60 Inspiring Examples: How To Write Accomplishment Statements

By Editorial Team on November 22, 2023 — 17 minutes to read

  • Crafting Your Accomplishment Statements Part 1
  • Types of Accomplishment Statements Part 2
  • Examples of Quantitative Accomplishment Statements Part 3
  • Examples of Qualitative Accomplishment Statements Part 4
  • Examples of Action Verbs to Describe Your Achievements Part 5
  • Common Mistakes to Avoid Part 6
  • Editing and Refining Your Achievement Statements Part 7

When you’re jazzing up your resume or preparing for an interview, crafting strong accomplishment statements can set you apart. Think of these statements as snapshots that capture how you’ve excelled in your roles. They’re your professional highlights reel where action verbs are your star players, setting the scene with energy and precision.

Your accomplishment statements should feel as though they are bringing a dose of enthusiasm to your narrative, not just listing duties. When drafting, consider how each sentence provides a window into the problems you’ve solved and the goals you’ve kicked. Give enough detail to spark curiosity and make recruiters want to learn more about what you bring to the table.

Part 1 Crafting Your Accomplishment Statements

Creating strong accomplishment statements on your resume can set you apart from other candidates. They not only show what you’ve done but also how well you’ve done it.

Starting With Action Verbs

Start your statements with powerful action verbs to capture attention and make your accomplishments stand out. Verbs like ‘executed’, ‘transformed’, ‘implemented’, ‘spearheaded’, and ‘orchestrated’ show you’re action-oriented. For example, instead of saying “Was in charge of,” you might say, “Managed a team of 10 to…”.

Highlighting the Impact

Quantify your achievements to provide a clear picture of your impact. Use numbers, percentages, and financial figures where possible. A statement like “Increased sales by 20% over a six-month period by implementing a new strategic marketing plan” clearly demonstrates your effectiveness.

Adding the Wow Factor

Use qualitative terms to give context and show the significance of your accomplishments. You might say, “Revitalized a stagnant brand by introducing a fresh social media strategy, resulting in a 50% increase in online engagement.” This shows not only what you did, but also the positive effect it had.

Part 2 Types of Accomplishment Statements

Crafting accomplishment statements effectively showcases your achievements in a way that’s clear and impressive. They typically come in two varieties: quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative Accomplishment Statements

Quantitative statements rely on numbers and data to demonstrate your impact. Examples of these might include, “Increased sales by 20% within one fiscal quarter” or “Reduced customer call times by 30 seconds, improving the customer experience.” These particular phrases employ numbers to give a solid, measurable snapshot of your achievements.

Qualitative Accomplishment Statements

Qualitative statements, on the other hand, emphasize the quality of your impact, often in areas where numerical data isn’t the focus. For example, “Improved team communication by implementing weekly sync meetings” or “Enhanced customer satisfaction through personalized follow-up emails.” These statements spotlight the positive changes you brought about through your actions and decisions without relying strictly on metrics.

Part 3 Examples of Quantitative Accomplishment Statements

Quantifying your achievements means adding numbers to provide a clear and measurable impact of your work. This approach makes your contributions tangible and shows the value you’ve added.

  • Start by reviewing your job duties and identify any areas where you’ve made a measurable difference. Look for changes in revenue, time saved, increase in customer satisfaction scores, or any other metric that can be expressed in numbers. If you are struggling to recall specific figures, try estimating conservatively or use percentages to indicate growth or improvement.
  • For example, if you’re in sales, you could write, “Exceeded monthly sales targets by 20% for five consecutive months, resulting in a $50K increase in revenue.” This statement not only shows that you met your goals but surpassed them significantly.
  • If you’ve streamlined a process, describe how much time you saved. A statement such as “Implemented a new inventory system, reducing stock-checking time by 30%,” makes it clear that your actions had direct, time-saving outcomes.
  • Use action verbs in the past tense to emphasize your role in the achievements. Words like ‘achieved’, ‘expanded’, ‘developed’, ‘reduced’, and ‘negotiated’ pack a punch and give your statements power.
  • Don’t underestimate smaller numbers. Even improving customer satisfaction by 5% can be important in a competitive market. Any positive change you’ve driven is worth mentioning, and quantifying these changes provides a clearer picture of your capabilities and results.
  • 1. Increased departmental sales by 15%, resulting in a $100K revenue boost over six months.
  • 2. Streamlined project delivery process, reducing turnaround time by 25%.
  • 3. Managed a team of 10, increasing overall productivity by 35%.
  • 4. Cut operational costs by 10% through strategic vendor negotiations.
  • 5. Improved customer satisfaction ratings by 8% through enhanced service protocols.
  • 6. Led a marketing campaign that generated a 50% increase in leads.
  • 7. Automated report generation, saving 20 hours of manual work per week.
  • 8. Boosted social media engagement by 40% with targeted content strategies.
  • 9. Developed a new employee training program, reducing onboarding time by 30%.
  • 10. Oversaw a budget of $500K, ensuring all projects stayed under budget by at least 5%.
  • 11. Implemented a CRM system, increasing customer retention by 12%.
  • 12. Directed a team that delivered a critical software update 3 weeks ahead of schedule.
  • 13. Increased production efficiency by 20% by optimizing assembly line processes.
  • 14. Expanded the company’s market share by 5% within one fiscal year.
  • 15. Reduced employee turnover by 15% through improved HR policies and staff engagement.
  • 16. Coordinated an event with 300+ attendees, resulting in a 25% increase in brand awareness.
  • 17. Secured 5 high-value client contracts, each worth over $50K.
  • 18. Consolidated two company divisions, saving $30K annually in administrative costs.
  • 19. Achieved a record-breaking $1M in sales during the first quarter.
  • 20. Enhanced website traffic by 60% via SEO and content marketing initiatives.
  • 21. Decreased defect rates by 7% through meticulous quality control measures.
  • 22. Surpassed fundraising targets by 150%, raising over $300K for a non-profit initiative.
  • 23. Facilitated a partnership that led to a 20% expansion of service offerings.
  • 24. Delivered 10+ major presentations to stakeholders, improving project buy-in by 30%.
  • 25. Negotiated a critical contract, resulting in a 10% discount on supply costs.
  • 26. Pioneered a digital transformation that improved data accessibility by 70%.
  • 27. Mentored 5 junior employees, all of whom were promoted within a year.
  • 28. Conducted market research that informed a successful product pivot, increasing sales by 35%.
  • 29. Revamped the company’s social media strategy, leading to a 100% increase in follower engagement.
  • 30. Orchestrated a logistics overhaul that reduced shipping times by 15%.
  • 31. Authored a white paper that attracted 2,000+ downloads, establishing thought leadership in the industry.
  • 32. Implemented energy-saving initiatives that cut utility expenses by $5K annually.
  • 33. Spearheaded a customer feedback system, enhancing product features and boosting satisfaction by 10%.
  • 34. Managed a portfolio of 50+ client accounts, maintaining a 98% satisfaction rate.
  • 35. Co-authored three successful grant applications, totaling $150K in funding.
  • 36. Optimized inventory management, resulting in a 5% reduction in waste.
  • 37. Led a cross-functional team that successfully launched a new product line, contributing to a 20% increase in annual revenue.
  • 38. Designed a training module that decreased employee onboarding time from 2 weeks to 3 days.
  • 39. Coordinated with international teams, delivering projects 20% faster than previous benchmarks.
  • 40. Developed a comprehensive risk management strategy, reducing incidents by 40%.
  • 41. Launched an affiliate marketing program that generated an additional $25K in monthly sales.
  • 42. Implemented a customer loyalty program that increased repeat business by 15%.
  • 43. Conducted a competitive analysis that led to a strategic pivot, capturing an additional 10% of the market share.
  • 44. Reduced software development cycle time by 25% through agile methodologies.
  • 45. Increased average order value by 18% through targeted upselling techniques.
  • 46. Successfully managed and closed deals with three Fortune 500 companies.
  • 47. Reduced annual IT expenses by 10% by migrating to cloud-based solutions.
  • 48. Enhanced online conversion rates by 30% with a redesigned user interface.
  • 49. Negotiated a major contract that resulted in a recurring annual saving of $50K.
  • 50. Implemented a quality assurance program that decreased customer complaints by 20%.
  • 51. Accelerated product time-to-market by 10% through efficient project management.
  • 52. Facilitated a merger that expanded the company’s workforce by 25% without sacrificing productivity.
  • 53. Developed and patented a new technology that increased product efficiency by 15%.
  • 54. Cultivated a business partnership that led to a joint venture, increasing revenue by $1M.
  • 55. Designed and executed a direct mail campaign with a 5% response rate
  • 56. Orchestrated a supply chain realignment that saved $40K in logistics costs annually.
  • 57. Championed a customer service initiative that reduced call-handling times by 20%.
  • 58. Led a digital advertising campaign that drove a 300% ROI within the first month.
  • 59. Increased membership retention by 25% through personalized engagement strategies.
  • 60. Directed a cost-reduction initiative that saved the company $200K in the first year.

