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Your Accomplishments


Enda Goodwin
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Senior Operative

Senior Operative

  • [1] JUNIOR ENLISTED

Accomplishment Statements prove that you have the desired qualifications through clear, strong statements of accomplishments, rather than statements of potential, talents, or responsibilities. The key is to keep these statements as short and direct as possible. 

When deciding what to include in your accomplishment statements – the big sales pitch for why you should be hired - try to focus on the big things, and give a broad-based view of what you’re responsible for. Save the little things for the interview. 

The majority of your accomplishment statements should be from your work at your current employer – even as many as 6-8 are not too many. List only the most significant accomplishments at your previous employer. One or even none will suffice, especially for the earliest positions in your career. 

Use the AR of the SOAR for the Bullet under your job title. Use action verbs to start your statements (never “I”). Then incorporate numbers and percentages to reinforce what you’re saying. This part of the resume has proven to be important since it demonstrates the measurable and quantitative impact you had on an organization, distinguishing you from other candidates with similar qualifications. It also gives hiring managers a basis to ask questions that will help them see the way you work -- not just what you’ve done, but how you did it. 

Accomplishment statements are a critical part of your resume. Spend adequate time developing them! To help you decide what your accomplishments were, ask yourself these questions and think of specific examples in response – Actions and Results.
 

  • Did you make major changes or facilitated the work in any way?  
  • Did you take the initiative of acquiring new skills or learning new technologies?  
  • Were you selected to participate in a special project or to sit on a committee because of your skills or experience? 
  • Did you successfully solve a difficult situation with a client?  
  • Did you resolve an emergency situation with little or no increase in time, energy, dollars, and people?  
  • Did you surpass accepted standards for quality and/or quantity of performance?  
  • Did you perform within standard operating procedures even when circumstances were against you?  
  • Did your ideas or suggestions help increase the performance of individuals or machines?  
  • Did you take the initiative of solving a problem that others had been ignoring?  
  • Did you identify a need and satisfy it?  
  • Did you act as a resource person for your colleagues on certain issues?  
  • Did you prepare any original reports, special papers or documents?  
  • Did you show creativity by developing and implementing a plan or a complex process?  
  • Did you participate in any technical improvements?  
  • Did you assist someone else in realizing his/her objective?  
  • Did your contributions enable those in charge to maintain better controls or make better decisions?  
  • Did you implement or participate in any sales, profits, and/or cost saving recommendations?  
  • Did you initiate plans to reduce errors, costs or time spent?  
  • Did your work enlarge the client/customer base?  
  • Did you receive any award or letter of commendation? 

 

SOAR

An excellent guide for developing accomplishment stories that showcase your skills is called SOAR (Situation Obstacles Actions Results.) Your SOAR stories put your accomplishments in a business context that an employer can understand. And the SOAR acronym is easy to remember and will help you organize material in interview situations. 

Situation  -  Describe the Situation. 
Obstacles  -  Describe the Obstacles you faced. 
Actions  -  List the Actions you took. 
Results  -  Describe the results you helped obtain and the benefits to your employer.  

 

Example:

Situation  -  Supervisor needed small database set up to automate manual records and calculate costs. 
Obstacles  -  Lack of knowledge in spreadsheet or database applications. 
Actions  -  Took online training, asked for coaching from a colleague to set up spreadsheet. 
Results  -  Completed and used the new database in a spreadsheet format reducing recordkeeping and calculation time by 80% from previous manual method. 

 

The SOAR approach works because it will give you high-value bullet points for your resume and prepare you for the interview by taking generic job criteria and turning it into a story worth telling.  

You should have as many as 10-20 SOAR stories ready when you go in for an interview. These stories are great in preparation for responses to for open-ended questions. 

Use the Accomplishment Stories Templateto discover further examples and build SOAR stories. Also, for additional information on creating compelling bullet points for your resume, register for the Creating Powerful Accomplishment Statements webinar. 

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