Resume Accomplishments: ”I Don’t Have Any!” (Part 1 of 2)

by | Federal Resumes, Resumes

…or Do You?

What could be worse than working on your resume and not being able to think of any accomplishments to write about that showcases your value? Not because you haven’t accomplished anything, but the deadline to submit your resume is looming. It’s late in the evening…you’ve been juggling competing priorities all day. The kids are finally in bed. You’ve washed the groceries you ordered due to COVID-19, cleaned the kitchen, and you are exhausted.

Sometimes it may be hard to remember every accomplishment after years of working and not keeping track of what you do every week. A simple accomplishment that you’ve done might be exactly what your next employer is looking for in their next candidate.

Option 1: You could submit your resume without any accomplishments and hope for the best, but then you wonder what your competition wrote on their resume. Are they going to edge you out over including their accomplishments? Perhaps.

Option 2: You open your Accomplishments folder that you created on your computer and search for keywords that are related to the job announcement. It only takes a minute to find the perfect one because you have added weekly entries every Friday after lunch.

Resume Accomplishments

Wait. What? You don’t have a Resume Accomplishments folder?

Whether or not you are presently engaged in a job search, it’s never too late to collect accolades. This includes performance reviews, kudos, thank you notes, emails, letters, recommendations, or any sort of public recognition. Once you have these, you’ll want to keep them in a safe place where you can easily find them. Hopefully, in an Accomplishments folder and an Accomplishments document that is easily found, when it’s time to update your resume.

MAGNETIC TIP: Pin the Resume Accomplishments document so it always shows at the top of your documents list so it stays top of mind. Your top of mind. 🙂

In Microsoft Word, create a new document and save it as Accomplishments. Then, click File, hover over to the right in the gray area and you’ll see a push pin pop up. Click on it and your document will be pinned at the top of your list. (These steps might be slightly different in your version of Word.)

To create an Accomplishments document in Google Docs, you can click on the ‘star’ and sort your files by the ones you have starred.

Now you can start adding your accomplishments in this document. Now that’s an accomplishment—organizing your accomplishments! Doesn’t that make you feel better already?

Clicking Control+F on a Windows computer, or Command+F on a Mac to find a keyword is so much easier than flipping through a folder full of papers. However, it’s important to also keep those paper awards, and even print out the letters, emails, and recommendations. You could always scan and store them electronically in the Accomplishments folder.

You could also set a reminder and document your accomplishments on a weekly or a monthly basis, at a minimum.

The goal is to keep track of as many accomplishments for your resume as you can!

You do this by documenting examples of when you:

  • Saved your organization money or time
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved morale
  • Increased revenue
  • Improved a process
  • Filled a temporary assignment
  • Went “above and beyond” your normal work duties

It all counts, but we want to help you to make it really count when it matters most to you and your potential employers! If you need more help defining your accomplishments, watch for next week’s blog post!

Please leave a comment and let us know that you created an Accomplishment folder or an Accomplishment document and pinned it to the top of your documents, or ‘starred’ it. Or, perhaps you have another way to organize your accomplishments that you can share in a comment below. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Camille Roberts
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