Your Resume’s Achievements: Do They Answer the Right Questions about Your Accomplishments?

One of the hallmarks of DIY resumes is the frequent lack of relevant details throughout the document. This is a major problem when it comes to accomplishment statements which, by their nature, require precise details and context information.

The challenge in restructuring your resume’s achievements, though, is to add more details – of the right kind – without overwhelming the reader with unnecessary information or lengthening the bullets to an unreadable degree. These twin goals aren’t easy to accomplish but any progress you can make will help your document to communicate your brand more clearly, so it’s well worth the effort.

To drive this point home with the professionals I talk to every day, I usually identify one or more weak bullets in their current resume and lob a series of questions at them to help them see how many key details are missing from the statements. I then demonstrate how additional background information can be leveraged to uplift their original accomplishment statement.

A bit like this, actually. I’ve randomly selected 4 weak bullets from 4 random resumes I’ve reviewed recently and listed them below. For each, I’ve brainstormed the questions each statement raises but doesn’t address. I’ve then reengineered each bullet with more precise details, background information, and critical context so a mini success story emerges.

What do you think?

  • Example #1
  • Example #2
  • Example #3
  • Example #4

Original Bullet:

  • Deployed go-to-market programs to support multiple product lines and sales teams around the world that resulted in new opportunities with higher deal sizes and close rates.

Questions This Statement Doesn’t Answer:

  • Why were the GTM programs needed? Did none already exist or was there something wrong with those that did?
  • How many GTM programs did you create?
  • What was unique about them?
  • How many product lines did this effort encompass?
  • How many sales teams were impacted?
  • In how many countries?
  • How much in new sales did this generate?
  • How much larger were deal sizes?
  • How much faster were close rates?

How These Additional Details Would Improve This Bullet:

  • Set the stage for $12.7M in new sales with +35% larger deal sizes and +18% faster close rates. Designed and rolled out 71 go-to-market programs – the company’s first innovations in 12 years – spanning 125 products sold by 15 sales teams across 42 countries.

Of course, not every resume bullet needs this kind of treatment, but most do. And not every achievement can produce measurable data to support it, but most can.

What about your resume? What shape are your resume achievements in? Do they answer enough of the right questions or do they raise more questions than they can answer?

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About Cheryl Lynch Simpson

Cheryl is a Career, Job Search & LinkedIn Coach and Master Resume Writer. She has helped clients in >35 industries on 6 continents and has earned 24 global resume writing nominations and awards.

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