Part 4 Examples of Qualitative Accomplishment Statements

Writing impactful accomplishment statements that aren’t centered around numerical data can be highly effective in showcasing your skills and experience. When you lack quantifiable results or when confidentiality concerns prevent sharing specific metrics, you can focus on qualitative achievements that speak to your abilities.

  • Start with strong action verbs that convey your direct contribution. For example, verbs like ‘launched’, ‘improved’, ‘developed’, ‘expanded’, or ‘transformed’ demonstrate your active role in making things happen.
  • You might say, “Developed a comprehensive onboarding program that improved team integration and productivity.” Here, the focus is on the creation and positive outcome of your action, emphasizing the value of your contribution.
  • Describe your accomplishments through the lens of challenges faced and the solutions you provided. For example, “Resolved a longstanding customer service bottleneck, which heightened client satisfaction.” This showcases problem-solving skills and the impact on customer experience, both highly valuable to employers.
  • Highlight your leadership and collaborative efforts with phrases that show your role within a team or project. An example might be, “Coordinated a cross-departmental project that harmonized communication and workflows.” This underlines your teamwork and organizational skills.
  • Consider including advancements in personal skills or professional development. For instance, “Mastered advanced design software to enhance content quality and visual appeal,” which suggests dedication to self-improvement and keeping up with industry tools.
  • Remember to tailor these statements to the job you’re applying for, aligning your achievements with the skills and attributes the employer is seeking. This personalized approach can often resonate more than raw numbers alone.
  • 1. Launched an innovative marketing campaign that significantly elevated brand visibility in a saturated market.
  • 2. Improved the company’s internal communication strategy, fostering a culture of transparency and collaboration.
  • 3. Developed a state-of-the-art inventory tracking system that streamlined warehouse operations.
  • 4. Expanded the customer base through strategic networking and partnerships, leading to market growth.
  • 5. Transformed the user experience of the corporate website, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction.
  • 6. Orchestrated a successful merger, integrating teams and systems seamlessly.
  • 7. Revitalized a stagnant product line, reinvigorating sales and customer interest.
  • 8. Pioneered a sustainability initiative that positioned the company as an environmental leader in the industry.
  • 9. Engineered a software solution that became the standard for improving operational efficiency.
  • 10. Forged strong relationships with key industry influencers, boosting the company’s reputation and authority.
  • 11. Negotiated critical contracts that provided long-term stability and growth opportunities.
  • 12. Cultivated a dynamic team culture that attracted top talent and reduced turnover.
  • 13. Directed a comprehensive rebranding effort that refreshed the company’s image and messaging.
  • 14. Championed diversity and inclusion policies that enriched the workplace environment.
  • 15. Masterminded a crisis management plan that protected the company’s interests during challenging times.
  • 16. Facilitated a workshop that enhanced team creativity and problem-solving skills.
  • 17. Spearheaded a digital transformation that kept the company ahead of technological trends.
  • 18. Authored thought leadership articles that established the company as an expert in its field.
  • 19. Revamped the onboarding process, creating a welcoming and efficient experience for new hires.
  • 20. Orchestrated a company-wide training program that upskilled employees and boosted productivity.
  • 21. Mediated and resolved complex disputes, maintaining harmony and cooperation within the team.
  • 22. Initiated a quality assurance protocol that upheld the company’s high standards for product excellence.
  • 23. Designed an award-winning product packaging that captured the attention of consumers.
  • 24. Led a cross-functional initiative that broke down silos and improved interdepartmental collaboration.
  • 25. Implemented a customer feedback loop that informed key product enhancements.
  • 26. Developed a risk management framework that safeguarded the company against potential threats.
  • 27. Coordinated a successful trade show exhibition that generated a buzz in the industry.
  • 28. Enhanced the corporate social responsibility program, earning accolades from the community.
  • 29. Piloted a mobile work initiative that increased employee satisfaction and work-life balance.
  • 30. Championed a company-wide initiative that promoted work-life balance, leading to a marked decrease in reported employee
  • burnout and a significant enhancement in overall job satisfaction.
  • 31. Launched a mentorship program that empowered employees and fostered leadership development.
  • 32. Improved project reporting mechanisms, resulting in more informed decision-making processes.
  • 33. Developed a custom software tool that became essential in daily operations.
  • 34. Expanded the company’s social media presence, significantly increasing online engagement.
  • 35. Transformed underperforming teams into high achievers through targeted coaching and development.
  • 36. Orchestrated a volunteer program that enhanced the company’s community involvement and presence.
  • 37. Revitalized client relationships through proactive outreach and personalized service strategies.
  • 38. Pioneered an internal idea-sharing platform that spurred innovation and process improvements.
  • 39. Engineered a change management strategy that minimized resistance and maximized adoption.
  • 40. Forged strategic alliances that opened new channels for business development and revenue streams.
  • 41. Cultivated a culture of continuous improvement, leading to enhanced operational effectiveness.
  • 42. Negotiated with suppliers to secure more favorable terms without compromising on quality.
  • 43. Initiated a comprehensive competitor analysis that guided the company’s strategic planning.
  • 44. Championed a user-centered design philosophy that led to more intuitive and effective products.
  • 45. Directed the successful turnaround of an underperforming business unit.
  • 46. Implemented a robust protocol that protected sensitive company data.
  • 47. Coordinated a company retreat that boosted morale and team cohesion.
  • 48. Authored a series of industry whitepapers that solidified the company’s thought leadership.
  • 49. Mediated high-stakes negotiations that resulted in beneficial partnerships.
  • 50. Developed and led a training module on emotional intelligence, enhancing team empathy and communication.
  • 51. Championed a wellness program that improved overall employee health and reduced absenteeism.
  • 52. Orchestrated the decommissioning of outdated systems, ensuring a smooth transition to modern technology.
  • 53. Enhanced the talent acquisition process, attracting higher-caliber candidates.
  • 54. Led a task force to address critical workflow bottlenecks, resulting in more efficient operations.
  • 55. Piloted a flexible work arrangement program, leading to increased employee satisfaction.
  • 56. Coordinated a successful brand collaboration that expanded market reach and influence.
  • 57. Implemented a client onboarding system that streamlined the acquisition process.
  • 58. Spearheaded an initiative to revamp the company newsletter, significantly increasing readership.
  • 59. Directed a cross-cultural communication training that enhanced global team interactions.
  • 60. Facilitated the adoption of a new project management methodology, leading to more predictable project outcomes.

Part 5 Examples of Action Verbs to Describe Your Achievements

Choosing the right action verb for your accomplishment statements can give your resume or performance review the punch it needs to stand out. Use these dynamic verbs to clearly articulate your successes and make your contributions shine.

  • Start with words like ‘orchestrated’ or ‘spearheaded’ when you want to demonstrate leadership and initiative. These words convey that you were at the helm of a project, directing it to success. If you improved a process or made something more efficient, consider ‘streamlined’ or ‘optimized’. These verbs suggest improvement without taking up too much space.
  • Suppose you saved the company money or increased revenue. In that case, words like ‘generated’, ‘accelerated’, or ‘enhanced’ can show the direct impact of your actions. For teamwork, ‘collaborated’, ‘united’, or ‘fostered’ emphasize your ability to work effectively with others and contribute to a joint effort.
  • When showcasing creativity, use terms like ‘conceived’ or ‘envisioned’. These indicate that you brought new ideas to life. And if precision or expertise was key to your role, ‘crafted’, ‘engineered’, or ‘calibrated’ can depict your skills in a field or intricate work.
  • Compile your own list of powerful verbs tailored to the skills and accomplishments you want to highlight. Make sure each verb fits the action you’re describing and that it presents your experience confidently and accurately. With a well-chosen verb, your accomplishments will grab attention and clearly communicate your value.

Examples of action verbs that can help make your achievement statements more impactful:

  • – Orchestrated
  • – Streamlined
  • – Optimized
  • – Generated
  • – Accelerated
  • – Enhanced
  • – Collaborated
  • – United
  • – Fostered
  • – Conceived
  • – Crafted
  • – Engineered
  • – Calibrated
  • – Pioneered
  • – Transformed
  • – Revitalized
  • – Negotiated
  • – Directed
  • – Implemented
  • – Facilitated
  • – Cultivated
  • – Innovated
  • – Revamped
  • – Modernized
  • – Advocated
  • – Analyzed
  • – Customized
  • – Drove
  • – Expanded
  • – Forged
  • – Governed
  • – Integrated
  • – Leveraged
  • – Mediated
  • – Navigated
  • – Overhauled
  • – Piloted
  • – Quantified
  • – Reconciled
  • – Shaped
  • – Tailored
  • – Unified
  • – Validated
  • – Amplified
  • – Bolstered
  • – Conceptualized
  • – Deployed
  • – Elevated

These verbs can be strategically used to describe your professional experiences and accomplishments with a strong sense of action and purpose.

