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We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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Resume renovations: unlocking opportunities with accomplishment statements

March 15, 2024

Often when writing your resume, it’s easy to copy and paste. After all, your duties at a past job haven’t changed. The main goal of your resume is to clearly express your abilities as a worker to prospective employers. As young professionals, we are always looking for ways to make our resumes stand out and properly reflect our capabilities.

What is an Accomplishment Statement?

Crafting accomplishment statements is a powerful way to elevate your resume. An accomplishment statement is a written statement highlighting your job duties, tasks, and projects in a holistic and impactful manner. Accomplishment statements explain the actions you took, demonstrating the value you brought to your employers. These statements not only showcase your skills but communicate your impact in a compelling manner. They can be used in crafting longer skill-based statements in the ‘Skills’ sections. They are extremely effective, however, in the ‘Work Experience’ section when creating job duty-specific statements.

person wearing black coat close-up photography

Effective Ways to Create Resume Statements

There is a common method of answering interview questions that can be aptly translated to crafting accomplishment statements while showing measurable results. There are many variations but as per Jobscan, we will focus on the ‘CAR’ technique. 

This is the method of expressing the context of the duty or challenge, the responsibilities undertaken, and the steps taken to achieve a certain outcome in one statement. This clearly expresses your impact to the employer. A way to remember this is Challenge, Action, and Result of the action conducted. So, in the scenario of ‘providing event support,’ the accomplishment statement could be specific such as ‘Providing event support, coordinating set up and catering to ensure for a professional execution’.

It doesn't have to be glamorous

The duties and accomplishments you’re explaining, do not have to be glamorous. Think of the day-to-day work you did and how that contributed to the bottom line for the business, what goals you met, or what problems you regularly solved. There is often more to part-time work than we give it credit for, and there are many opportunities for expressing transferable skills. For the example of a cashier at a grocery store if the duty is ‘Operating POS systems in a high-stress environment’ then the accomplishment statement would translate to; ‘Operated POS system, under high stress while efficiently serving 100 customers per hour’. The benchmark here, of ‘serving 100 customers per hour’ could be traded out for another relevant metric, the key here is providing a clear outcome that shows attention to performance. This lets employers know ways you clearly added benefit to past workspaces and shows how you are aware of and able to meet key performance metrics. This result could be quantitative, as in the example; numbers tend to be effective at showcasing measurable results, but qualitative accomplishment statements can be ideal in situations where this is not possible.

Use Action Verbs

Using action verbs is crucial for creating impressive accomplishment statements. Action verbs tend to end in ‘-ed’, verbs like; managed, created, developed, maintained, and prepared etc. provide a concise way to express the level and type of responsibility you had in terms of the task and situation. For example, if your duty was ‘completed filing in database systems’ the accomplishment statement could be, ‘Completed a high volume of data entry and database maintenance, remaining compliant to company retention schedule policies’.

Look at other Information

Another tip for crafting these statements for skills you have developed is to look at the information available to you. Resources such as the job description from when you applied to a past job, provide clear examples of what your day-to-day expectations and responsibilities were professionally. Another resource is learning outcomes from completed courses, as this is the knowledge you are expected to have learned through the duration of the course. These are often found in course syllabuses, the importance here is to not overstate this in your skills and not mistake familiarity and comprehension with learned experience. Be sure to not directly plagiarise, these resources should be used as sources of inspiration.

In the end, accomplishment statements are an amazing way to make your resume more impressive to potential employers. The key is to craft the statement using a structure of situation, task, action, and outcome and are made more effective by using an action verb.  If you need help properly framing your duties, there are many different resources you can find from your past experiences that will express your duties clearly and professionally.  There are also many articles online, and this article was crafted with the help of resources such as Indeed and Jobscan, but there are various others if you are searching for examples. Start incorporating accomplishment statements into your resume today and witness the positive impact on your job search. 

By Anjolina Rankin-West