Your resume is the first thing that interviewers or recruiters see. It literally builds your first impression on them. Interviewers spend 5 to 10 seconds on average on any resume. This is because all well-known corporates and desired job opportunities receive hundreds of resumes.
Imagine the workload on the interviewers, who are in need to shortlist only a handful of candidates out of so many applicants! You essentially have just 5 seconds or so to attract their attention and impress them enough to earn a call for your first round of interviews. So, the ability to smartly mention achievements in resume becomes necessary.
Achieving something meaningful and significant for yourself is always a milestone in your life. The feeling of accomplishment is unparalleled and fulfilling. It feels great to look back and say that I achieved this or that.
However, when it comes to adding your achievements in a resume especially if you are a fresher, what should you write about?
Most job applicants, especially freshers or those in the first few years of their careers, handle this in a wrong or ineffective way. They generally do not understand what is achievement or may confuse achievements with awards.
They are confused about how and where to list their accomplishments on a resume. They are at loss thinking about which achievements to showcase and how.
Many applicants find it hard to trade the thin line between showcasing their achievements assertively and being seen as arrogant or full of themselves.
This is an interesting challenge here.
Smartly adding achievements in a resume becomes even more important if you are a fresher or if you have less work experience. Because you have next to nothing that can distinguish yourself from other candidates on the work front.
This article will help you understand more about achievements, how to choose them, and a systematic approach to writing your achievements in your resume that will get you more interview calls!
Doing this process of methodically adding accomplishments in a resume for freshers can also be a big help for them in answering the common interview question, “What are your biggest achievements?”
Here is how we will cover this topic:
What are Achievements?
Let us understand what is an achievement.
An achievement is any result that you achieved in any task, activity, or project, that needed you to go outside your comfort zone and apply your best possible skills, strengths and focus.
In other words, achievements are those milestones that you cherish in your life. Shall we call them your personal “smilestones”? Cause they make you feel confident, proud, and capable. They bring a smile to your face!
To interviewers achievements on your resume showcase your capabilities, skills, strengths, inclinations and ability to pursue something until you get your desired results!
Most key achievements examples can be categorized into personal, professional, and extracurricular achievements.
What are Personal Achievements on a resume?
These are difficult to accomplish goals in your personal life, that you pursued and achieved in spite of multiple challenges on the way to achieving them.
They are pursued simply out of your passion or inclination towards whatever you want to accomplish in your personal life.
There are multiple examples to this question as everyone’s achievements will be personal to them.
Examples of personal achievements that people might strive for can include becoming more educated and knowledgeable in an area of interest, developing new skill sets that may not have any direct bearing on professional life, becoming physically more strong or agile, improving one’s mental state of well-being, and becoming more mindful and in tune with oneself.
Other potential achievements could be developing healthier habits and lifestyle choices, making significant contributions to others or one’s community, or creating something new or unique that offers value to others.
What are Professional Achievements on a resume?
Professional Achievement could be anything in your professional field that you are proud of because of the effort that went in accomplishing it. This might include receiving a promotion, earning a certification, or completing a challenging project. They can also be awards or recognition you have received from recognized industry bodies.
For freshers, this can mean the highlights of their scholastic performance, the prizes they have won, and their accomplishments during their internships.
Professional achievements show the skills and capabilities you have gained in your choice of career direction. It shows your ability to handle stress and pressure.
What are Extracurricular Achievements on a resume?
These are the feats that you have accomplished while working on initiatives that are both – not your personal goals or professional milestones! It can be working for an NGO, working for a college magazine, or being part of the various management committees during your college days or otherwise.
You do these things to explore the world beyond your personal and professional space. They bring a new dimension and set of experiences that may be rare in their nature.
These initiatives in your life are mostly because of your curiosity or feeling of personal obligation towards a greater good.
What “cannot” be considered as Achievements in a Resume?
Let us look at what you cannot consider as an achievement in your resume:
- Performing tasks that you need to do daily because of personal or professional obligation
- Performance in anything that can be considered as average or ordinary
- Your hobbies or things you may be enjoying doing in your spare time
Ultimately achievements are a sort of “extraordinary results” that you have achieved that made you stretch yourself significantly!
What can be powerful Achievements In a Resume for Freshers?