Part 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • When crafting accomplishment statements, one of the pitfalls you might fall into is using vague language. Your statements should be specific and clear to provide a concrete understanding of your achievements. Avoid generic phrases like “handled tasks” or “worked with clients.” Instead, say exactly what you did and the outcome, like “increased sales by 20% through direct client engagement.”
  • Listing duties instead of accomplishments is another frequent error. Rather than just saying what your role was, focus on what you accomplished in that role. For example, don’t just say “responsible for sales team,” tell others how you improved the team’s performance.
  • Resist the temptation to inflate your achievements. Honesty is key as it maintains your credibility. If you improved productivity, provide realistic figures to back it up. Inflated numbers or exaggerated claims can damage your reputation if scrutinized.
  • Avoid a monotonous list of tasks. Mix in some qualitative accomplishments to show your skills in a broader context. These provide insights into not just what you did, but how you approached tasks, dealt with challenges, and contributed to the team or company culture.
  • Neglecting the use of strong action verbs can weaken your statements. Start your accomplishments with verbs like ‘orchestrated,’ ‘innovated,’ or ‘transformed’ to grab attention and immediately inform about the action you took.
  • Lastly, make sure your accomplishment statements are not too long or complex. You want your reader to grasp your successes quickly. Dense paragraphs or overly technical jargon can detract from the impact of your achievements. Keep it concise and straightforward.

Part 7 Editing and Refining Your Achievement Statements

After drafting your accomplishment statements, review each one to ensure they are clear, concise, and impactful. Focus on active verbs and precise language to make your accomplishments stand out. Ask yourself, does the statement convey the impact of your work?

Quantitative results often speak for themselves but check that the context is also there. A 20% increase in sales is impressive, but noting that this was a key part of a successful product launch adds depth. Keep the numbers simple, and make sure they stand out—people are drawn to concrete evidence of success.

Qualitative statements can be trickier. Strive for vividness by using strong action verbs and sensory language where appropriate. Instead of “Managed a team,” personalize and punch it up: “Steered a dynamic team towards surpassing annual goals.”

Solicit feedback from peers or mentors. Sometimes, you’re too close to your own experience to see unclear points. Fresh eyes can spot areas where more specificity is needed or where jargon slips in.

Lastly, trim the fluff. Eliminate unnecessary words and focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘why’. This distillation process will leave you with powerful statements that clearly demonstrate your value. Keep refining until each statement reads well and has a distinct purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i craft an effective accomplishment statement for my resume.

When writing accomplishment statements, start with a strong action verb to capture attention. Follow with a description of the task you completed and conclude with the positive outcome or impact. Likewise, quantifying accomplishments helps to provide a clear understanding of your capabilities.

What are some powerful action verbs to enhance accomplishment statements?

Use dynamic verbs like “achieved,” “expanded,” “optimized,” and “streamlined.” These words can effectively convey your contributions and exhibit your active role in achieving success. Action verbs also add energy and clarity to your statements, showing your dynamism in various roles.

Can you give me examples of accomplishment statements with quantifiable results?

Certainly, for instance: “Increased sales by 20% over a 6-month period through strategic business development initiatives,” or “Cut customer support response time by 30% by implementing a more efficient ticketing system.”

Could you provide examples of accomplishment statements that highlight qualitative achievements?

Here’s an example: “Improved team morale and productivity through the introduction of monthly team-building activities.” Another could be “Enhanced the company’s brand image by redesigning the customer service protocol to be more user-friendly.”

What’s the best structure to use when writing a professional accomplishment statement?

Your accomplishment statement should have three parts: a strong action verb, the task or project you were responsible for, and the positive result or impact that task had. Ensuring these elements are present gives a comprehensive view of what you did and the value you brought to the company.

How should one present their skills and accomplishments in a resume to make a strong impact?

Highlight your skills and accomplishments in a resume by tying them to specific results and using metrics whenever possible. Present your achievements in a way that matches the job description, aligning your experience with the prospective employer’s needs and showing that you have a proven track record of success.

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How To Write A Ridiculously Good Personal Statement

Writing a fantastic personal statement doesn't have to be a mystery or difficult. This guide gives you actionable, real tips with examples.

Candidate Advice • CV Advice

Last Updated 15/07/2022

action words for personal statement

Your personal statement (often called a CV Profile or Personal Profile) is vital. It’s the most important thing on your CV. That’s because it provides that vital first impression.

The average recruiter or manager only spends 7-8 seconds reading a CV. A lot of that will be scanning your CV to try and pick out keywords.

However, the eyes will linger a little longer on a personal statement as it is right at the top of the page.

It is your opportunity to grab their attention and not let go.

It gives you a chance to sell yourself to the employer in a small and easy-to-digest paragraph.

In fact, a well written personal statement can mean the difference between standing out from the crowd and your application being rejected.

In the UK there were 2.8 vacancies per 100 employees.

That means for every three jobs you go for you’re competing against 99 other people.

That small section at the beginning therefore is vital to securing your position, by capturing attention and convincing the reader to interview you.

Not a University Statement

This article talks about personal statements for CVs only. However, we also use the term regularly for university applications. 

These are longer, more detailed, and have a different purpose. As a result we are going to not provide help on this topic. If you’re after great advice on this click here for  advice on university personal statements .

What is a personal statement?

It’s a paragraph. Only about four or five lines and that is all. But those lines have to provide a snapshot of who you are, what you have achieved, and most importantly what you can bring to the table.

This is your best opportunity to really secure that all important job interview.

How To Structure It

I have written hundreds of CVs. I have written them for MDs, CEOs, Operations managers as well as cleaners, retail staff, and school leavers.

The structure and format are always the same.

75-120 words I have found is the sweet spot.

Because when using size 10-11 font in Calibri it comes out at about 4-5 lines.

Now you might have to adjust the margin sizes in Word to fit in more, but it’s more about the line count than the word count.

It’s like goldilocks. Not too long, not too short. Easy to skim read, but long enough to have detail.

With such a small word count there’s a huge need to be specific and choosy with what to include.

Don’t worry, we will break everything down and help you make sure you get to write an amazing personal statement.

How to Write it

There are lots of ways to write a personal statement. For example, it could just come naturally to you, and a flow of sentences appear on the page. Or you could go through things methodically with an organised list.

In all honesty, I prefer that last one. It provides better quality and more reliable results.

Your personal statement should answer three questions clearly – Who are you? What skills do you have? How can you help our business?

Start small. Write a short bullet point list of what you want to include. It should just cover the most impressive essentials.

You are a what? A marketer? A business consultant? Health and safety advisor? Carpenter? Etc.

Then what skills or achievements do you really want to highlight? Is it your communication or project management? Is it the fact you increased sales by 12% or made a saving of 35%? Whatever it is you are doing to highlight your best skills against what the recruiter is truly looking for.

Finally, it’s matching what you can do against what they need. Do they need a great communicator? Or a great leader? Do they need someone who can think outside of the box? Or do they need someone logical and methodical?

Whatever the need, make sure to make it clear that you fit that role perfectly.

The list could literally be like this;

  • Marketer – Experienced, methodical, strategic
  • Skills – Communication, strategy, management
  • Achievements – Secured 207 leads in a single week long campaign, achieved a 30% increase in sales
  • How it fits – They need a leader who can create a strategy and then deliver it.

By writing it out like this you have created an outline for your statement.

Having an outline makes it a lot easier to not only answer the questions but also string them together in a comprehensive yet easy to read manner.

The Writing Lesson

Starting with a blank page is scary. The lack of words can easily mean your mind feels empty of thoughts.

Even if you’re not the most creative of writers I will help guide you through how to word, phrase, write, and put together your statement.

The first thing to keep in mind is you should use the first person (i.e. I, Me, Myself etc) sparingly.

If you’re constantly saying “I did this” and “I achieved that” it sounds self-absorbed. Try and vary it up.

Obviously you are going to need to introduce yourself. A classic opened would be “I am a methodical strategist and marketer” or something along those lines.

After that intro use third person WITHOUT PRONOUNS. Referring to yourself in the third person is weird anyway, so instead of, ‘She is a retail professional seeking a management role…’ would become ‘A retail professional seeking a management role…’

Now a lot of CV writers would shout at me for it, but using the first person to introduce and then third person provides a great balance between the personal and not sounding too pompous.

