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Accomplishments Raise your Resume to the Top Category: Job Search by - April 8, 2012 | Views: 35439 | Likes: 4 | Comment: 4  

Accomplishment Resume


Are you applying for jobs and no one is responding to you? You have experience, your resume is filled with years of job responsibilities directly related to the job you are applying for but employers are not calling you back. Your resume is in the dreaded black hole. There may be several reasons why this is happening. One reason may be how you presented information in your resume. I am not referring to the layout of your resume or formatting; I am referring to how you outlined your accomplishments.

Did you only list your responsibilities for every previous job or did you really captivate your potential employer with your accomplishments? The technique of highlighting accomplishments in a resume has been around for many years. However, many applicants are not aware of this approach or have ignored it. It could be the difference between a job interview and your resume ending up in the do not call pile.

How does the accomplishment approach work? Listing major responsibilities for each job does not differentiate you significantly from other applicants with similar titles and duties. To really standout you have to tell your potential employer how well you performed in your job; essentially what did you accomplish for your employer. I learned about this approach a few years ago when I was looking for a new position. It took a while to understand it and move away from the old approach of listing responsibilities. Once you understand this technique you quickly see the advantage. It may give you an edge over other applicants. Here is it how it works:

Example A (Job responsibilities approach)

Medical Science Liaison Big Sunshine Pharmaceuticals, Compton, CA 2000-2006

  • Responsible for developing key opinion leaders for cardiovascular products
  • Presented scientific information to various thought leaders
  • Created medical information letters and slide decks

This only tells the employer that you have 6 years experience as an MSL supporting cardiovascular products and had typical responsibilities of an MSL. This is informative but not captivating because the human resources database is filled with applicants with similar responsibilities and length of experience.

Example B (Accomplishment approach)

Medical Science Liaison Big Sunshine Pharmaceuticals, Compton, CA 2000-2006

  • Responsible for developing key opinion leaders for cardiovascular products. Presented scientific information to various thought leaders and developed medical information letters and slide decks.
  • Developed 5 nationally known key opinion leaders that consistently advocated for company's cardiovascular products at regional and national speaking engagements.
  • Presented late breaking scientific data that resulted in inclusion of company's product on the hospital formulary, resulting in $5 million dollars of sales.
  • Received a best practice award for creating 10 medical information letters and 2 slide decks that supported the launch of a new product. Slides were used at national speaker program training.

The accomplishment approach captures responsibilities and also conveys how well you performed. The prospective employer naturally concludes that you will display the same level of performance if hired. It addresses whether you can and how well you can do the job, a major question that interviews are designed to answer. Moreover, if you can set the stage that you are a top performer and follow through with a good interview you may command a higher offer than other applicants (if they are invited to interview) that did not demonstrate a similar level of performance.

Adding accomplishment statements to your resume is not difficult. They are probably buried amongst the long lists of responsibilities you currently have in your resume. Start with metrics that were used to measure performance at your job. Select your most significant achievements, including awards and any special recognition. Quantify them as much as possible then use action words to form accomplishment statements. Give it a try and ask your colleagues to give you feed back about your new resume.

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