Adding achievements on a resume as a fresher is a great way to distinguish yourself from others. They show prospective employers that you can accomplish tasks and take on responsibilities that are central to the job on offer. Not just that, they also demonstrate your drive and ambition.
There are many different types of achievements that a fresher can include on his or her resume. These might include academic achievements, such as being on the dean’s list or winning a scholarship.
The professional accomplishments can be landing a particular client during internships or completing a complex project as a part of your scholastic studies. They can even be personal triumphs, like training for and finishing a marathon.
Choosing which achievements to highlight on your resume will depend on the specific job you’re applying for.
Sports achievements in a resume for freshers
Adding sports achievements to your resume can help you stand out from the competition, especially if you’re a fresher. Sports achievements demonstrate teamwork, leadership, and other valuable skills in the workplace.
They also show that you’re well-rounded and have a commitment to excellence. Including sports achievements on your resume can give you an edge over other candidates who don’t have them.
When deciding whether or not to include your sports accomplishments on your resume, think about what kinds of roles you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a job that values teamwork, then highlighting your achievements as part of a team can be helpful. If you’re applying for a leadership role, you can include information about any Captaincy positions you have worked well.
Academic achievements in a resume for freshers
Most resume experts say that academic achievements should be included in a resume for fresher job seekers. It can be a valuable way to demonstrate your skills, accomplishments, and drive.
Some of the benefits of including academic achievements in your resume include:
- It can help you stand out from other fresher candidates who may not have any significant differentiation in their academic performance. Highlighting your academic successes shows that you are a disciplined and focused individual capable of building a distinguished career.
- It helps demonstrate your drive to acquire knowledge and expertise in your chosen field. If you have received any awards or recognition for your academic work, this will make potential employers sit up and take notice.
Internship Accomplishments in a resume for freshers
Internships are becoming a fairly common strategy for freshers to get a taste of the professional world and gain valuable entry-level experience.
From the interviewer’s perspective, it shows your eagerness to learn and perform in the real world. So, if you have achieved any significant experiences which can be expressed specifically with numbers, it will give you a significant advantage over other applicants.
These achievements show your ability to perform in the profession which is related to the role you handled during your internship.
List of Achievements in a Resume for freshers
Let us give you a headstart in your preparation of writing your achievements in your resume.
Following are the 18 types of achievements that freshers can write in their resumes
- Awarded the best “____” (fill in the blanks) student of the year
- Secured first position in a subject or class throughout the academic tenure
- Active participant in college fests and cultural events
- Member of the debating team/cultural committee/sports team
- Won accolades for excellent academic performance and extracurricular achievements
- Honor Roll inclusion for high grades
- Awards won for specific activities or subjects
- Saved time by coming up with efficient methods and tools
- Elected to do or lead something/someone
- Leader in some club or organization
- Qualifications gained
- Captain of the school cricket team
- Volunteer at a local homeless shelter
- Won a regional debate championship
- Played a leading role in the school play
- Certifications completed with hiigh grades
- Internship achievements
An old saying goes, “you learn from your mistakes.” And it’s so true! Our mistakes can be some of our best teachers. Some of our biggest accomplishments come from areas where we lacked severely in our lives.
They can show us where we need to improve and how we can do better next time. Thats why, you can include learning from mistakes and your story of improving upon them to accomplish something significant as an achievement in your resume.
Examples of Personal Achievements in a Resume
A variety of personal accomplishments can be considered personal achievements. Some of the most common ones include:
- Completing a marathon
- Achieving a high rank in one’s profession
- Raising children who are successful and happy
- Developing new and innovative ways to solve problems
- Winning a major contest or competition
- Becoming financially independent
Each individual’s list of accomplishments will be unique. This list is just to get you thinking.
Examples of Student Achievements in a Resume
Student achievement can happen in many different forms. Here are a few examples:
- Receiving academic honors or being accepted into prestigious academic programs
- Winning scholarships or other financial awards
- Earning top marks on standardized tests
- Being selected for leadership positions in school organizations or clubs
- Performing exceptionally in athletics or the arts
- Publication of student work in newspapers, magazines, or scholarly journals
Why is it important to add Achievements in a Resume?
It’s important to include your achievements on your resume because employers want to know what you’re capable of in a short span of a few seconds while screening your resume.
By highlighting your accomplishments, you show the potential employer that you have the skills and experience they’re looking for. Additionally, it can help set you apart from other candidates with similar qualifications.