This is a balance. You want it to highlight what you as a person can provide the company whilst not sounding self absorbed. A good example is as follows.

  • I am recent graduate in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. My studies have given me a comprehensive knowledge of economic theory and its practical application through data analysis. Accomplished user of Stata, Matlab, and SAS. Looking to use and improve existing skills and gain knowledge and experience in a fast-paced business environment in the role of Graduate Data Analyst with Equinox.
  • I’m a BSc Economics graduate looking to make use of my educational attainment in a professional environment. I’m a team player with excellent communication skills and a confident user of data analysis software. Looking to gain experience as a data analyst.

Now the next part of the writing lesson is make sure to use the active tense.

What do I mean by the active tense?

Look at the two examples below.

  • I wrote a CV.
  • The CV was written by me.

Or how about

  • I achieved a 30% increase in sales.
  • Sales were increased by 30% because of me.

Which ones sound better?

If you said the first one for each example then you’re correct. These are in the active tense. 

It’s all about where you put the verb (the action/doing word).

The sentence should be Pronoun, Verb, Rest of the Sentence. 

Pronoun = I, Me, He, She, You, They, Them

Verb = Any Action e.g. achieve, increase, do, write etc.

Rest of the sentence = Does what it says.

Going back to our examples:

  • I (Pronoun) wrote (Verb) a CV. (Rest of the sentence)
  • I (Pronoun) achieved (Verb) a 30% increase in sales. (Rest of the sentence)

If you’re still unsure you can always run your personal statement through the  Hemingway App . 

Hemingway will highlight different issues with a colour code so that you can rewrite and fix them to be punchy and clear. Doing this alongside double checking spelling and grammar with Grammarly will really double down the efforts and sharpen up your profile quickly and easily.

Don’t be boring! 

Boring will put off a hiring manager.

The easiest way to be boring is to use boring verbs or putting “very” in the sentence.

As Robin Williams said in Dead Poets Society:

“So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it is lazy. A man is not ‘very tired’, he is ‘exhausted’. Don’t use ‘very sad’, use ‘morose’.”

This complements the point below about using strong verbs. Choosing the right words will make your skills, experience, and accomplishments sound better.

This is all about grabbing the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager, so excitement beats boring every time.

Use strong, powerful verbs

In the words of Massive Attack “Love is a verb, love is a doing word”. Verbs are your new best friend when it comes to your CV.

Using a thesaurus and careful choice, you can make your achievements and skills sing.

Here’s a quick list of strong verbs for you to use in your personal statement.

  • Established
  • Increased/decreased
  • Trained/mentored
  • Volunteered

For a full list of verbs that you could use in your CV and personal statement check out  Indeed’s list of 139 action verbs.

At the end of the day, the stronger and more assertive and action based you can make your personal statement sound, the better.

Us Brits tend to have a habit of trying to downplay our achievements and skills, but your CV profile is not the time to do that.

Use Facts & Figures

Using numbers is amazing. By highlighting significant achievements and including exact figures in your profile you can capture the readers attention. 

It could be something as simple as “Increased sales by 30% in 6 months” but the use of numbers helps interrupt the flow of the profile in a good way.

It draws the eye of the reader and they are likely to re read the sentence to make sure they understand what you achieved.

Be very selective though and only highlight those pieces that would make you stand out to the company.

What Not To Write

We’ve shown you how to write your statement and what to include. 

We haven’t shown you what not to write.

Buzzwords / Overused Terms

A quick Google search will show you there are lots of lists of buzzwords to either include or exclude.

A lot of the time you will find the same words on both lists.

So which list do you trust?

Pick the ones that are most accurate and truthful.

Only put “high achiever” if you are a high achiever. 

Don’t lie or stretch the truth.

Be honest and use the most accurate, honest words or phrases. 

There are always ways of making you sound good without stretching the truth or lying.

You might find it more effective to communicate your qualities by detailing beneficial actions that relate to real-world scenarios instead of listing buzzwords like “ambitious,” “motivated,” and “driven.”

Try your best to avoid all cliches. There are lots of CV cliches but the most common one is “Works well on my own as well as part of a team”. This sounds like a good option to include, but it is so overused that it is now off putting to people.

Also if you think about it, it becomes a completely irrelevant sentence as being part of a company means you will either work on your own or as part of a team, you need to be able to do that as standard.

In fact some other common ones are “Hard working team player”, “results driven thought leader”, and “strong communicator”.

When you use cliches you sound unimaginative, unoriginal, and bland. As I have already said, boring or bland will instantly put off the recruiter or hiring manager.

I could write an entire blog on phrases to not include on a CV or in a personal statement.

But, the main ones to avoid are:

  • Strong work ethic
  • Multi-tasker
  • Independent
  • Detail-oriented
  • Self-motivated
  • Go-to-person
  • Strategic thinker
  • I can work on my own or as part of a team
  • Think outside the box
  • Results-driven
  • I have good communication skill
  • Hard worker
  • People-person
  • Team player

Avoid technical jargon as much as you can.

Unless the job description asks for specific skills or qualifications that you can prove using jargon, avoid using it.

If you cram your personal statement with technical terms it looks obvious and also disrupts the flow.

The most common form of jargon is putting a load of abbreviations into your statement. Only use these if they are specific titles or qualifications. Otherwise spell it out.

Do not put slang in your statement.

You’re talking to a hiring manager, not to your friend.

Even if the hiring manager is your friend, don’t use slang.

Keep it professional, clean, and clear.

Remember to tailor!

There is no on size fits all job. So don’t use a one size fits all profile (or CV for that matter)!

Quality will always beat out quantity. Take the time to  tailor each application to suit the needs and wants of the business.

Although you will end up applying to fewer roles, you will have a much better chance of getting an interview doing it this way.

Keywords are your friends

Use keywords. The majority of CVs now run through a piece of software called an ATS long before they ever reach the eyes of a recruiter.

With that the ATS will be looking for key words or phrases that match the job description to narrow down search results for recruiters.

Make sure that when you are tailoring your CV and your profile to a job, that you include the keywords that would make you stand out.

Quick Checklist!

  • Get to the point – Remember short and sharp
  • Make sure you answer the key questions: 
  • Who are you? 
  • What skills and experiences do you offer? 
  • Add your value to it – This is personal. Only you can add value
  • Tailor it to the job description.
  • Highlight skills that you need.
  • Use the active voice, in the first person.
  • Use facts and figures – “Achieved a 30% increase in sales year on year”
  • Be generic – This is a sniper scope, not a shotgun blast.
  • Focus on yourself – Put focus on them and you by answering “What skills and experience can you offer?”
  • Ramble – A cover letter is the time to elaborate. 
  • Only list achievements – Answer the questions in full sentences.
  • Forget to proofread. 
  • We can never say it enough. Proofread every detail. Read it out loud. Send it to a friend or send it to a recruiter. Run it through  Grammarly  or  Hemingway App .
  • Use jargon, slang or clichés.

Ta-Da! You have a personal statement.

This should perfectly complement with your well written CV !

Remember this is to make sure you get the interview. The interview will get you the job.

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How to Write a Strong Personal Statement

  • Ruth Gotian
  • Ushma S. Neill

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A few adjustments can get your application noticed.

Whether applying for a summer internship, a professional development opportunity, such as a Fulbright, an executive MBA program, or a senior leadership development course, a personal statement threads the ideas of your CV, and is longer and has a different tone and purpose than a traditional cover letter. A few adjustments to your personal statement can get your application noticed by the reviewer.

  • Make sure you’re writing what they want to hear. Most organizations that offer a fellowship or internship are using the experience as a pipeline: It’s smart to spend 10 weeks and $15,000 on someone before committing five years and $300,000. Rarely are the organizations being charitable or altruistic, so align your stated goals with theirs
  • Know when to bury the lead, and when to get to the point. It’s hard to paint a picture and explain your motivations in 200 words, but if you have two pages, give the reader a story arc or ease into your point by setting the scene.
  • Recognize that the reviewer will be reading your statement subjectively, meaning you’re being assessed on unknowable criteria. Most people on evaluation committees are reading for whether or not you’re interesting. Stated differently, do they want to go out to dinner with you to hear more? Write it so that the person reading it wants to hear more.
  • Address the elephant in the room (if there is one). Maybe your grades weren’t great in core courses, or perhaps you’ve never worked in the field you’re applying to. Make sure to address the deficiency rather than hoping the reader ignores it because they won’t. A few sentences suffice. Deficiencies do not need to be the cornerstone of the application.

