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Career Coach: Transform Your Resume -- Show Results

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson advises how to get the most out of your resume.

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson.

Your resume is a marketing tool and should prompt the employer to call you in for an interview. These tips will help your resume stand out in that sea of CVs stacked on the desk of the hiring manager. 

Highlight Accomplishments and Achievements

Resumes that work show solid accomplishments, positive results and measurable success. Highlight selected accomplishments at the beginning of your resume, under a heading of "Career Accomplishments" or "Summary of Accomplishments." Integrate your accomplishments into each job listing.

Here are tips to help you emphasize your accomplishments:

It's OK to Brag

This is no time to be modest. If you are uncomfortable bragging about yourself, remember that you are the solution to a hiring manager's problem. You are sharing your list of accomplishments with an employer who needs to know how you can contribute. The resume is a sales tool, you are the product and the hiring manager is the buyer who needs the product. 

Performance Check Up

Examine each of your previous jobs and ask yourself:

● How did you positively impact your company, division or team?

● What are the specific measurements of your contributions? (money saved, revenue increased, deadlines met, contracts awarded, content produced, etc.)

● What are you proudest of during your time with the company?

Enlist the help of former colleagues, friends and family who may remember accomplishments you have forgotten. Seek out those you spoke to about your work life -- who listened to both your complaints and helped you celebrate your successes.Ask them what you were proud of and what you bragged about. Ask vendors and colleagues for input.

Official Performance Reviews

Preserve all performance reviews, whether you're looking for a new job or not. They will be useful when changing companies or transferring to another division in the same company.

Scan your performance reviews and note what supervisors praised you for. Accomplishments might be mentioned on your evaluations. Supervisors might mention your strengths. Think about how you used those strengths to reach goals. Use written recommendations from each of your jobs to develop a list of accomplishments.

Can't find your old reviews? Call human resources at your previous employer and ask for them. Letters of recommendation and company newsletters where you are recognized by management will also help jog your memory. 

Numbers Add Up

Measurable results catch the eye of a hiring manager. Apply numbers wherever possible, using percentages, dollar signs and time quantifiers. If you have increased profitability or decreased costs, list these accomplishments. On my resume, I mention that I "saved company $302,000 through recruitment; salary negotiations, vendor relationships and equipment acquisition strategies."

If you exceeded a goal, note the original goal. If you didn't hit your target, don't mention the original goal but use the number you did attain. Sales of $1,000,000 is still an accomplishment, even if the goal was $3,000,000. Make sure your claims are accurate and be able to explain how you achieved them.


Cite recognition and awards on your resume. Make sure any honor you list is based on merit or achievement or contributions to the company. Be ready to explain how you earned each award.

On Your Honor

Show your best side, but don't falsify. Be truthful. If a prospective employer finds even one false statement on your resume, he will assume the rest is fiction as well.

New Graduates

Even if you don't have a lot of experience, you still have accomplishments which indicate the kind of work ethic you have (high grade point average) and kind of work you do (selected for a juried art show, placed third in an animation festival, etc.). Mention internships and other work experience and any special abilities and skills as well as any recognitions and awards, which show achievement, including volunteer work.

With these tips, your resume will be able to do the work of getting you work

Pamela Kleibrink Thompson is a recruiter and career coach and has seen thousands of resumes. You can reach her for recruiting, speaking engagements, career coaching or resume revamps at She will be presenting her Career Strategies Workshop at IADT in Tampa on June 15 and 16 and presenting the commencement address at Art Institute of Tampa on June 18.