Creating An Accomplishment Statement Cheat Sheet

An accomplishment statement cheat sheet is a tool I’ve created to help job seekers easily decide what accomplishment statements to include on their resume for a particular job posting. Depending on your skill sets and experience, it most likely will not be appropriate to include every accomplishment on every resume.


Accomplishment Statement Breakdown

Your accomplishment statements can be summed up into this simple statement:

Accomplishment Statement = Problem or Goal + Action + Results

 You can further break down an action as being:

Action = Action Verb + Job Skills

And a job skill as being:

Job Skill = Keyword + Keyword + …

It is important to break down your accomplishment statements into their base parts so that you can quickly and easily choose what statements to use in a resume tailored for the company and position that you are applying for.


Creating Your Worksheet

I’ve created a free worksheet you can use in the downloads section of this website. If you have not already created your accomplishment statements, you can follow the steps in my Creating Accomplishment Statements article.

Accomplishment Statements
Once you have your accomplishment statements ready, you can begin the process of breaking them down into job skills and keywords. The first step will be to add all of your accomplishment statements to the spreadsheet. This is an example of one from an old resume of mine:

Planned roll out of Intranet sites. Selected appropriate product groups for Beta testing to ensure full functionality of the site and rolled out projects on schedule to entire end user base after determining all user needs and coding were correct, rectified any errors that were identified after roll out by modifying necessary code.

Job Skills
From this accomplishment statement you can pull out several job skills:  Project Management, Website Programming and Website Design are three job skills. These are the skills that were actually used to accomplish the goal of rolling out Intranet sites. As you figure out what the job skills are for your accomplishment statement, add them to the job skills column on the worksheet next to your accomplishment statement.

Notice that while this follows the Action = Action Verb + Job Skills formula, it is not rigid in its implementation. I would not, for example, start my accomplishment statement by saying, “Planned project management.” Instead, “Planned roll out of Intranet sites,” is the culmination of the job skills used into a single goal, with an action verb bringing it together.

Now that the job skills are extracted from the accomplishment statements, you can start pulling out keywords for each job skill. If you take the job skill Website Programming as an example, you can start pulling out individual keywords such as these: HTML, ASP, CSS, ASP.Net, JavaScript, Object-Oriented Programming, Code Behind.

If you don’t know what any of those keywords are that I listed for the website programming job skill, that’s okay. It’s not important that you understand what those keywords in particular mean, it’s important that you understand what keywords are in general so that you can pull them out of your job skills and list them.

Keywords are those words and terms that are essential to performing your job skill as it relates to your accomplishment statement. Using the previous accomplishment statement example and the job skill website programming, I could not go into any detail about what I actually did without using the keywords that I listed. Those keywords are the primary building blocks of my accomplishment statement.

Keep in mind that every keyword that relates to a job skill does not necessarily belong as a keyword for your accomplishment statement. The keyword Java (a computer programming language) relates perfectly to the job skill website programming, however, since I did not use Java in relation to that accomplishment statement, it does not belong as a related keyword.


Using Your Worksheet To Populate Your Resume

Once you have your worksheet filled in with your accomplishment statements, job skills and keywords you will be able to choose what statements to use with each resume that you create.  What you will need to do is pull out the keywords for the job posting that you are submitting your resume for and then search for those keywords on your worksheet to find your most relevant accomplishment statements.

As an example, I’ve pulled the job requirements section out of a random job posting for an Event Specialist from and listed them below:

Job Requirements
High School Diploma or equivalent.
Significant experience in event marketing, demonstrations, sales, or retail/grocery is highly desirable.
Ability to build strong relationships with store Managers and store customers.
Friendly, outgoing personality; confidence and enthusiasm to engage retail shoppers.
Great communication skills e.g. ability to connect with customers and sell products.
Basic knowledge of how to use a computer; access the internet; send, receive, and review email; download documents from website or email; submit event reports.

If you look at the second requirement you can easily identify these keywords: Event Marketing, Sales, Point Of Sale Systems, Retail Sales. All you have to do is match those keywords to the keywords in your accomplishment statement worksheet and place the corresponding accomplishment statements into your new resume*. Repeat this with each job requirement.

Do not ignore the rest of the job listing and only focus on the job requirements. There are many other keywords that can be pulled out of a job listing. You should focus on the job requirements first but then add in other accomplishment statements that tie to the overall job listing as space allows.

* Creating a new resume for each job listing you are applying for allows you to hyper-target yourself to each job. If you’ve done all the groundwork of identifying job skills and keywords for each accomplishment statement, creating a new resume a job listing shouldn’t take more that twenty minutes.

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Rick Biederer is the owner and operator of

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  1. […] finding a job posting or company that you would like to work for, you have written  your resume, tailored your resume to this employment opportunity and done all your research for the job. You don’t want to mess […]

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