At multiple points in your life, you will need to take action to transition from where you are to where you want to be. This process is layered and time-consuming, and getting yourself to stand out among the masses is an arduous but not impossible task. Having a polished resume that explains what you’ve done is the common first step. But, when an application asks for it, a personal statement can add color and depth to your list of accomplishments. It moves you from a one-dimensional indistinguishable candidate to someone with drive, interest, and nuance.

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  • Ruth Gotian is the chief learning officer and associate professor of education in anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, and the author of The Success Factor and Financial Times Guide to Mentoring . She was named the #1 emerging management thinker by Thinkers50. You can access her free list of conversation starters and test your mentoring impact . RuthGotian
  • Ushma S. Neill is the Vice President, Scientific Education & Training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She runs several summer internships and is involved with the NYC Marshall Scholar Selection Committee. ushmaneill

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Ace Your Interviews with Strong Resume Action Statements

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In today’s competitive job market, having a well-crafted resume is essential for success. Your resume serves as your first impression to potential employers and can make or break your chances of landing a job. One key element of a strong resume is utilizing impactful action statements.

The purpose of this article is to provide guidance on how to create strong resume action statements that effectively highlight your skills and experience. We will explore the importance of these statements in catching the attention of hiring managers and discuss the different types of action statements that can be used to differentiate yourself from other candidates.

Over the course of this article, we will delve into specific strategies for crafting strong action statements, including how to use power verbs and quantify your achievements. Additionally, we will provide examples of effective action statements and offer tips for tailoring your statements to different types of job opportunities.

By the end of this article, readers will have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create powerful action statements that will help them stand out in the job market. Whether you’re just starting your job search or seeking to improve your existing resume, the insights shared in this article will help you take the next step towards landing your dream job.

Understanding the Basics of Resume Action Statements

When it comes to crafting a standout resume, action statements are an essential element that should not be overlooked. Action statements are brief, action-oriented phrases that describe your accomplishments, skills, and experience. They help to showcase your abilities and demonstrate your value as a candidate to a potential employer.

Definition of Action Statements

Action statements are concise, powerful statements that showcase your accomplishments and use power verbs to describe your actions. They are written in a way that highlights your strengths and achievements in a way that is easily understood by hiring managers and recruiters.

action words for personal statement

Importance of Incorporating Them in Resumes

Incorporating action statements in your resume is vital to showcasing your skills, experience, and accomplishments. Hiring managers and recruiters use these statements to quickly evaluate candidates and determine if they meet the qualifications for a role. Action statements also help your resume stand out from a sea of other candidates, making you memorable and more likely to be selected for an interview.

Examples of Action Verbs and Phrases

When writing action statements, using strong, action-oriented verbs is key. Here are some examples:

  • Developed and Implemented
  • Created and Produced
  • Managed and Organized
  • Improved and Streamlined
  • Accelerated and Exceeded
  • Facilitated and Led

Phrases that highlight your achievements and results are also effective, such as:

  • Increased sales revenue by 20%
  • Reduced customer complaints by 15%
  • Created a new process that saved the company $50,000 annually

Dos and Don’ts of Writing Effective Action Statements

Effective action statements should be:

  • Quantifiable
  • Results-oriented
  • Tailored to the job description and requirements

Some don’ts to keep in mind include:

  • Using vague language or generic statements
  • Focusing too much on responsibilities rather than achievements
  • Overusing the same verbs or phrases

By incorporating action statements into your resume and following these dos and don’ts, you can showcase your skills, experience, and accomplishments effectively and increase your chances of landing the job you want.

Analyzing Job Postings for Action Statement Inspiration

When it comes to crafting a strong resume, one of the best ways to grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers is to use action statements. These statements stand out, showcase your accomplishments, and demonstrate how you can add value to a company. But what makes a great action statement? How can you ensure that they align with the specific job you’re applying for?

The answer to these questions lies in analyzing job postings for inspiration. By carefully examining job postings, you can identify relevant skills and keywords that will make your action statements stand out. Here’s how to do it:

How to identify relevant skills and keywords from job postings

The first step in analyzing job postings for action statement inspiration is to scrutinize the skills and qualifications required for the position. This includes everything from technical qualifications (e.g., software proficiency) to soft skills (e.g., communication or teamwork).

In addition, pay attention to any specific words or phrases that are repeatedly used in the posting. Do they emphasize innovation, customer service, or attention to detail? These buzzwords can signal what the company prioritizes in a candidate.

Make a list of all the skills and keywords you uncover. This will serve as the foundation for your action statements.

Incorporating these skills and keywords into your action statements

With your list of skills and keywords in hand, craft action statements that showcase how you possess these attributes. For example:

action words for personal statement

  • “Developed a highly innovative marketing campaign that increased website traffic by 40%”  (showcasing innovation)
  • “Managed cross-functional teams to streamline product launch and improve customer satisfaction”  (showcasing teamwork and customer service)

It’s important to be specific and quantifiable in your action statements. Use concrete examples of how you’ve applied these skills in past roles.

Examples of successful action statements derived from job postings

Here are some examples of successful action statements derived from job postings:

  • “Implemented a new project management system that reduced project completion time by 20%”  (from a project manager posting that emphasized efficiency)
  • “Spearheaded a strategic social media campaign that resulted in a 200% increase in engagement”  (from a marketing posting that emphasized digital marketing)
  • “Led a series of training sessions that improved customer service scores by 25%”  (from a retail posting that emphasized customer service)

By using job postings as inspiration for your action statements, you’ll ensure that your resume reflects the specific qualities that employers are looking for. And by doing so, you’ll increase your chances of landing the interview – and ultimately, the job.

Showcasing Achievements through Action Statements

As a job seeker, you know how important it is to stand out in a crowded job market. One way to do that is by highlighting your accomplishments on your resume. But simply stating what you achieved is not enough. You need to show how you achieved it.

That’s where action statements come in. An action statement is a sentence that describes what you did, how you did it, and what the result was. For example, instead of saying “Increased sales in my department,” you could say “Developed a sales strategy that resulted in a 25% increase in revenue for my department.”

Importance of quantifying achievements in action statements

Quantifying your achievements is essential because it helps the hiring manager understand the scope of your impact. Using numbers and percentages makes your accomplishments more tangible and impressive.

For instance, “Managed team members” becomes more valuable when you say “Managed a team of 10 people and increased efficiency by 20% in six months.”

Tips for articulating achievements in a compelling manner

Start with a strong action verb such as “Developed,” “Implemented,” or “Managed.” Use active voice to convey confidence and assertiveness.

Include details about the challenge you faced, the action you took, and the outcome of your efforts.

Use numbers and percentages whenever possible to quantify your achievements.

Focus on achievements that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Keep your language concise and avoid jargon or technical terms that may not be understood by the hiring manager.

Examples of action statements that effectively showcase achievements

Built a social media marketing campaign that increased website traffic by 50%.

Created a customer service training program that resulted in a 30% decrease in customer complaints.

Oversaw a product launch that generated $2 million in revenue within the first month.

Developed a manufacturing process that reduced production time by 20%.

Led a sales team that exceeded its quarterly targets by 25%.

By using action statements that quantify your achievements and showcase your accomplishments, you can create a resume that stands out and helps you ace your job interview. So, next time you update your resume, make sure to highlight your accomplishments in a compelling and quantifiable way.

Crafting Action Statements for Specific Industries

Crafting action statements that resonate with specific industries is a crucial component of writing a successful resume. Not all industries expect the same skills and accomplishments, and as a result, it is essential to understand the unique expectations of each.

Understanding the Unique Expectations of Different Industries

Before we can craft effective action statements that speak to the unique needs of each industry, it is crucial to understand those expectations.

For example, the finance industry values analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to handle complex data sets. On the other hand, the creative industry tends to value innovation, networking skills, and the ability to think outside the box.

When applying for a particular job within an industry, it is essential to understand the specific requirements of that position. This knowledge helps to tailor your action statements to that job’s unique expectations, significantly improving your chances of landing the position.

Highlighting Industry-Specific Skills and Accomplishments through Action Statements

Once you understand the expectations of the industry and the job, crafting industry-specific action statements becomes much easier. These action statements help to highlight the specific skills and accomplishments that are most relevant to the industry.

For example, suppose you are applying for a marketing position within the healthcare industry. In that case, action statements that highlight experience with healthcare marketing campaigns or understanding of healthcare regulations would be particularly relevant.

Examples of Industry-Specific Action Statements

Here are a few examples of industry-specific action statements:

Healthcare Industry

  • Created and executed successful social media marketing campaigns that reached an audience of over 100,000 people within the healthcare industry.
  • Led a team of healthcare professionals to implement HIPAA-compliant data management practices that reduced data breaches by 50%.

