In this activity, students will learn about Accomplishment Statements, including a helpful formula for writing them. They’ll learn why these types of statements are important and useful when you’re building your resume because they show potential employers what you did and the impact of your actions.
Students will review examples of Accomplishment Statements, practice drafting their own, then pair up to give feedback on each other’s statements.
Explain to students: the best way to show an employer what you can do for them is to tell them what you’ve already accomplished. That’s why it’s so important to not only tell potential hiring managers what you’ve done in your past roles, but also the impact of your actions. Make every word count!
Optional: You may want to show this video clip (3:04).
Explain what Accomplishment Statements are and how they can be used in a resume to demonstrate your qualifications:
“Accomplishment Statements let employers know about your unique achievements. Beyond a simple list of duties or responsibilities, Accomplishment Statements show how your work created an impact.”
Share this formula to develop strong bullet points: What + So What?
Explain that students should use specific examples and quantify results when they can to show the scope of their work.
Review a few examples that reflect the importance of transferable skills:
Peer Math Tutor: “Helped fellow high school students understand and apply key math concepts, and prepare for their exams. Succeeded in helping my tutees raise their math grades by an average of 20%.”
Assistant Childcare Supervisor: “Established a safe, enjoyable, and enriching environment for children aged 5-12 by designing, preparing, and leading a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, while following appropriate safety protocols.”
Blood Center Volunteer: “Designed a PowerPoint presentation and a poster summarizing how and why to participate in the local blood drive, to raise awareness about the importance of blood donation in our community.
Invite students to think about one or two of their relevant experiences, then draft some Accomplishment Statements that demonstrate their qualifications powerfully and succinctly. Encourage them to use the ability verbs on the activity handout.
Pair students together to share their draft Accomplishment Statements. Ask students to give feedback (a glow and a grow), keeping in mind the What + So What? Formula.
Optional extension (15 minutes):
Give students 10 minutes to review sample job postings that sound interesting to them, even if they’re not ready to apply for jobs yet. Point them to specific sources, or provide a sample of entry-level job postings from various industries. Ask them to read the job postings carefully, paying particular attention to how the employer describes their ideal candidate. They can look in the qualifications, duties, and summary sections for clues.
Ask students to then reflect on which of their strengths, skills and experiences overlap with employers’ wish lists? They might draw from their paid and volunteer work, as well as school and personal life. Ask students to consider which of their attributes set you apart from other candidates? Which attributes are worth their effort to develop further? Encourage them to set some SMART goals.
Self-assessment: Give students the opportunity to reflect on this activity and set goals.
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