Identify Keywords and Phrases
- Analyze job postings for position-specific keywords.
- Highlight the skills, personal qualities, and knowledge required for the desired industry.
- Use O*Net to identify additional competencies that employers desire.
Reflect on Experiences
- Brainstorm all the ways in which you have gained knowledge, skills, and abilities desired by employers.
- Remember that you don’t need to get paid to gain from an experience. Think of all the skills you have acquired from work, volunteer activities and coursework.
Focus on Accomplishments
Think about your accomplishments using the STAR method:
S/T” – SITUATION/TASK
- What was the situation/task you were working on? What factors contributed to a particular challenge, e.g., budget cuts, tight deadlines, new goals from management, etc.?
“A” – ACTION
- What steps did you take to address the challenge or solve the problem?
“R” – RESULT
- What was the outcome of your actions? Did the employer use your solution? Did you save time or money?
Effective accomplishment statements
- Specific examples of something you are proud of because you contributed to the employer’s or team’s success.
- Start with an action verb and include results.
- Tell the reader what you did, how you did it, or how well you did it.
- Highlight actions that you performed using your strengths.
Examples of accomplishment statements
- Spearheaded three-year strategic plan and annual fund development program to ensure long- term financial stability; secured $10,000 grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation for its launch.
- Designed and created brochures and guidelines that were adapted by the organization to increase volunteer recruitment.
- Collected and analyzed data and created comparative charts to assist units of local government in reviewing and revising a comprehensive plan for next decade.
- Demonstrated knowledge of current products and pricing in order to assist customers and guarantee return business.
- Trained six peer mentors to provide resume assistance to student externs.