Finance Industry

  • Conducted in-depth financial analysis that led to a 20% increase in profits for a Fortune 500 company.
  • Developed a financial forecasting model that increased accuracy by 15%.

Creative Industry

  • Spearheaded a successful viral social media campaign that generated over 1 million views in a week.
  • Sponsored and organized an art show featuring local artists that raised over $10,000 for a community organization.

By crafting action statements that are tailored to specific industries, you can showcase your skills and accomplishments in a way that speaks directly to recruiters and employers. Ultimately, this improves your chances of landing the position and crafting a successful career in your industry of choice.

Using Numbers and Metrics to Strengthen Action Statements

If you want to ensure that your resume stands out among the pile, then you need to make it as compelling as possible. One way to do this is by using numbers and metrics in your action statements. But why is it important to use numerical data in action statements?

Importance of using numerical data in action statements

First, using numbers and metrics helps to quantify your achievements and demonstrate the impact you made in your previous roles. This provides concrete evidence of your abilities and sets you apart from other candidates who may simply be making claims without any evidence to back them up. Second, incorporating numerical data into your action statements helps to make them more specific and memorable. Finally, numerical data helps to paint a picture of what you can bring to a potential employer by showing them the results you achieved in the past.

Examples of how to incorporate metrics into action statements

Here are some examples of how you can incorporate metrics into your action statements:

  • Increased sales revenue by 25% through the development and execution of a new marketing strategy.
  • Streamlined production processes, resulting in a 40% reduction in manufacturing time and a 15% increase in overall efficiency.
  • Led a team of 10 engineers and oversaw the completion of 7 major construction projects, totaling $50 million in value.

These statements not only demonstrate the specific achievements of the candidate, but they also provide context around their ability to drive results.

Tips for effectively using numbers in action statements

When incorporating numerical data into your action statements, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:

  • Use specific numbers that help to quantify your achievements.
  • Focus on the impact you made rather than simply listing your responsibilities.
  • Be honest and accurate with your numbers. It’s better to understate your achievements than to overinflate them.
  • Be consistent with your formatting. If you’re using percentages, ensure that they’re formatted the same way throughout your resume.
  • Finally, don’t go overboard with the numbers. While it’s important to quantify your achievements, don’t make your action statements too overwhelming or difficult to read.

By using numerical data in your action statements, you not only provide evidence of your abilities but also make your resume more impactful and memorable. Use the tips above to make sure that your resume stands out from the crowd and lands you that dream job.

Using Power Words in Action Statements

As a copywriter and subject matter expert, one of the most important things you can do to ace your interviews is to use strong resume action statements that clearly communicate your skills and accomplishments. However, it’s not just about what you say; it’s also about how you say it. That’s where power words come in.

Definition and Importance of Power Words

Power words are words and phrases that are particularly impactful and memorable. They have a way of grabbing the reader’s attention and conveying a sense of confidence and authority. When used in action statements, power words can help to showcase your unique qualities and sell yourself as an impressive candidate.

Using power words is particularly important in action statements because these statements are your chance to demonstrate your capabilities and achievements. By including powerful language, you can clearly and succinctly communicate the value that you offer.

Examples of Commonly Used Power Words in Action Statements

There are many power words that you could potentially include in your action statements. Some of the most commonly used ones include:

  • Implemented

These words are effective because they clearly communicate a sense of action and accomplishment. They help to convey that you are results-oriented and capable of driving positive change.

However, it’s important to note that power words aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your specific skills and accomplishments, there may be other power words that are particularly impactful.

Tips for Selecting Effective Power Words for Your Specific Skills and Accomplishments

When selecting power words for your action statements, it’s important to think carefully about what you want to communicate. You want to choose words that are both accurate and effective in showcasing your skills and experience.

Here are a few tips to help you choose the right power words:

Start with your job posting. Look at the specific skills and experience that the job requires and think about how you can showcase those skills in your action statements.

Emphasize action. Choose words that clearly convey a sense of action and accomplishment. Avoid passive language that doesn’t accurately reflect your level of involvement.

Be specific. Don’t just use generic power words that could apply to anyone. Instead, choose words that are specific to your accomplishments and experience.

Vary your language. Don’t just rely on one or two power words throughout your action statements. Instead, vary your language to keep things interesting and show your versatility.

By following these tips, you can select power words that effectively showcase your unique abilities and accomplishments. This can help you stand out from the competition and impress potential employers.

Using power words in action statements is a vital component of a strong resume. By choosing impactful language that accurately represents your skills and accomplishments, you can demonstrate your value as a candidate and increase your chances of success in your next interview.

Formatting and Optimizing Action Statements for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

When applying for jobs online, many job seekers may not realize that their resumes must be optimized for success in applicant tracking systems (ATS). ATS are software tools used by hiring managers to screen and filter resumes. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how ATS work and why they matter.

Understanding how ATS work and why they matter

ATS scan resumes for keywords and phrases that match the job description. Resumes that don’t have the required keywords and phrases are automatically rejected. Therefore, to increase the chances of getting an interview, it is essential to include the right keywords in your resume. Without them, your resume may never make it to the hiring manager’s desk.

Tips for optimizing action statements for ATS

To optimize your action statements for ATS, it’s crucial to use the right keywords and phrases. It is essential to study the job description carefully and use the same language or keywords mentioned in the job posting. However, avoid keyword stuffing as it can lead to your resume being rejected by the ATS.

Use bullet points to make your resume scannable. Also, keep your action statements concise and straightforward. Avoid long paragraphs, and use short sentences with strong action verbs. Resist using cliche statements and buzzwords that don’t convey any information to the employer.

Examples of action statement formatting for ATS

Before:  Responsible for managing projects and ensuring they are completed on time and within budgets.

After:  Managed projects, ensuring completion within budgets and deadlines.

Before:  Collaborated with team members on daily tasks and responsibilities.

After:  Collaborated with cross-functional teams to accomplish daily tasks and responsibilities.

Making sure your resume is optimized for ATS is critical to landing an interview. By understanding how ATS works and following the tips outlined above, job seekers can increase their chances of getting the job they desire.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Writing Action Statements

When it comes to writing effective action statements for your resume, there are several common mistakes that many job seekers make. Here are some of the most frequent errors, along with tips on how to avoid them:

Overview of common mistakes made in action statements

Using weak verbs: Action statements are all about showing off your skills and achievements, so using weak verbs like “assisted” or “contributed” can make you appear unimpressive to potential employers.

Being too generic: Avoid using generic or vague statements that could apply to anyone, such as “I am a team player” or “I work well under pressure.” These statements won’t make you stand out from other job applicants.

Neglecting to quantify: Don’t forget to include specific numbers and metrics in your action statements. Hiring managers want to see concrete evidence of your accomplishments, so including quantifiable results like “increased sales by 25%” or “managed a team of 10 employees” is essential.

Tips for avoiding these mistakes

Use strong action verbs: Instead of weak verbs like “helped” or “worked,” use stronger, more action-oriented verbs like “led,” “initiated,” or “created.” This will make your accomplishments sound more impressive and help you stand out from the crowd.

Be specific: Rather than making vague statements about your abilities, be specific about what you’ve accomplished. For example, instead of saying “I’m a great communicator,” you could say “I developed and executed a successful communication plan that increased customer satisfaction by 25%.”

Quantify your achievements: Make sure you include specific numbers and metrics in your action statements. This could mean stating the percentage of sales you increased, the number of people you managed, or how many projects you completed on time and under budget.

Examples of poorly-formed action statements and how to fix them

Poorly-formed statement: “Assisted with customer service inquiries” Better statement: “Resolved customer service inquiries, resulting in a 90% satisfaction rate”

Poorly-formed statement: “Contributed to the marketing campaign” Better statement: “Developed and executed a successful marketing campaign that increased sales by 20%”

Poorly-formed statement: “Handled administrative tasks” Better statement: “Streamlined administrative processes, reducing turnaround time by 50%”

By avoiding these common mistakes and following the tips provided, you can create strong action statements that showcase your skills and achievements in a way that will impress potential employers.

Editing and Proofreading Action Statements for Maximum Impact

When it comes to crafting strong resume action statements, the importance of editing and proofreading cannot be overstated. A poorly written or edited action statement can not only detract from the clarity and effectiveness of your resume, but it can also negatively impact your chances of landing your desired job. Here are some tips to help you polish your action statements to perfection.

Importance of Editing and Proofreading for Clarity and Effectiveness

The primary purpose of your action statements is to demonstrate your abilities and achievements to potential employers. However, if these statements are unclear or poorly written, they will fail to achieve this purpose. Effective editing and proofreading can help you to identify and correct mistakes, such as grammatical errors or awkward phrasing, that may be detracting from the clarity and effectiveness of your action statements.

