“I am surprised you chose not to include ‘216% department revenue growth in 2012’ on your resume. Can you tell me your thinking there?” “I was afraid that listing that achievement would make it look like I am taking credit for the department’s success...”
This is an example of a very common back-and-forth I have with many clients. During our project, I will come across mention of an accomplishment that is really outstanding and then be surprised to see that it is not mentioned anywhere in a client’s resume.
Not wanting to take credit for team achievements is admirable, but not owning the part you played in that achievement is a mistake. Here are three tips for ways to include team achievements on your resume.
State your role – Make sure you clue the reader in to the part you played in helping achieve that team goal. Just saying “Played a key part...” alone does not tell the reader anything about your specific impact. Make sure to speak to your specific contribution. Here is an example:
“Developed and led “brown-bag” training on new procedures and updates, providing team members with the tools necessary to achieve 45% increase in compliance over two years.”
Use strong language – Words like “helped” or “assisted” don’t carry too much weight when it comes to a resume. They can read a little passive. Instead, consider using more powerful terms like “partnered,” “collaborated” or “teamed up.”
Keep it short – This advice applies to all bullet points, but it is worth restating here. Keeping your accomplishment focused bullet points short is always a challenge; keeping a bullet point short when you are trying to parse out your role in a team's achievement is even more challenging. Regardless, your bullet points should rarely exceed two lines.
It is a shame to leave outstanding accomplishments on the cutting room floor simply because you are afraid to take credit for the whole achievement. With some thoughtful word choices, you can shine a spotlight on your contribution and really bolster your resume.