Resume Writing: Achievements Vs. Responsibilities

Many resume writers are uncertain how to express their achievements vs. responsibilities. This is because many responsibilities can often seem to be achievements and most achievements can appear to be responsibilities. To avoid any confusion, you must take great care in determining which qualities and experiences that you have gained through the workforce can be classified as achievements and which ones can only be classified as responsibilities. This way you can ensure that you are presenting yourself, your skills, your responsibilities and your achievements in a clear and professional manner in your resume.

In order to do this, you must first be aware of the differences between an achievement and a responsibility when it comes to the work place.

What is an Achievement in Relation to the Workplace?

The dictionary defines an achievement as follows: “The act of accomplishing or finishing. Something accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion, skill, practice or perseverance.” This is a clear picture of what achievements vs. responsibilities are.

An achievement would be a type of certification that you have acquired through work or through outside sources. This could also include but is not limited to various types of trainings and classes that you may have taken in order to gain more skills for the workplace. Achievements are those things that you have actually gone out and achieved on your own through hard work and dedication.

Consider your college education. Your diploma or degree is proof of your achievement. Your responsibilities to acquire this degree were attending classes, completing assignments, and passing tests. These were the responsibilities that you had to carry out in order to gain the achievement that you desired.

What is a Responsibility in Relation to the Workplace?

When you consider achievements vs. responsibilities in the workplace you must look at the details of your position. What are you responsible for doing in your current or past positions? You could surely sit down and create a list of each and every thing that you are responsible for or were responsible for on a daily basis in regards to your position.

Now let’s say that you carried out your job responsibilities in such a fantastic way that you were promoted to a management position within your first three months in a specific line of work. This promotion would be your achievement for following through on all of your responsibilities.

The difference between a responsibility and an achievement is very simple to see. Your achievement is your end goal, while your responsibilities are generally those things which led up to the “big pay off.” Once you fully understand this you will have a much easier time when you set out to compose your resume in a professional manner. You will now be able to distinguish between these two important elements and will be able to list your responsibilities and your achievements in the appropriate place. Without a full understanding of achievements vs. responsibilities you could end up making some crucial mistakes in the fashioning of your resume that could make you appear less professional than you really are.

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