Tips for Editing and Proofreading Action Statements

Here are some tips to help you edit and proofread your action statements for maximum impact:

  • Read your action statements out loud to identify any awkward phrasing or run-on sentences.
  • Use a tool such as Grammarly or Hemingway to identify any grammatical errors or areas for improvement in your writing.
  • Ensure that your action statements are targeted towards the specific job you are applying for, using keywords and phrases that are relevant to the position.
  • Keep your action statements concise and to the point, focusing on your accomplishments rather than your duties.

Examples of Poorly Edited Action Statements and How to Fix Them

Here are some examples of poorly written or edited action statements, along with suggestions for how to improve them:

Example 1: Poorly Edited

  • “Managed a team of employees and conducted performance reviews on a regular basis.”

This statement is unclear and lacks specificity. Here is an improved version of the same statement:

  • “Supervised a team of 10 employees, conducting quarterly performance reviews that resulted in a 20% increase in productivity.”

Example 2: Poorly Written

  • “Responsible for performing a variety of tasks, including data entry and administrative duties.”

This statement is vague and lacks impact. Here is an improved version of the same statement:

  • “Maintained accurate and up-to-date records through precise data entry, while providing exceptional administrative support to senior management.”

By editing and proofreading your action statements, you can ensure that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light to potential employers, highlighting your achievements and abilities in a clear and impactful way. With these tips and strategies, you can create action statements that will help you ace your interviews and land your dream job.

Sample Action Statements for Different Roles and Industries

As you strive to create an outstanding resume that can help you stand out from the competition, you might be struggling with how to make your work experience shine. One of the most critical components of a strong resume is the action statements that you include. These statements describe your accomplishments and the impact you made in your previous roles, giving hiring managers an idea of your skills and abilities.

To help inspire you and get you started on creating your strong resume, we have compiled a comprehensive list of sample action statements for different roles and industries. Whether you are in finance, marketing, IT or any other field, you will find examples that will help you tailor your resume to your specific industry and role.

Our list of sample action statements covers various skills and competencies, from leadership and project management to communication and problem-solving. You will find statements that use strong action verbs and detail-oriented descriptions to showcase your achievements and successes while providing concrete examples of your skills in action.

Remember that these statements are only examples, and it is essential to tailor them to your specific experience and the job you are applying for. Use these samples as inspiration and aim for authenticity and clarity in your own action statements. You should highlight your unique achievements and successes while being concise and straightforward.

When crafting your action statements, aim to demonstrate your impact in measurable terms. Use numbers, percentages, or other hard data to quantify your achievements and show your potential value to the organization. For example:

  • Increased sales by 30% through the development and execution of a new marketing strategy.
  • Reduced project timelines by 20% by implementing a new project management methodology.
  • Improved customer satisfaction ratings by 15% by implementing personalized customer service initiatives.

By incorporating these kinds of measurable results in your action statements, you will make a more significant impact and better showcase your abilities to potential employers.

Creating strong action statements that showcase your skills, accomplishments, and impact is critical to crafting an outstanding resume. Use the comprehensive list of sample action statements for different roles and industries as a starting point to inspire and guide your writing. Aim for authenticity and clarity in your statements, quantifying your achievements with measurable results. With these tips, you will ace your interviews and land your dream job.

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Academic Personal Statement Guide + Examples for 2024

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You have a bright future ahead of you in academia and you’ve already found the program of your dreams.

The only problem? 

You have to write an impressive academic personal statement that sets you apart from a sea of applicants.

We know that writing about yourself might not come naturally. And when the academic program you have your sights set on is on the line, it doesn’t make it any easier.

But there’s no need to worry!

We’ve prepared this guide to help you write your academic personal statement and secure your spot in your program of choice.

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What Is An Academic Personal Statement?
  • 7 Steps to Writing the Best Academic Personal Statement
  • An Example of a Stellar Academic Personal Statement

Let’s dive in.

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What Is an Academic Personal Statement?

A personal statement is an essential part of the academic application process.

Much like a motivation letter , your academic personal statement serves to demonstrate why you’re the right candidate for the course and sell yourself as a capable student.

Your goal is to show the admissions committee that they’ll benefit from having you in their university as much as you’ll benefit from joining the program.

Academic Vs CV Personal Statement

The term ‘personal statement’ can mean different things depending on your field.

In the world of job hunting, a personal statement usually refers to a few sentences that go at the top of your CV . This paragraph is meant to convey your top skills, relevant experiences, and professional goals to a hiring manager from the get-go and increase your chances of getting an interview.

However, in the world of academia, a personal statement refers to a more in-depth description of you as a candidate. 

In a nutshell, an academic personal statement shows the admissions committee your academic achievements so far, as well as what motivated you to apply and pursue this position.

Personal statements are also often required when applying for certain jobs, much like writing a cover letter . If you’re looking at a position as a faculty member in a university or other academic institution, for example, you might be asked to provide an academic personal statement.

7 Steps to Write an Academic Personal Statement

Preparation is the key to success and this is exactly where our guide comes in handy.

So just follow these steps and you’re sure to secure your spot:

#1. Read the Brief (Carefully!)

Academic personal statements aren’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all piece of writing. 

Typically, every institution has its specific requirements on what candidates should include in their academic personal statement.

To make sure you’re on the right track with your academic personal statement, read the brief carefully. Consider taking notes and highlighting important points from your program’s brief as you go through it.

Pay attention to any specific question the university wants you to answer. If you don’t address everything the admissions board expects, your personal statement will look sloppy and you’ll be considered an inattentive candidate.

Be sure to re-read the brief after you’ve finished writing your academic personal statement, too. This way you can make sure you’ve answered everything adequately and you’ll have the opportunity to correct any slips.

#2. Research the Program

Make sure you do your homework on the academic program you’re applying to.

You can’t write a good academic personal statement without research, let alone a great one. Much like researching your employer , taking the time to learn more about your desired school and personalizing your application can make a huge difference.

For example, you can dive into how your values align with that of the school you’re applying to, and how your experience and interests relate to specific things about the program. The more you focus on how you’re the right fit for this specific position, in this specific program – the better.

Carefully read through the school and program’s official pages since everything you would need to know is probably on the school’s official website. You can also ask current and former students for help but remember that whatever they say should never replace official information when crafting your academic personal statement.

#3. Plan Your Statement

An academic personal statement is meant to explain your academic interests and shouldn’t contain irrelevant details about your personal life.

Focus on why you want to study the course you’ve chosen and provide any information about your achievements so far.

Ask yourself the following questions to get the ball rolling on what to write:

  • Why do you want to study (or work) in this program? How will it benefit you?
  • How do your skills match the position?
  • What makes you stand out from other applicants?
  • What are your exact career aspirations?
  • How can you and your work benefit the institution you’re applying to?
  • If you changed fields, how did you decide to apply in this direction?
  • What insight can you bring thanks to your different experiences?
  • How will this change of field help your future career?

Write down your answer to these questions in the first draft of your academic personal statement.

#4. Look at Example Statements

Don’t hesitate to read other people’s academic personal statements online. They’re a great source of inspiration and can help get rid of any remaining writer’s block.

If you’re struggling to understand how to meet the language and formatting requirements for your academic personal statement, seeing actual examples is the best way to learn.

But be careful – don’t copy any lines you read, no matter how impressive you think they are. 

Most universities run every academic personal statement through intensive plagiarism checking, and even a paraphrased sentence could lead to your application being rejected for plagiarism.

So pay more attention to the overall structure of the academic personal statements you read, rather than copying the exact wording.

#5. Structure the Contents

There should be a cohesive argument that your entire essay follows. Each sentence and paragraph should complement and build on the one that comes before it.

The structure of your personal statement should include:

An intriguing introduction to you as a candidate

The introductory paragraph should grab the admission committee’s attention and keep them engaged.

Here you should be sure to avoid cliches like saying how you’ve “always dreamt” of graduating from this university or of studying this exact program. Instead, give an example of what really influenced you to pursue this dream.

Here’s an example:

  • I’ve always loved reading and since I was a child, it’s been my dream to graduate from Oxford University and contribute to the world of literary analysis. That’s why I spent the past year volunteering at my local writers’ society and giving constructive feedback during workshops and book discussions.
  • It wasn’t until I failed my first essay assignment in secondary school that I realized the depth that lies beneath each sentence in a given text. I began to delve into the rich layers of literary texts and the intricacies of literary analysis became my passion. Although initially challenging, the depth of understanding that this field offers about human emotions, cultural contexts, and narrative structures enthralled me. I found myself questioning the narrative structures and character motivations that I had previously taken for granted, and I was eager to understand how the subtle and often overlooked elements within a text could have a profound impact on its overall interpretation. This need to fundamentally understand a given author’s work has stayed with me since and led me to pursue literary analysis as a postgraduate student.

