Saturday, July 23, 2011

Problem, Action, Results: How To Write Accomplishment Stories

uring your job search, it’s vital to be confident in your abilities and accomplishments from your past experience. An employer won’t be able to figure these things out (nor should they have to). You need to sell yourself sufficiently in order to make them believe you are the best fit for the opening.

Do you know how to convey your accomplishments through telling compelling stories on your resume, cover letter and during networking opportunities? The key to creating a good accomplishment story is to focus on:

  • Problem – What problem or challenge were you faced with?
  • Action – What action(s) did you take?
  • Results – What resulted from your action(s)? What benefits did the employer see afterward?

Check out this example:

  • Problem: Assumed leadership position in the products division, which was experiencing no profitability and slow sales.
  • Action: Created a new training program for sales representatives including innovative techniques and marketing strategies.
  • Results: Product sales increased from $20,000 to $40,000 in just six months.

Now, turn this into an accomplishment story to use on your resume or cover letter.

  • Accomplishment story: Grew product sales by 200% in six months by implementing a new training program and introducing employees to innovative sales techniques and marketing strategies.

What have you done that you can use as an accomplishment story? Saved your company money? Implemented new processes to save time or increase productivity? Made significant profits for the company? Enhanced corporate image or built upon their reputation?

Ready to get started on your accomplishment stories? A few tips:

  • Use action verbs to start each résumé bullet when conveying an accomplishment.
  • Concisely edit your stories so they make sense but don’t leave off any important content the employer might want to know.
  • Share measurable statistics and numbers: How much? How big? How fast?
  • Make your bullets flow logically so anyone who reads your résumé has a full understanding of what you accomplished.

[This article was originally posted on an earlier date]

Heather R. Huhman, founder & president of Come Recommended, is passionate about helping students and recent college graduates pursue their dream careers.

Thanks to Heather Huhman / Careerealism



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