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On this page: Susan Ireland helps you understand how to think in terms of your achievements for a successful resume.

How to Create an Achievement Resume

Sometimes saying less is better than saying more.

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Frequently a few strong accomplishments can generate more questions and interest than a page full of details.

The achievement resume incorporates this concept by focusing on brevity and simplicity.

Replace Duties with Achievements in Your Resume

If you were an employer, what three questions would you ask a job candidate? Probably something like:

Tell the employer “Yes” to all three questions by writing about achievements instead of job duties on your resume. Accomplishment statements are the most powerful way to say "I'm good at what I do!"

Here are some questions to help you think of relevant achievements:

Creating Your Achievement Resume

An achievement resume looks like a functional resume except that it does not have skill headings in the body of the resume. Instead it simply lists about five or six relevant achievements under a main heading such as “Professional Accomplishments” or “Selected Achievements.”

This type of resume works well for sales professionals, top level executives, and others who want to keep the spot light on just a few successes from their whole career.

Here’s a template that represents an achievement resume:

Name
City, State Zip • phone

JOB OBJECTIVE
What job would you like to have next?

HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS

SELECTED ACHIEVEMENTS

WORK HISTORY

20xx-present Job Title Organization, City, State
20xx-xx Job Title Organization, City, State
19xx-xx Job Title Organization, City, State
19xx-xx Job Title Organization, City, State

EDUCATION

Degree, Major (if relevant), 19xx
School, City, State


About this author...

Susan Ireland is the author of four job search books including The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume, now in its 5th edition.  For more information about writing your resume, read Susan's books or visit Susan's Website SusanIreland.com.  For immediate help with your resume and cover letter, check out Susan's Ready Made Resumes and Cover Letters, an online resume builder to help job seekers quickly create an effective resume. Follow Susan on Twitter @SusanIreland, visit her on Facebook, circle her on Google+, and interact with her on the LinkedIn's JOBS Group (Job Openings, Job Leads and Job Connections!) in her ** Let's Talk Resumes ** featured discussion.