An engaging body

The main part of your academic personal statement should detail your interests, experience, and knowledge, and how they make you suitable for the position.

This is where you should expand on your motivation and use the following tips:

  • Why this university? Provide strong reasons for your choice, related to your future career or the institution’s reputation.
  • Mention your relevant studies and experience. This includes projects, dissertations, essays, or work experience.
  • Give evidence of key skills you have, such as research, critical thinking, communication, and time management, and explain how you can contribute to the department with them.
  • Say what makes you unique as a candidate and provide an example.
  • Explain who have been the main influences who put you on this path and why they’ve influenced you.
  • Mention other relevant experiences, such as memberships in clubs related to the subject, awards you might have won, or impressive papers you’ve written.
  • Talk about your career aspirations and how the program ties into your goal of achieving them.

Depending on the guidelines of the specific university, you could also divide your academic personal statement’s body with subheadings, such as:

  • Academic background
  • Research interests
  • Methodological approaches
  • Research experience
  • Personal experience
  • Extracurricular activities 
  • Relevant skills
  • Career aspirations

A logical conclusion

Your academic personal statement needs a conclusion that ends on an enthusiastic note.

Make sure the conclusion reiterates the main points from the body of your text.

Your relevant accomplishments and desire to attend this specific program should be clear to any reader.

#6. Pay Attention to the Language

When writing the first draft of your academic personal statement, pay attention to the language and tone you’re using.

An academic personal statement is also a formal text, so your writing should reflect that. Colloquialisms aren’t appropriate, as they would take away from the well-mannered impression you want to give the admissions committee.

However, you also want your personal statement to be straightforward and avoid any complex jargon from your field of study.

For example, your opening sentence shouldn’t be overly complicated. You should communicate everything as clearly as possible, and be inclusive to those outside of your field of study since they might be on the admissions board that’s reading your academic personal statement.

Make sure that the tone throughout your text is positive and conveys your enthusiasm for the program. Your academic personal statement should show the admissions committee that you really want to be there, and why that’s beneficial to everyone involved.

#7. Proofread Your Statement

This step probably isn’t surprising to you but it’s worth paying attention to.

Your academic personal statement is a very formal document and it should be spotless. 

So, make sure it adheres to academic writing conventions . For example, contractions like “I’m” instead of “I am” are informal, and should be avoided.

Mistakes like these are very common when writing about yourself, particularly when you’re used to describing yourself in informal environments.

Carefully proofread your academic personal statement, then run it through a grammar checker like Grammarly or Quillbot, then proofread it again.

The tiniest grammar mistake or typo could make the admissions board reject your application.

Academic Personal Statement Example

Ever since my first encounter with the enchanting worlds spun by Flaubert, Balzac, and Proust, my intellectual pursuits have gravitated toward French literature. With an undergraduate degree focused on French Language and Literature, I have been fortunate to explore my passions both theoretically and empirically, embedding them within broader themes of cultural theory and comparative literature. It is with great excitement that I apply for the postgraduate research position in the French Literature program at Kent University, with the aim of contributing novel scholarly perspectives to this captivating field.

Academic Background and Research Interests

During my undergraduate studies, I delved deeply into the realms of 19th-century Realism and Naturalism. My senior thesis, which examined the dialectics of morality and social structures in Balzac's "La Comédie Humaine," was not merely an academic exercise; it served as a crucible where my theoretical understandings were rigorously tested. This research experience intensified my interest in the complex interplay between literature and societal norms, a theme I am eager to further explore in my postgraduate work.

Methodological Approaches

My academic approach is fundamentally interdisciplinary. I strongly believe that literature should not be studied in a vacuum; rather, it should be contextualized within historical, sociological, and psychological paradigms. During a semester abroad in Paris, I took courses in cultural anthropology and French history, an enriching experience that complemented my literature-focused studies. This holistic approach will enable me to contribute a multifaceted perspective to the research endeavors at Kent University.

Previous Research and Scholarly Engagements

My scholarly activities have also extended beyond the classroom. Last summer, I participated in an international conference on French Literature and Post-Colonial Theory, presenting a paper on the depictions of colonial landscapes in Dumas' adventure novels. The opportunity to engage with academics from various disciplines provided me with fresh insights and underscored the importance of collaborative research. Further, I've had the honor of having a review article published in the Sheffield Journal of Contemporary Literary Explorations, where I critiqued a groundbreaking new translation of Verne's works.

Extracurricular Contributions and Skills

In addition to my academic achievements, I have sought to enrich my department’s intellectual community. I served as the editor of our departmental journal and organized a series of seminars featuring guest speakers from the worlds of academia and publishing. My strong organizational skills, combined with proficiency in both written and spoken French and English, make me a versatile candidate capable of adding value to the French Literature program’s broader objectives.

To summarize, my deep-rooted passion for French literature, fortified by rigorous academic training and interdisciplinary methodologies, makes me an ideal candidate for the postgraduate research position in your esteemed program. The prospect of contributing to academic discourse at Kent University is an opportunity I find deeply compelling. I am especially excited about the potential for collaborative research and interdisciplinary inquiries, which aligns perfectly with my academic philosophy. I am fully committed to leveraging my skills, experiences, and enthusiasm to make a substantive scholarly contribution to the study of French Literature. Thank you for considering my application; I am keenly looking forward to the possibility of furthering my academic journey in this vibrant intellectual community.

FAQs on Academic Personal Statements

If you’re wondering anything else about academic personal statements, check out the answers to the most frequently asked questions related to them here:

#1. How do you start a personal statement for an academic job?

Applying for an academic job is different from applying for a position as a student. First, you need to establish your qualifications and enthusiasm for the role immediately.

Start by explaining your current status, for example, as a postdoctoral researcher or an experienced member of the faculty, and specify the position you are applying for. Then follow up with your research interests or personal philosophy towards teaching.

You can add a personal anecdote or compelling fact that summarizes your academic journey so far, or your passion for the field. After that, your academic personal statement can go deeper into the qualifications from your academic CV and how you’re a great fit for the position.

#2. How do I introduce myself in an academic personal statement?

The introduction of your academic personal statement is the key to grabbing the attention of the admissions committee.

Start by stating the field or subject that interests you, and why. You can share a specific personal anecdote or observation that led you to this academic pursuit and set the stage for the detailed explanation in your main body.

The goal of your introduction is to give the reader a sense of who you are, what drives you, and why you would be a valuable addition to their department.

#3. Is an academic personal statement like an essay?

Yes, an academic personal statement can be considered a type of essay.

Both essays and academic personal statements are structured forms of writing that are meant to deliver a coherent argument and are divided into an introduction, body, and conclusion. They provide supporting evidence to prove the point and maintain a logical flow to guide the reader to the final conclusion.

However, essays tend to be objective and explore a specific topic or question in depth. Academic personal statements use similar techniques but they present the candidate’s qualifications, experiences, and aspirations in a way that’s meant to persuade the admissions committee.

#4. How long is an academic personal statement?

Typically, an academic personal statement is between 500 and 1000 words long.

The exact length of the text varies depending on the university and program you’re applying to. You should always check the specific requirements for your desired program, and stick to the guidelines you find.

However, if the university you’re applying to doesn’t specify a word count, you should aim for one to two pages.

#5. What do I avoid in an academic personal statement?

Since your personal statement is a crucial part of your academic application, it’s important to avoid any common mistakes.

Make sure the content of your academic personal statement isn’t too generic. Its goal is to give insight into you as an individual, beyond what can be read in your CV . 

You should also avoid cramming too many points in your text. Your academic personal statement should follow a logical flow, and focus on the relevance of what you’re sharing about yourself and how it relates to the academic program you’re pursuing.

Key Takeaways

And that concludes our guide to writing an academic personal statement!

We hope you feel more confident when crafting your application for that academic program or faculty position you have your sights set on.

Now let’s recap what we talked about so far:

  • Academic personal statements are very different from CV personal statements. While CV personal statements are brief paragraphs at the top of the page, an academic personal statement is an in-depth text that details why you’re interested in a given position, and what makes you a good candidate.
  • The guidelines on academic personal statements vary according to the institution you’re applying to. Read the brief very carefully, and pay attention to what it says about word count and questions your personal statement should answer. Any mistakes here could result in rejection.
  • There are differences between applying for a postgraduate program and applying for a faculty position. But in both cases, you should research the exact place you want to apply to and adjust your application accordingly to match the institution’s values.
  • Always proofread your academic personal statement before sending it, even if you’re sure there are no errors.

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