How to Build an Achievement Focused Resume

typing-690856_1280Resume layout is incredibly important, but the real heart of a resume are the bullet points under each job title. To build an achievement focused resume, you need to go beyond merely listing the tasks and responsibilities. You need to show your future employer how you applied your skills, knowledge, learning(s) from past experiences. When you do this, you will have an “achievement focused resume.”

Here are some practical tips on how to create these achievement focused bullet points.

Option 1

Write the task statement.

Example:  “Answered customer questions in a fast paced call centre.”

Even better, add the skill, experience, or knowledge you used.

Example:  “Answered customer questions in a fast paced call centre, using my extensive product knowledge.”

Then add one of the following: “to…” OR “resulting in….”  It will then force you to complete the sentence so that you get a final bullet point like this:

  • Answered customer questions in a fast paced call centre, using my extensive product knowledge to… ensure completion of customer orders and thus increase sales.

Option 2

Use the following formula which was created by the CEO of Google.

Achieved [X] by doing/using skill, [Y], as measured by [Z].

Example: Coached clients on job search strategies including networking; research; informational interviews; and developing value propositions, resulting in a more than 500 clients achieving employment.


One of the biggest things people struggle with is thinking of what they actually achieved or how it was measured. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who benefited from your work? (Client, boss, team, company, shareholder, general public, etc.
  2. How did they benefit?
  3. What would be the consequences if your work was not done, or your job did not exist? i.e. what would not happen?
  4. Who do you report into? Did your work benefit them or the larger unit (team, division etc.).
  5. Does your work affect other colleagues/team members etc.? (work interdependence)
  6. Are there standard or common measurements of success in you industry or profession? (i.e. Sales targets, customer satisfaction, project milestones, patient outcomes, etc.).
  7. What impact does your performance of this role have (do you differ from your teammates/colleagues?)
  8. What is the work environment like? (i.e. fast paced, hot, collaborative, etc.). Did you meet the challenges or seize on the opportunities your work environment provided?

Answering these questions and using the steps listed above, will go a long way to helping you build achievement focused bullet points, and thus an achievement focused resume.