponsored awards
  • Certifications and licensure

What is not an Accomplishment?

  • Daily responsibilities that are included in your job description
  • Regular attendance at work
  • Getting along with co-workers
  • Working full-time while going to college at night
  • Volunteer or community service unless it has a direct bearing on your job search

In other words, an accomplishment is service that goes beyond your usual job description. But for an accomplishment to have the most effect, it must be quantified.

What is a Quantified Accomplishment?

One that includes dollar figures, percentages, and time periods.

For example: Our accountant has streamlined procedures, realizing a $2500 monthly savings for his company. The dollar figure quantifies the accomplishment, while the "streamlined procedures" explains how he did it. Now, if he achieved those savings within three months of hire, that would further strengthen his accomplishments, and it might be written thusly:

Achieved a $2500 monthly savings for XYZ Company within three months of hire by streamlining procedures.

Imagine the hiring manager's reaction to the above as opposed to this entry:

Streamlined procedures for XYZ Company.

Doesn't say much, does it?

Special Skills

Special Skills should always be presented up-front so that a hiring manager knows what you can do. In some instances, a special section (e.g., Computer Skills, Languages, Office Procedures) should be created to showcase these special skills.

Special skills will include:

  • Computer proficiencies
  • Office procedures (e.g., answering multi-lined phone systems, taking dictation including speed, transcription, typing speed, 10-key)
  • Linguistic capabilities (e.g., fluency in a foreign language, ability to translate)
  • Any skill that's industry-specific for the job you're seeking

Linked below are three examples of resumes with outstanding accomplishments and special skills showcased effectively for hiring managers.

Example Resume Accomplishments and Special Skills 1
Example Resume Accomplishments and Special Skills 2
Example Resume Accomplishments and Special Skills 3

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