Including your achievements on your resume is a great way to demonstrate that you’re a potential high-performing employee. If you can show that you’ve achieved results in past roles, the potential employer will be more likely to consider hiring you.
So make sure to list all of your notable accomplishments – big and small – on your resume.
3 Key Reasons why Achievements in a resume are important for Recruiters
- Your past successes provide invaluable insights into your future potential
Employers want to know that they are hiring someone who will be able to produce results.
They want to know that you have a history of success that can be relied upon to expect your future success at the position on offer. They are interested in knowing how you accomplished something, more than what you accomplished.
When you highlight your achievements, you tell potential employers that you have what it takes to succeed in this role. You demonstrate that you are an individual with the desired track record of skills and achievements.
It shows them how you can be a good match for the role and responsibilities of the position. It tells them about your possibility of being culturally fit for their organization.
- Resumes that highlight Achievements and Awards are attractive to recruiters
Achievements and awards are a solid indicator of how well a person carries his or her responsibilities. It shows your level of commitment to the work at hand.
Accomplishments on resume show the intensity an applicant brings to the tasks at hand. They indicate the result-orientedness of the individuals.
Many candidates may have desired skills and abilities, however, those with achievements and awards how a different levels of passion and vision. Such candidates are more likely to exceed expectations at the given job.
Now, you can see why resumes that highlight accomplishments attract the immediate attention of the recruiters.
- Your accomplishments are your best Branding and Marketing tool
Any branding or marketing tool is to help you stand out from the crowd and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Imagine this in the context of every recruiter or interviewer coming across hundreds of resumes for any desirable job opportunity.
The accomplishment section of your resume is an excellent place to show your skills and highlight your most significant achievements. Think of it as carefully crafted self-promotion because that’s precisely what it is.
This section catches the attention of recruiters and gets them to think about you. Chances of you getting your interview call hang on the effectiveness of achievements.
Focus on the facts, and be specific about what you achieved. Quantify your results whenever possible, and mention the names of any organizations or individuals you worked with. Use strong action verbs to describe your accomplishments, and always proofread carefully for errors.
How to intelligently write achievements in a resume?
The achievements you include on your resume will depend on your individual career history and the job you’re applying for. However, you can follow some general tips to ensure that your achievements are presented in the best possible light.
5 Tips to Smartly add your Achievements in a Resume
- Note down your achievements
One of the best ways to record your achievements is to maintain a journal or “achievement log.” This can be as simple as keeping a running list of things you’ve accomplished or writing out detailed entries each time you achieve something new.
You could also create a scrapbook or photo album dedicated to your accomplishments. Whatever method you choose, making regular entries will ensure that you don’t forget any critical milestones.
- Focus on the job you’re applying
It will be vital that you focus on your achievements that align well with the key responsibilities and deliverables of the job you’re applying for.
This is because employers want to see how you can benefit their company and how much you can grow in their organization. So, choose those accomplishments that show the skills and strengths necessary to carry out the role, you have applied for, effectively.
For example, if you’re applying for a marketing position, talk about how you increased viewership on the company website by a certain percentage. Or, if you’re applying for a managerial position, talk about how you successfully increased sales in your previous role.
Whatever it is, make sure to SHOW rather than TELL. Use numbers and statistics to back up your claims whenever possible.
- Highlight Results and Numbers
It’s always a good idea to emphasize the precise outcome to your employer on your resume. Spotlighting on results is a great way to do this.
When utilizing this approach, you’ll want to choose a handful of the most relevant accomplishments to the position you’re applying for and highlight them in a separate section on your resume. Not only does this help employers in better understanding your key accomplishments, but it also helps show them what you’re capable of.
For example, you could list the following: “Managed a team of 5 employees.” or “Pitched and secured a $1M contract.” Numbers and stats are beneficial in showing your impact on the company. For example, “Successfully increased sales by 20%.”
- Use powerful and punchy words
Employers often receive dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes for each open position. To stand out from the competition, your resume must quickly demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to excel in the role. One way to do this is by using “power words.”
Power words are phrases that pack a lot of industry-specific meaning into just a few words. They can communicate complex messages quickly and easily digestible for employers. For Example – Excel, Innovate, traction, CTR
- Talk about your learning, impact, and skills built
This builds a coherent story about you for the interviewer. It shows you focus on continuous learning.
