How to write powerful accomplishments in Resumes: Using How, Why and Who

Have you ever copied and pasted your job description in your resume? If you did, you were probably in a hurry and you did it because it was:

  • Easy.
  • Already written.
  • Typo-free!
  • Fast.

None of those are bad reasons. But here is why you shouldn’t do it.

  • Job descriptions can be inaccurate. Roles change when people add their expertise.
  • The job description never reflects your contributions (because they’re written before you’ve started).
  • Job descriptions do not evaluate performance. They list your minimum duties. A minimal task performer is not a great employee.
  • Job descriptions are like phone books. Dull, uninspired, and full of company-specific jargon that only employees understand.

So what you’re saying, is for your convenience, you are happy to bore the person who stands between you and your dream job. by hiding your accomplishments! Not a great strategy! What if there was a quick way to creating or updating your resume, by simply asking three things: Why, How and Who?

  • Why did I?
  • How did I? or How well did I?
  • Who benefited?

Have a look at a job description below with those questions highlighted.

  • Why did I….Develop an operational strategy which contains goals and objectives that work towards the strategic direction of the firm. What was the result?
  • How did I…. Ensure the organisation satisfies client, Board, and funder expectations. Who benefited? 
  • How did I … Manage the company’s daily operations? What was gained?
  • Why did I … Draft Board-approved policies and organisational policy implementation procedures? What was gained by the company and who benefited? 
  • Why did I … Keep personnel, client, donor, and volunteer files secure and confidential. How did I do? What was gained?
  • How did I…  Prepare Board meeting agendas and related documents. What was gained?

Now your job description has prompted to you think think more about what you’ve accomplished. Let’s look at a handful of samples and see how you may adapt them to promote your competencies and successes more successfully.

  • Why did I plan operations? To improve the company’s strategic orientation.
  • Why? Because the organisation had been stagnant for years without a vision.
  • Gained? Customers, shareholders, and employers.

Now…. turn that into an accomplishment: 

  • Gave a sluggish company perspective and strategy. The new operating plan’s goal-oriented approach to engaging shareholders, employees, and consumers was commended by the executive team.
  • Steered a new operational plan governing individual ownership and advocating results-focus that exceeded client, Board, and funder expectations.

Experiment! Asking yourself those three basic questions will help you focus on your strengths and accomplishments and make your resume vastly more readable, enjoyable and compelling!






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About Gayle Howard

If you are interested in working with Gayle Howard—an executive resume writer, Certified Master Resume Writer, multi-award-winning resume writer, and Master LinkedIn profile writer, drop her a line now using the contact form at the link above. Gayle can help you get interviews for your dream job and bring the world of business to you by maximizing your exposure and connections on LinkedIn.