Try to Quantify Accomplishments on Your Resume — Even If You're a Student


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Shreena writes: I am applying for a summer undergraduate work placement in a large company of opticians. One of the questions of the application forms is as follows: “Provide details of key achievements in your current role including facts and figures and performance targets to indicate the business outcome that resulted.” Do I need to write about my role as a student at university? There is no real business outcome that results from being a student.
The Career Doctor responds: Thank you so much for asking this question. Everyone reading this blog who knows a college student should be sure that s/he reads my answer. Most college students should leave college with two types of experience: actual work experience gained through internships and part-time jobs and practical experience gained through class projects and papers. When writing their resume, most students don’t have too hard a time describing work experience, but one of the most common errors I see is that students often discount those class projects. As the application states, the company is looking for your key achievements/accomplishments to date. If you have previous work experiences, list those along with their outcomes. But don’t forget about those class projects. For example,at the university where I previously taught, many major courses required completing a project, often with a real client. For example, in a marketing research class, students might work with a local business in uncovering a problem and suggesting solutions. When describing those student experiences, remember the same rules that apply to describing your work experiences: always try to quantify your descriptions, focus on outcomes and project objectives. A sample explanation of a student project:
Market Research Project for DeLand Electronics
  • Developed detailed SWOT Analysis
  • Assisted in writing survey questionnaire
  • Managed survey mail-out to 1,000 residents
  • Compiled strategic solutions based on survey results
  • For more information, consider reading this article on Quintessential Careers: For Job-Hunting Success: Track and Leverage Your Accomplishments.