Quantify the positive impact your work has had on your company or team.
4 Step Process to add Achievements in a Resume
Step 1: Decide on a format for adding your achievements on a resume
As seen so far, achievements are a critical component of any CV. They show that you are a go-getter and have achieved strong results. When you are applying for jobs, it is essential to be able to highlight your accomplishments clearly and concisely.
This is why, some people simply list their achievements in a separate section, while others distribute them through the resume.
Whichever method you choose, make sure that your achievements stand out and are relevant to the position you are applying for. 54% of job applicants do not adapt their resumes to each opportunity or employer, according to a recent study.
Step 2: Choose your achievements specific to the job
Since you already have a list of your accomplishments by now, it is time to segregate them into various categories like personal, professional, and extracurricular achievements.
Once you have done this, you will be able to pick and choose those achievements that are in line with the expectations of the job.
This could include completing a major project at work, scholastic accomplishments, or overcoming personal challenges. Additionally, having such a list can help you add it to your resume.
Step 3: Prioritize the ones to showcase on a resume
In your resume, you should generally focus on three to five major relevant accomplishments.
Any more will take up unnecessary room and appear cluttered. It may also create an unnecessary diversion in the interviewer’s attention.
Step 4: Write them down crisply
When writing your CV, list your attainments clearly and concisely.
Here are a few Bonus tips to effectively write your achievements in a resume:
- Start with your most recent achievement and work backward.
- Use quantifiable metrics whenever possible. For example, “Managed a team of 10 engineers” is more impactful than “Led a team.”
- Highlight any awards or accolades you have received.
- Think about the skills you developed as a result of your achievements. For instance, if you spearheaded a project that required programming skills, you could highlight “programming” as one of your skills.
What to write in Achievements in a resume, when you don’t have any?
If you don’t have any achievements to list on your resume, you can do a few things to fill out the section.
First, look at your educational qualifications and include any awards or honors you received. You can also list any certifications or professional training courses you have completed.
If you have participated in any competitions, even if you didn’t win, be sure to mention that.
Finally, think about any notable volunteering or community service experience you have had and how it has helped you grow.
By listing all of these accomplishments, you can show employers that even though you may not have significant work experience, you are qualified and capable of performing at a high level.
Where Do I List my Achievements in a Resume?
Your resume summary is a great place to list your most notable professional accomplishments. This catches the attention of the recruiters in the fastest possible way. It is this summary section in your resume that makes the recruiters read further.
You may also include a few in the extracurricular activities section. This section generally becomes more important for non-technical roles in the fields like sales, marketing, customer service, or event management.
You can also make your work experience descriptions more powerful with specific quantifiable results that you achieved during your internships or projects or any other previous work experiences.
It is generally a good idea to sprinkle your achievements throughout the resume to keep the recruiter interested in it till the end. This will dramatically improve your chances of getting the interview calls.
Sample achievements in a Resume for Freshers
- 2x Dean’s List 2018–2020
- Editor of the University Magazine from 2016 to 2018.
- Published an article in the school paper on Internet marketing.
- Completed training on first Aid Skills and Life Support
- Completed a semester-long research internship with ABC Limited.
- Completed a 3-month internship with Canva. Commended by the internship advisor for resourcefulness and attention to detail.
Mistakes to avoid while adding Achievements on a resume
1. Avoid making mistakes with the specifics or numbers while writing your achievements on a resume. Such things can cast a doubt on you.
2. Avoid any irrelevant awards for achievements. It will only detract from your professional qualifications and may even dissuade potential employers from considering you for the position.
3. Do not add achievements that are very old. It may seem like you have not much to show in recent years.
[ Bolster your resume further with:
The Bottom Line
If you’re a fresher and don’t have any work experience to boast of, don’t worry. You can still include your achievements on your resume.
Just make sure that everything you list as your achievements is relevant to the job you are applying for.
And finally, always remember to proofread your resume before sending it out! Make sure there are no mistakes in terms of grammar or spelling, as these can quickly eliminate you from consideration for the job.
Here are a couple of articles on Achievements that you may find relevant and useful:
Explore our “Fresher Interview Questions and Answers” section to find detailed comprehensive guides on various fresher interview questions and answers!