“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 that 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.